(L-R) Alex Pirie; Sandra B. Richtermeyer, IMA Global Chair, emerita; Meredith Lind; Victoria Bolick; David Barker
(L-R) Alex Pirie; Sandra B. Richtermeyer, IMA Global Chair, emerita; Meredith Lind; Victoria Bolick; David Barker

Four Terry students did something nearly unthinkable on a recent trip to Las Vegas: They came back winners.

What’s more impressive, the team of David Barker, Victori Bolick, Meredith Lind and Alex Pirie was competing in the college’s first trip to the Institute of Management Accounts National Case Competition.

The competition asks student teams to solve a complex case. This year, it concerned how a baseball stadium could earn money during the off-season. The Terry team’s winning entry relied not only on outside-the-box thinking, but also the wit and style of their presentation.

“We were told by the judges that we were the only team in the country that didn’t use the idea of an ice rink,” says Pirie, who graduated in may with a Master’s of Accounting degree and now works as an auditor at Deloitte. “When we were brainstorming ideas of what to do with the baseball field in the off-season, we did the obvious and Googled it. You can probably guess, but the first result that comes up is, ‘ice-skating rink.’ Although we liked the idea, we worried that too many other teams would have the same idea. So our idea of having festivals initially differentiated us from the pack.”

Pirie and fellow MAcc student Barker first learned about the competition last year after searching the Internet for accounting competitions. The contest was new to them, so when they read “no faculty assistance” in the contest rules, they took it seriously. Only after landing in Las Vegas did they find out that the Terry team was the only team without a faculty adviser.

Their solution to the case was introduced by the group through a whip-smart presentation and short video to illustrate their ideas.

“Almost everyone in attendance who came to congratulate us, including the president of the IMA, said that the reason we won was because of our humor,” Pririe said. “We took a bit of a risk and decided to have fun with our presentation, believing that being professional, didn’t mean we had to be rigid or boring. I definitely have to credit our accounting professors at UGA for this. While accounting will likely never be described as ‘fun,’ I challenge anyone to take an accounting class with either of the Bambers (Michael and Linda Bambers, both accounting professors at Terry) without spending as much time laughing and smiling as they do learning.”