An interdisciplinary team from LMU won first place in the 2021-2022 Deloitte Audit Innovation Campus Challenge, an annual competition where student teams demonstrate how innovative ideas and cutting-edge technologies could be applied to a real-world business issue. More than 60 university teams from across the country participated in the competition last fall, with 12 teams advancing to the national finals in April at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.
The LMU team was comprised of six students from the College of Business Administration (CBA): Kathleen Cereghini (marketing and accounting), Aidan Fitzpatrick (finance), Massimo Oedekoven Pomponi (finance), Estelle Potdevin (management & leadership), Sam Sprute (finance and accounting) and Isabella Tcherkes Zade (information systems and business analytics). For winning the competition, each team member received $2,000 and CBA was awarded a $10,000 scholarship.
This year’s challenge statement asked teams to consider the role of the accounting profession to drive rigor and discipline to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting process and accelerate higher quality and timely ESG information to the capital markets. The team worked hard to develop an innovative idea that would enable Deloitte to help companies properly cultivate and disclose ESG information in a meaningful, cost-effective and reliable way.
Their winning concept was “Artemis” – an AI driven, smart platform that would contain thousands of ESG reports and relevant data that would empower professionals with audit and assurance tools to help navigate the rapidly evolving regulatory environment of ESG reporting. This tool would draw from and expand upon systems that Deloitte already utilizes; however, it would allow professionals who perform audit and assurance services the ability to provide the system with feedback which the AI utilizes to produce more relevant reporting.
“This has been such a great experience and the students put in so much work,” said Tony Menendez, George A. Dasaro Clinical Assistant Professor of Accounting and faculty advisor for the winning team. “I’m so thrilled for these students because they are really seeing what life is like beyond the classroom. I think most students, especially early on in their college careers, don’t understand the vast opportunities in the accounting profession. Opportunities like this give them a chance to see what the broader profession is all about and showcase their innovative ideas and creativity.”
“Experiential learning experiences are highly impactful for our students and add tremendous value to their education,” added Dayle Smith, dean of LMU College of Business Administration. “My goal is for every business student to have an out-of-classroom experience such as attending a conference or participating in a competition.”