The Deloitte Foundation’s National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge engages students across the country in a “one-of-its-kind” competition centered on harnessing innovation
Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation hosted the 2018 National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge (AICC) at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas, on April 6-7, awarding students of the University of Arizona first place for its idea to develop and use a proprietary artificial intelligence application to conduct audits of corporate sustainability reports.
The AICC, however, is not your typical student case competition. The competition takes place at the intersection of innovation and the evolution of the audit and assurance profession, on one hand, and engaging and helping develop the profession’s future talent on the other.
“The nature of many professions is rapidly shifting. Technology, innovation and process improvement continue to disrupt and redefine the way an audit is conducted at an unprecedented rate,” says Erin Shannon, managing director for change management at Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Guided by faculty advisors and Deloitte subject matter leaders, students were challenged to find new ways to bring audit and assurance services to the marketplace using technology. Student teams from 52 colleges and universities participated in the event, with 12 teams advancing to the final round. The other finalists were Baruch College, Brigham Young University, Clemson University, University of Illinois, University of Kansas, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rutgers University, University of South Carolina and Trinity University.
The University of Arizona team included Nicole Naslund, Jessica Stelmach, Hang Khuu, Ben McDowell, Hannah Miller and Jacob Uthe. The team’s winning submission focused on a recommendation to enter the market of auditing corporate sustainability reports in anticipation of potential regulatory guidance in the coming years. The submission cited Deloitte’s unique position to conduct a sustainability audit and introduced an artificial intelligence tool, “Deloitte Danni,” that could help auditors measure an array of environmental metrics and compare those readings to sustainability guidance.
“I am extremely proud of our team this year and especially grateful to the Deloitte Foundation for hosting this unique program which brings students together to help further evolve the skills likely necessary for the auditor of the future,” says Rob Stussie, University of Arizona faculty advisor. “Deloitte has introduced some of the audit and assurance profession’s leading technology applications, and these students will walk away with a greater knowledge of how they can play a role in this technology-driven future.”