NEW YORK, April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation hosted the National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge (NAICC) for the sixth year, awarding students of Loyola University Chicago first place for their winning idea.

Hosted by Deloitte's Audit Innovation group and the Deloitte Foundation, the NAICC is a nationwide program, which accelerates innovation in education by helping institutions of higher learning keep pace with the rapidly changing marketplace and evolving technologies impacting the audit and assurance profession. The program engages students and faculty from campuses across the country, providing an educational experience designed to help students develop skills for success in the audit and assurance profession and sharing the culture of innovation at Deloitte with academia and future talent.

Each team had four weeks to respond to a challenge statement released in early October. The teams were supported by Deloitte professionals and a faculty advisor. Submissions were judged by an evaluation panel comprised of Deloitte & Touche LLP Audit & Assurance professionals.

This year's challenge focused on transforming the work experience for audit and assurance professionals by asking: How can we use innovation and technology to enable people to have a professionally rewarding experience while continuing to deliver exceptional client service and meeting stakeholder needs?

Student teams from 52 colleges and universities participated in the event, with 12 teams advancing to the National Competition. Among the collegiate national finalists were: California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, Colorado State University, Gonzaga University, Louisiana State University, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Chicago, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts, University of South Carolina, and University of Wisconsin - Madison.

"Businesses are transforming at an unprecedented rate. In our profession, understanding the power of technology is key to discovering and implementing the right solutions for innovation within the accounting profession," said Earl Stone, Audit & Assurance partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and managing partner and audit leader for Oklahoma. "Through this competition, students have the opportunity to bring forth their ideas in an environment that values innovative solutions. I am very impressed by the caliber of the students' submissions and the quality of ideas presented to some of the industry's seasoned executives."

The joint team from Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business and Arrupe College included Julian Jaramillo, Jawwad Khan, Sebastian Nunez and Catie Plank. The team's winning submission focused on a technology-enabled experience that begins prior to recruitment and leverages virtual reality, gamification and blockchain technologies to enhance collaboration in recruiting, mentoring, training and meetings.

"This competition provides an invaluable opportunity for students to engage in a hands-on, real-world audit experience; understand the skills necessary to become a future auditor; interact with peers from other universities; and be inspired by knowledgeable Deloitte professionals," said Peter Kolos and Susan McCarthy, Loyola University Chicago co-faculty advisors. "We are extremely proud of our team and grateful for the opportunity to participate in this competition and Deloitte's commitment to this unique program."

Student case competitions such as the NAICC are just one approach that can strengthen the connection between academia and the audit and assurance profession while helping to prepare the next generation for the jobs of tomorrow. It is also important to share insights with faculty about today's increasingly multifaceted business environment, rapidly changing landscape of how and where work gets done, the latest technologies, and the practice of solving complex business challenges.

For more than 50 years, the Deloitte Foundation and the American Accounting Association have offered the Robert M. Trueblood Seminars for Professors, seminars that continue to be one of the most highly regarded education programs for accounting faculty. Every year, reality-based cases are presented that cover emerging topics and some of the most challenging financial accounting and auditing issues clients may face. The professors can understand both the concepts and judgment required in applying accounting standards and incorporate their learnings into classroom content and better prepare their students for careers in professional services. In addition, the Foundation offers 50 cases as part of the Trueblood Case Study Series available to accounting professors across the country to use in the classroom to capture the richness and complexity of the audit and assurance profession.

"Enriching the classroom experience for both the students and educators is an essential component of the Deloitte Foundation's goal to help better prepare students for their future careers," remarked Randy Gullo, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Deloitte Foundation board member. "Pioneering programs like the NAICC can help students envision the possibilities of an audit career while programs such as the Trueblood Seminars provide educators with actual case examples they can use in the classroom to develop students' technical, research and critical thinking skills which are important for career success."

About the Deloitte Foundation

The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization that supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the next generation of diverse business leaders, and their influencers, and promote excellence in teaching, research, and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefiting high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and educators. Learn more about the Deloitte Foundation.

About Deloitte

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's more than 330,000 people worldwide connect for impact at www.deloitte.com.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee ("DTTL"), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as "Deloitte Global") does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the "Deloitte" name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.

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