Texas State Team Takes IMA National Competition
The 2020 Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Student Case Competition National Championship was won by a team of four accounting students from Texas State University. Team members are Amanda Craig (BBA ’19 and MAcy ’21), Addison LePere (BBA ’19 and MAcy ’21); Caitlynn Grimes (BBA ’20 and MAcy ’21); and Hannah Torres (BBA ’20). “This is the first year Texas State has taken the national championship, and faculty in the Department of Accounting are thrilled!” stated Dr. Ann Watkins, Department Chair. “This year’s team gave up their winter break to work on the project. We appreciate their efforts and are proud of their representation of our accounting programs.”
The competition involves analyzing a case study for a hypothetical business, performing research, developing a proposed solution, and then writing a script and producing a video submission. All videos from teams across the U.S. undergo two rounds of review by accounting and financial professionals as well as academics. Based on this review, the Final Four teams are selected. Usually, these four teams present live before another panel of judges and IMA members attending the Annual Conference.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference was cancelled and the process was modified such that the judges who would have been in Atlanta for the live presentations utilized the four teams’ videos to select the winner. Every year the competition is stiff. The other finalist teams for 2020 included: University of Nevada-Las Vegas (winners in 2017, 2018 & 2019), Valdosta State University, and the University of Rhode Island. Each team that places in the Final Four receives $3,000 in scholarship monies and the winning team earns an additional $2,000 for scholarships.
The students volunteered for this event, earning no academic credit for their time spent preparing their submission. All four students had similar observations about the benefits of being on the IMA team, saying it helped them develop their skills as a team player and gave them experience in a real-world scenario. They also expressed how much they enjoyed working with and learning from each other and further developing skills that will help them succeed in the workplace. Dr. Watkins agreed, “Students in the IMA competition have a unique collegiate experience that enhances their skills working as a team on a real-world scenario. This is certain to aid them in professional success.”
Watkins added, “Texas State began competing in this competition three years ago when Dr. Carolyn Conn joined the faculty. We are fortunate to have Dr. Conn on the faculty. She is experienced, dedicated, and very supportive of students participating in extracurricular activities, particularly the IMA Competition. The students’ achievements in the IMA competition has increased the viability of our accounting programs and reflects so positively on what we do.”
This year’s winning team was preceded by teams she advised in 2018 and 2019, each of which earned a place among the Final Four and who set expectations for exceptional performance. In both years Texas State faculty heard from colleagues across the nation, complimenting our accounting program and the students’ achievements in the IMA competition. Dr. Conn emphasized, “The entire accounting faculty is to be congratulated for preparation of our students to compete at the national level and for this year’s win.”