Three teams place in TrueUp Blockchain Challenge
By Mikal Muhammad | Student Reporter
Three teams of Quinlan graduate accounting students placed well in the TrueUp Blockchain Challenge held in November 2018.
The three Quinlan teams competed against nearly 60 teams from 34 universities throughout the U.S. – and all three Quinlan teams placed in the top six.
“The Blockchain Challenge was a chance for students to apply what they learned in a real-life business scenario while assisted by respected business leaders as challenge mentors,” says accounting instructor and team advisor Daniel William. “It was also a way for students to understand the solutions that blockchain technology can offer to the accounting industry.”
TrueUp Blockchain Challenge
More than 180 students organized in teams of three entered the blockchain challenge hosted by TrueUp, a learning company that “gamifies” accounting and finance skills.
The challenge: to prevent a hypothetical financial crisis in 2040 by setting up, maintaining, and auditing a blockchain, while also designing an accounting bot responsible for automatic financial data entry into company blockchain ledgers.
TrueUp assigned professional mentors to each team to help them learn the basics of blockchain technology. Blockchain is a fairly new concept in the accounting world that focuses on verifying transactions in a chain without a middleman between the two parties.
Graduate student Stephen Cecchini credits his team’s success to several things, beginning with the team advisor.
“Professor William really pushed us to reach and get a first-mover advantage on this,” says Cecchini. “If he didn’t do that, I don’t think we would have excelled as much as we did.”
He also noted that his team proactively reached out to its mentors and judges during the course of the competition to get advice and feedback, and that the team was thoughtful in how tasks were assigned to each team member.
The future of accounting
William is pleased by his students’ hard work and how the competition results illustrate the quality of Quinlan’s accounting program.
“Having a solid grasp of blockchain concepts creates a competitive advantage for our students,” he says. “And the blockchain challenge was a chance to showcase how Quinlan’s accounting program is leading the charge in concepts that will soon be utilized in the accounting world.”
William is currently working to expand Quinlan’s involvement with blockchain, including incorporating student-led designing and building of blockchain applications into accounting coursework.