UT accounting department scores in national championship

Justin Atkinson

March Madness is not just for basketball fans this year. Last week, UT’s accounting department won a national accounting championship based on this year’s NCAA tournament bracket.

The competition, organized by Brigham Young University, compares the quantity of articles published in top accounting journals within the past six years. The universities included are based on the 64 teams competing in the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship.

Accounting professor Steven Kachelmeier said he attributes the department’s success to the University’s established history and diverse staff.

“We have the tradition and the scale,” Kachelmeier said. “We have courses in every facet of accounting that gives us the skill set to have a diversity of faculty that covers a multitude of areas reasonably well. We’re a pretty big player in the accounting domain. As long as the basketball team does its job of getting us in the bracket, we’ll win.”

This year, UT defeated Ohio State University in the final round, securing its third win since 2010.

Lillian Mills, chair of the accounting department in the McCombs School of Business, said the department’s faculty are talented on an individual level.

“In basketball language, we aren’t a team with a single outside shooter — we have such a deep roster that any one of my colleagues could be the star on another team.” Mills said.

Kristen Valentine, who went to BYU for undergraduate coursework and is now a UT accounting graduate student, said she used BYU’s national ranking system when selecting UT for graduate school. 

“I did spend time looking at BYU’s rankings to help identify programs to apply to for graduate school and I was excited to see the breadth of topic and method in research at UT,” Valentine said. “I really liked the culture of the department. Students were treated as collaborators and co-workers.”

April Stockwell, communications and marketing manager for McCombs, said she thinks the department will continue to do well because of the devotion of the faculty at the business school.

“We have a solid group of faculty focused on providing students a solid accounting education while furthering accounting research,” Stockwell said. “They innovate both in the classrooms by using technology where it’s applicable and in developing high quality research that is well-respected by their peers. Our department is not only a solid team, everyone is passionate about what they do and it shows in rankings and student satisfaction.”