The 2022 University of Waterloo Accounting Conference (UWAC) was held at Hagey Hall on Saturday, November 19, 2022, and included a case competition, workshops, and networking, providing 160 first-year School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) students with the opportunity to apply their in course knowledge, develop crucial soft skills, and grow professionally. With key sponsors such as EY, KPMG, Deloitte, Scotiabank, RSM, MNP, and many more, as well as a cumulative prize pool of $3,000, UWAC truly lived up to its title of Canada's Leading Undergraduate Accounting Conference and provided significant value to first year SAF students.
One of the main features of the conference was the case competition, with a top prize of $1,500. The UWAC team, in collaboration with the faculty, designed a comprehensive business case study designed specifically with the skill level and background knowledge of first-year SAF students in mind. Participating students, in teams of 4, had one week to prepare their 10 minute case analysis presentation. On the day of the conference, 40 teams presented their solutions in front of panels of upper year students, acting as judges, for the preliminary round, and representatives from sponsoring firms for the semi-final round. The top 4 groups from the semi-finals had the opportunity to present to our finalist judges, Rob Durcharme (faculty liaison) and Zehanna Visram (Investment Banking Analyst at BMO and former co-chair of UWAC). All students who participated in the competition were able to gain valuable experience by applying their course knowledge to the case, and further developing their soft skills during the presentations and Q&A sessions.
The workshops and networking sessions were also key components of the conference that were made possible thanks to our amazing sponsor firm representatives who took time out of their Saturdays to come all the way to Waterloo for the conference. Representatives and recruiters from some of the premier firms in accounting and finance presented workshops teaching delegates key soft skills and competencies that they believed were important for students as they progress into the business world. Firm representatives then participated on a large-scale networking session, where students had the chance to talk to over 40 firm representatives in order to develop strong connections that will be invaluable as they learn more about the accounting profession and begin recruitment for co-op roles.
Overall, the 2022 edition of the UWAC succeeded in its goals of providing more than 160 first-year students with the unique opportunity to build their networks, develop their professional skills, and apply the knowledge they gained in the classroom in real life. We believe that UWAC is a key experience for many students during their first year, and we hope to have your continued support for the conference going forward!
At the School of Accounting and Finance, we offer many different student clubs and organizations, along with UWAC.