Accounting students at UOG win national competition

University of Guam accounting students (from left) Giovanni Aldan, Starr Perman, and Mark Natividad took first place in the Government Finance Case Challenge of the Association of Government Accountants. Also shown is their accounting professor, Doreen Crisostomo. (Photo courtesy of University of Guam)

A team of three accounting students from the University of Guam has won the 2019 Government Finance Case Challenge of the Association of Government Accountants. This is the fourth time in the past eight years that a UOG team of accounting students has taken first place in the undergraduate division of the competition.

On the winning team were seniors Giovanni Aldan, Mark Natividad, and Starr Perman, who each won a $1,000 scholarship as well as a free student membership to the AGA.

The challenge invites student teams to analyze data for a specified city, state, or county government and develop a citizen-centric report over the course of two and half weeks. Submissions are judged by a panel of government finance experts.

“This case competition is an invaluable teaching tool in my undergraduate government accounting course,” said Doreen T. Crisostomo, associate professor of accounting. “Participating in the competition provides them with real-world experience by exposing them to using and researching actual government data.”

According to the AGA, the experience challenges students’ moral reasoning, raises their awareness of the importance of accountability, and opens doors to a career in government.

“Becoming an auditor for my island’s government was a goal of mine before I began this case challenge,” said Perman, who is from Pohnpei. “Working on this project has encouraged my desire to help improve my government’s services to our people. I now have more confidence in my ability to one day reach this career goal.”