Now in its third year, The Great Forensic Challenge is fast becoming a favorite event for accounting students at Centralia College. The month-long event is sponsored by the Forensic Accounting Club, with students being challenged to look for fraud and collusion between two mock companies.
Students first receive a whistleblower letter from an employee of a company, stating that they think their boss might be involved in shady accounting practices. They then have to set up interviews, interrogate, and potentially subpoena the CEOs of the companies, played by Centralia College drama students, and review the company’s books and financial statements, looking for any potential wrongdoing.
“This is a fun way for students to see what it’s like to audit a company,” said accounting and business professor Otto Rabe. “They’re using the accounting skills they’ve learned in class, and learning how it could potentially apply in the real world.”
Most of the students participating are second-year accounting students on track to enter the Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management program, with many having the goal of becoming Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
The challenge lasts the entire month of November, with prizes given out to the first three students who solve the accounting challenge. First place receives a laptop, second an iPad, and third a Kindle, which will be presented at a pizza party Dec. 11 for all of the students involved. All funds to pay for prizes are generated by the students themselves through fundraisers they hold throughout the year.
The Great Forensic Challenge Award Party will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at Legends, 123 Alder St., Centralia. The challenge winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded.
For more information, contact Otto at email@example.com.