Why Tax? Video Competition!

Providence College taxation professor Julia Camp contributed the following posting for students who are considering careers in taxation. It provides a great opportunity for students who aspire to express their creative talents in the field of accounting.

I know why I went into the field of tax, but why did others? We want to know! And better yet, we want other students to know! Why is taxation a great field to enter? How would you influence someone to look into taxation as a career?

The American Taxation Association (ATA), with support from the Big 4 accounting firms, is sponsoring a video contest called Why Tax? Firms across the world are looking to recruit people for careers in taxation. Some firms even offer bonuses to those who enter tax instead of other areas in accounting, just to sweeten the pot.

According to Robert Half Management Resources, the role of a tax accountant is in high demand and there are many opportunities in both public and corporate tax departments.

The ATA Why Tax? video competition is asking undergraduate and graduate students to create 1-3 minute videos that highlight why someone might choose the tax career path. They encourage creativity and have no restrictions on format: short film, commercial, music video, documentary, etc. The videos are to be targeted towards other students.

Videos will be reviewed by a panel of experts including faculty and sponsoring firm employees. Prizes will be awarded to 1st ($3,000), 2nd ($2,000), and 3rd ($1,000) from the judging based upon scores for Concept (25%), Originality (25%), Script and Screenplay (25%), and How the entry encourages a career in tax (25%). Prizes will also be awarded to a Viewer’s Choice winner ($1,200) and Viewer’s Choice Runner up ($800), which will be determined by public vote.

The entire set of rules can be viewed on the website linked below, but some important ones to be noted are: the videos must be made by undergraduate or graduate students, videos must be original work without any professional assistance, and the videos must not refer in any way to the students’ College.

Submissions can be made via the link below until November 15, 2016.

I know that we have some very creative students who may be able to create some great videos. So – get out there and talk to some people in tax and find out why taxation can be so exciting! Ask your friends who have graduated and are now working, ask your professors (not the auditing ones!!!), ask your parents and family friends, and even better – ask the firms themselves. Wouldn’t it be a great interview question? What made you choose tax?

Why did I choose tax? Actually – my story is silly. I had to choose between tax and audit for an internship. For me it was an easy choice – I didn’t have a car, so I needed to be in the office, which I could get to by train. That was it – I chose tax simply due to my lack of transportation. Of course, once I got there, I realized how much I enjoyed it, and even more so after working on a few audits. But – I’ll leave those details as to “Why Tax?” to the student videos.

I hope to see some PC submissions. Good luck to those who enter!! And for the rest of you who don’t enter – be on the lookout for the videos to vote for Viewers’ Choice!

For more info, go to:  http://aaahq.org/ATA-Video-Contest/ATA-Video-Contest-2 

Julia Camp

A Letter To My Freshman Self

For most of us in academia, the end of September represents a transition from Summer to Autumn, and from the turbulent chaos of a new academic year to the more settled rhythms of mid-semester.

But for freshmen, the end of September brings more significant transitions. How will collegiate midterm exams differ from their high school exams? How will the contemplative writing assignments of PC’s Western Civilization program differ from their grade school essays? And just as importantly, how will the temptations and opportunities of “dorm life” support — or impede — their academic goals?

Gerard Looser (‘09, ‘10G) of KPMG International recommends that we read John Veilmeyer’s A Letter To My Freshman Self, published on LinkedIn earlier this month. The Letter can be found by clicking here.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/letter-my-freshman-self-john-veihmeyer?published=t

Professor Margaret Ruggieri of the Accountancy Department asked Gerard to write a brief introduction that presents his reflections regarding this Letter. We agree with Gerard that the Letter is not solely a worthwhile essay for freshmen; it is also a worthy read for all of us who were once freshmen, and who can look back on our own turbulent years of transition.

From Gerard:

A colleague of mine forwarded me a letter that John Veihmeyer, Chairman of KPMG International, wrote as a contribution to A Letter to My Freshman Self: Domers Reflect on Their Undergraduate Experiences, which is a collection of personal letters from Notre Dame alumni that was distributed to the freshman class at Notre Dame this year.

As a current employee of KPMG, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for John and all that he has accomplished as a leader in our firm, including driving the ethos of a high performance culture, his focus on diversity, and his relentless commitment to giving back to the community.

As I read John’s reflection, I instantly related to many of his experiences, including learning the value of hard work from my father, the desire for a purpose, and leading by example (just to mention a few). I encourage you to read his letter, and perhaps to take a few moments to reflect on the stories, knowledge and experiences that you might share with your freshman self. Go Friars!

Gerard Looser (‘09, ‘10G)

Taking The Challenge

Hey, accounting students … are you ready to take the Challenge?

Don’t worry; it won’t affect your Grade Point Average (GPA). But it might make you a better accountant!

Our Department Chair Christine Earley explains:

The signature event of the Fall semester is the PwC Challenge. This event will be held in October and November over a two week period, with the kickoff scheduled for October 24th and the final campus competition occurring on November 7th. PwC has made some changes to the program, which will be announced at kickoff, but the firm is still encouraging participation by all accounting majors, particularly those in the early years of the major. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event through announcements in your accounting classes.

Stephen Perreault, a Co-Coordinator of the event, adds:

The PwC Challenge really represents a great opportunity for our students. It provides them with a chance to hone their analysis, presentation, and public speaking skills in front of a panel of supportive professionals from PwC. I encourage all of our students, especially those who have not participated in prior years, to consider taking part in this year’s competition.

And his fellow Co-Coordinator Valerie Peterson elaborates:

v-petersonWe are excited that Providence College has again been selected to participate in the PwC Challenge Case Competition! This will be the eleventh consecutive year that our students have competed in the Challenge. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to deal with a real world scenario and use their critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills to develop a solution to a business issue while connecting with PwC professionals.

You’re welcome to review the PwC Challenge web site to learn more about the event. And please feel free to ask any Accountancy professor at Providence College about it!

Christine Earley, Stephen Perreault, and Valerie Peterson

Our New Department Chair: Welcome!

As the recently appointed Chair of the Accountancy Department, I am delighted to welcome all returning students and faculty back to campus. And for the 64 new accounting majors joining us as the Class of 2020, welcome to the PC School of Business!

For those of you who have not yet met me, I have been a faculty member at PC since the Fall of 2008. After spending a few years in the Dean’s Office as Associate Dean, I took a leave of absence for the past two years to work at KPMG’s Global Services Center in Montvale, New Jersey.

I learned a lot during my time in the “real world,” and now I am happy to be back on campus. We have so much to look forward to this year, with the 100th year anniversary of the College and the new Ryan Center for Business Studies opening in Spring 2017.

We are working hard as a faculty to organize events for Accounting majors, including a great line-up for Introduction to the Profession, informative Accounting Association events, and exciting activities associated with the opening of the new building. Several accounting firms donated funds to name spaces in the new building (with information forthcoming in more detail in the coming months), and the late Gus Cote, a former PC accounting professor, made a sizable donation to name a computer lab for accounting students.

These generous donations will be recognized more fully during the spring semester, when there will be a groundbreaking ceremony and other events surrounding the building opening. We will invite some important people and prominent alumni to campus for these events, and I hope that you will be able to attend and use these networking opportunities to meet some wonderful supporters of PC and our students.

I want to encourage all of you to learn as much as you can about changes to the accounting profession during the next few years. They will have a profound effect on the skills that accountants will need in the future. For instance, you have probably heard the terms “Big Data” and “Analytics” used a lot in all aspects of business and in business education. And I know that some Class of 2017 students just completed a “Data Analytics” bootcamp at the PCSB!

All accountants will be impacted by the growing need for data and analytic skills in the future, and you will see changes in some of your accounting courses in response to this priority. Although these skills involve some quantitative components, Analytics actually depends on reasoning, and on making connections between items of information.

In other words, many of the skills that you learned in DWC and your liberal arts core will actually be needed to perform these functions. Data Analytics involves asking data questions, knowing how to use technology to provide the answers, and then interpreting the results. I hope that you all embrace learning these skills to better position yourselves for your future careers.

Most importantly, enjoy the beginning of the semester. I hope to see many of you soon, either in class or around campus at one of our events.

Dr. Christine Earley

A Huge Election

We all already knew that the Department of Accountancy of the Providence College School of Business is a leader in academics. But today — April 1, 2016 — we learned that our colleagues are leaders in contemporary democracy as well.

Why? Because at 10:00 am, Professor Christine “The Christine” Earley announced that she will challenge Professor Patrick “PK” Kelly in this semester’s election for Department Chair. Kelly is the long-time incumbent who is widely regarded as the establishment candidate, whereas Earley is the outsider candidate who has spent the past two years on leave from the College, working in the private sector.

So why is Earley launching this challenge? In a fiery speech announcing her candidacy, she declared “We just don’t win any more. Do you remember when I led our student team to the PwC national xACT championship in 2012? We haven’t won that competition since then.”

“We need to start winning again. When I become Department Chair, we’ll start winning again. Believe me, we’ll start winning. There’ll be so much winning, you’ll get tired of all the winning.”

When asked if she was concerned about other professors jumping into the race, Earley scoffed. “Who’s going to challenge me? Little Julia Camp? Lyin’ Mike Kraten? I don’t think so! Or Low Energy Matt Keane? Not going to happen, folks. Believe me, not going to happen.”

The crowd roared at her bravado, but she offered no detailed policy positions. For instance, when asked about expanding the Accounting / Finance double major option, she replied, “When the Finance Department sends its people to Accounting, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people who have lots of problems. They’re filling our classrooms. They’re taking our jobs. They don’t know debits and credits. Though some, I assume, are good people.”

“So I’m going to build a wall between Accounting and Finance. It’s going to be big. It’s going to be beautiful. And Vivian Okere is going to pay for it.”

Can Earley actually win the election? Or will the establishment derail her challenge? Clearly, it’s going to be a wild campaign. And this day — April 1, 2016 — might forever be remembered as the day when the Department of Accountancy changed Providence College history.

And in other news today, we launched this blog.

Mike Kraten