Spring 2019

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Susan Weihrich's Last Lecture! 

Susan Weihrich and Dean Joe Phillips Before Susan's Last Class.

 Photo of Dr. Susan Weihrich with Dean Phillips in Susan's very last class by Tasha Jugas.

Thank you, Susan, for being such a fantastic teacher, scholar, and colleague! 

Dr. Susan Weihrich arrived at Seattle University in 1989 - the same year as the Centennial Fountain was completed!  She served as the Accounting Department Chair from 2002 to 2008 and as Associate Dean from 2008 to 2016.  Over the years she was very active in the Albers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program - one of the longest running such programs in the country!  Her students remember her for making Tax fun, but also for being a rigorous professor - many commenting that "you'll regret if you miss a class!"  Her research has been published in The Tax Adviser, Journal of Accounting Education, Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance, Taxation for Accountants, Issues in Accounting Taxation, and Advances in Taxation.  And she was the first recipient of the Seattle University "Spirit of Community Award!"

Eleventh Annual Seattle University/KPMG Financial Accounting Case Competition

By Gabriel Saucedo, PhD

Group picture of all of the students and faculty advisors that participated in the Case Competition.

 Photo of Case Competition Participants by Megan Christensen and Sharia Olomua

Eight schools participated in the 11th Annual KPMG-SU Case Competition April 5th-6th including Boise State, Cascadia College, Central Washington University, Edmonds Community College, Olympic College, Seattle University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the University of Portland. This year we were very excited to have three different 2-year (community) colleges in the competition! Our SU team was comprised of rising sophomores Yue (Lydia) Li, Gurleen Shergill, and Manny Xenos. After receiving the competition prompt from KPMG at 8:00 AM, the teams had approximately 4 hours to brainstorm ideas, work directly with KPMG professionals, and then generate their presentation pitches in response to the following question, “What innovations would help empower people to use financial statements in a more meaningful way?” Two rounds of presentations, and eight KPMG judges later, the final results were:

  • 1st Place – Cascadia College
  • 2nd – Place – University of Portland
  • Honorable Mention – Boise State and Edmonds Community College
  • Most Valuable Presenters (MVPs) – Boise State and University of Portland

There was amazing creative energy while watching students synthesize innovative thought with financial accounting! Major props to our SU student volunteers Michelle Abelev, Megan Christensen, and Shariah Olomua for helping make our 2019 event a success!

Revenue Recognition, Leasing, and Networking!

By Jani Medeiros

Lee Mills, Microsoft Corporate Accounting Group Finance Manager espouses on new leasing standards.

Photo of Microsoft's Lee Mills by Chips Chipalkatti

Last fall, 19 members of the Seattle Accounting Community gathered to be treated to a stimulating conversation around ASC 606, the new revenue recognition standard, and ASC 842, the new lease accounting standard.  Microsoft professionals Julia Fairchild (Group Finance Manager, Corporate Accounting Team), Thy Le (Finance Manager, Corporate Accounting Team), and Lee Mills (Group Finance Manager, Corporate Accounting Team – pictured above) presented Microsoft’s experiences as early adopters of the new standards.

The attendees hailed from eleven different firms and institutions: Bader Martin, Bellevue College, BGIS, ExtraHop, EY, Microsoft, Moss Adams, Nordstrom, Seattle Central College, Seattle University, and Textio.  Before, during, and after the presentation, guests were treated to appetizers and festive beverages.  Attendees earned one hour of CPE credit.  The event was sponsored by the Albers School of Business and Economics Department of Accounting.  If you are interested in attending future events, please email Jani Medeiros at medeirj@seattleu.edu to ensure that you are on the emailing list.


S.U. Beta Alpha Psi Wins Big at Northwest Regionals

By Gabriel Saucedo, PhD 

Six SU BAP NW Region Winners Holding Award Certificates

BAP Winners (L to R) – Kyle Yoo, SU BAP VP of Finance, and Dani Alday, SU BAP (3rd Place Best Practices Award); Yue Zhang, SU BAP VP of Programming, and Sabrina Xiao, SU BAP VP of Professionalism (1st Place Best Practices Award); Diego Giron, SU BAP VP of Membership, and Gabrielle Pennella, SU BAP VP of Marketing and Competitions (2nd Place Best Practices Award)

Photo by Liza Saludares

We had eight members of our distinguished BAP chapter travel to Spokane April 5th-6th to attend the 2019 BAP Northwest Regional Meeting. Our attendees included Dani Alday (member), Diego Giron (VP of Membership), Gabi Pennella (VP of Marketing and Competitions), Jin Hirota (VP of Reporting), Kyle Yoo (VP of Finance), Liza Saludares (President), Ying (Sabrina) Xiao (VP of Professionalism), and Yue Zhang (VP of Programming). As BAP is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2019, the organization’s theme revolves around the concept of planting a tree now so that future generations will have shade. In competing for Best Practices accolades, our students made presentations on three key components of BAP’s strategic plan – widening the reach (ROOTS), innovating knowledge sharing (BRANCHES), and increasing gratitude (SHADE). I am elated to announce that all three of our teams (one in each category), came away with regional honors!

  • 1st Place BRANCHES – Sabrina Xiao and Yue Zhang – the team presented on a recent SQL training class that was offered to BAP members across the accounting, finance, and information systems disciplines, and how such training will benefit future career opportunities
  • 2nd Place SHADE – Diego Giron and Gabi Pennella – the team shared their recently-completed project of offering a financial literary class to pre-teen students in a low-income community
  • 3rd Place ROOTS – Dani Alday and Kyle Yoo (assisted by Keisha Lugito, VP of Community Service, not in attendance) – the team recapped the networking benefits from the amazing gala celebrating our own BAP 45th anniversary last year

Each team received a respectable cash prize from BAP, and Sabrina and Yue automatically advance to the national finals in Chicago this summer! In non-competitive events, Chapter President Liza Saludares gave a short presentation in front of the broader BAP delegation (assisted by Diego Giron) about maintaining/expanding alumni relations.

In Memoriam

By Jani Medeiros

The Albers Accounting community was sad to lose two giants this past year. 

  • Craig Duncan passed peacefully at home on November 10, 2018.  After retiring from PwC, Craig returned to his alma mater to serve on the Accounting Advisory Board from 1992-2004, chairing the Board from 1995-2004.  He was also a very popular tax instructor. 
  • We lost John Harding on September 6, 2018.  John taught at S.U. from 1975 to 1997.  He established our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program in 1975 when the VITA program was created by the IRS, making it one of the longest running in the country.  John continued to assist with the program until the 2009 tax year.