CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of four accounting students from Oregon State University’s College of Business won first prize in the recent 2008 Berntson Porter/University of Washington Master of Professional Accounting Tax Competition in Seattle.

Rebecca Fouts, Laura Gray, Jaclyn Huehn and Juzi Yu solved complex tax-planning problems and took home a $3,000 grand prize after competing against 11 teams from five universities.

In the final round, the OSU students had to create a tax plan for a fictional couple on the verge of divorce and present their solutions to a panel of judges. College of Business faculty members Larry Brown, Roger Graham and Jared Moore advised the team. Funds for travel to the competition were provided by OSU accounting alumni.

“Our OSU team was amazing,” said Graham, a professor of accounting. “They won the tax competition in an electrifying style.”

Graham said the students worked for four hours to create a presentation that involved complicated tax planning. The presentation was set up as a client interview in front of the judges. One of the creative solutions the OSU team came up with was to have the couple reduce their tax liability by making a $100,000 donation to the OSU Foundation.

OSU accounting students have surpassed the national average on the Certified Public Accounting Exam for the last three years. Last year, a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy was approved by Oregon State Board of Higher Education – only the second undergraduate degree ever offered by the College of Business at OSU.

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Roger Graham,