Eco-Minded Accounting Students Seek Votes for Plan

Nov. 15, 2010

Election season is not over. Four UT Dallas accounting students are trying to drum up the votes necessary to send them to the finals of a business sustainability challenge to be held in New York City in January.

Billing themselves as Eco Consulting LLC, the undergraduate foursome from the School of Management is one of 10 semifinalist squads aiming to advance to the last round of the 2010 American Institute of CPAs’ Accounting Competition.

Votes for Eco Consulting support a video that the UT Dallas team created as part of the competition, and 15 percent of the video’s score in the challenge will be based on public voting.

Three finalist teams will travel to New York to present their plans to AICPA judges and make their best case for taking home the $10,000 top prize.

Voting ends Friday, Nov. 19.

All four Eco Consulting participants — team leader  and senior Dariel Dato-on; fellow seniors Jinson Jose and Jennifer Raushuber; and junior Diane Henry — appear in the online presentation. It complements the sustainability options they outlined in a 750-word proposal written for the contest’s initial phase.

In that phase, the 50 teams that entered had to outline three recommendations to help a real luxury hotel and spa in North Carolina, the Umstead, match its business practices with the principles of sustainability.

“They gave us five ideas,” Jose said of AICPA organizers. “We could use two of theirs but had to come up with one of our own.”

The team advised switching lighting throughout the hotel to LED units, which use less energy and lasts longer than less-efficient options. Their second suggestion: Implement a hotel-wide automated system for regulating lights, heating, air conditioning, key cards and more. Their third idea focused on installing and maintaining a rooftop garden.

“The ‘green roof’ garden is our own idea,” Jose said.

For the video, the team — the only semifinalist squad from Texas — used a camera and software AICPA provided and narrowed their scope to just two ideas: LED lighting and the garden. In their pitch, they noted that these two made the best sense, apropos of  contest rules, by offering financially sound alternatives, making a positive impact on the environment and doing so without interfering with guests’ luxury experience.

“The team is doing an excellent job of showcasing both the by-the-book as well as they practical experience they have learned here,” said School of Management Dean Hasan Pirkul. “We hope all of UT Dallas will support their efforts and vote for them.”

The team has received advice from Dr. John Barden, director of the School of Management’s undergraduate accounting program.

Eco Consulting will know by the end of the month whether it has made it to the finals.  If the team advances, AICPA will pick up the travel and expense tab for the three-day trip. But the team’s new responsibility will be to prepare an eight-minute live presentation with which to wow a panel of judges on Jan. 25.


Media Contact: Kris Imherr, Naveen Jindal School of Management, (972) 883-4793, imherr@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Daniel Data-On
Jinson Jose
Diane Henry
Jennifer Raushuber

Eco-Consulting LLC  (from left): Dariel Data-on, Jinson Jose, Diane Henry and Jennifer Raushuber

To Vote for Eco Consulting

The  UT Dallas team’s 7-minute video created for the competition is available for viewing on the contest website. (To see how the competitors are faring, go to the competition’s homepage.)

  • Click on “Vote”  in the square beneath Eco Consulting’s name.
  • Type your name and e-mail address in the fields provided.
  • Click on your team relationship.
  • Click “Submit.”
  • You will be directed to your Inbox for an e-mail response. (If you have an e-mail blocker on, check to see if the response has been caught in your Junk Mailbox.  If it has, move the message to your Inbox.)
  • Open your e-mail and confirm your vote.

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