Setting the stage:
The Goodman Brock University Accounting Conference (BUAC) isn't your typical conference — it's a deep-dive into the accounting world. Held in Niagara Falls and hosted by the Goodman School of Business at Brock University, BUAC is a meeting ground for accounting enthusiasts. Sponsored by Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario), this 3-day accounting conference brings together university students across the province.
On the first day, we commuted from Waterloo to Brock University in St. Catherines. The conference kicked off with an informative workshop by CPA Ontario that focused on the accounting profession and helped us develop the skills necessary to succeed in the competition. The day included strategic games, networking with other University students in the same stream and having a good time — all activities that allowed us to make connections beyond Waterloo.
From left to right: Mohammed, Seniru, Bryce and Nathan (all AFM)
The big moment: BUAC Ontario-wide case competition
Let’s fast forward to the main event – the case competition! With only two and a half hours to build a 20-minute presentation, we were tasked with helping a virtual workplace to entice their employees back into a physical office. We had to utilize various human resource tactics and corporate strategies to lay out a plan and create a presentation for the business. This plan transformed their current work from home environment to encourage employees to come into the office once again.
We assessed how the qualitative aspects tie in with the financial metrics of the business and brainstormed strategies to create a solid plan that limited expenses and delivered results — allowing the operation to be a success! It was a challenge to work under such a tight time constraint, but we were able to successfully present our plan to the judges from accounting firms across Canada and came in third place.
Mixing, mingling, and learning
BUAC wasn't just about the competition, it was a mixer for brilliant minds from all over Ontario. Aside from the main event, we had plenty of time to socialize with other accounting students from different universities, explore Niagara together, dine with one another, and share ideas all while having a fun time. BUAC taught us useful knowledge that we wouldn’t typically learn in a classroom setting and helped us build valuable relationships with each other.
Our advice – if you're thinking about diving into accounting competitions, go for it! BUAC was a lot of fun this year. We spent quality time together while commuting from Waterloo to St Catherines, we got to problem solve together and ultimately finished in third place. It was a great ride, and we would encourage future students interested in case competitions to give them a shot!
Competitions aren’t just about testing your accounting knowledge and applying it to real world problems, they’re about making memories, getting outside your comfort zone and finding like-minded individuals. Winning a shiny trophy at the end was just the icing on the cake!