Students pose for a photo with their faculty advisor.

Fisher students compete in FanTAXtic case competition

A team of sophomore students from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business took on the FanTAXtic Deloitte Case Competition in January. Vickie Lu (BSAc ’26), Sandra La Rosa (BSAc ’26), Sophia Morrissey (BSAc ’26) and Gustavo Jimenez (BSAc ’26) qualified for the national competition at Deloitte University in Texas after winning the regional competition in October.

In the first round, 64 teams competed virtually from eight regions. Of those 64, 16 teams qualified to compete in Texas. To earn their spot, the team from Warrington analyzed the tax liabilities of a fictional company and proposed a business structure that would result in the least harm if the company were to experience losses.

“We were extremely excited to win our region after months of hard work and practice and make [our faculty advisor] Professor Schadewald proud to be advancing to the national competition,” the team shared. “It was a great feeling to represent the University of Florida, and to hear that we would be traveling to Texas for the national competition made the dedication all worth it.”

An instagram story features UF students working on laptops. Preparing for the first competition required a deep dive into tax laws and provisions. The team rose to the challenge, familiarizing themselves with new information and learning how to be efficient in their research. Once in Texas, though, they had to take their skills to the next level.

“The time limit required us to know immediately what to do and what tax [laws] and principles were involved in this case the moment it was given to us, which was difficult because, as sophomores, we didn’t have much tax knowledge at the time,” they shared. “With this, we learned how to manage our time on each section and delegate different work to each team member and used the knowledge we had to prepare the tax calculations as best as we could. It really helped us learn how to stay calm in a high stress environment and work together as a team.”

The national cases included finding the best ways to expand a pickleball company and hire a new member for the company. In their analyses, the team from Warrington opted for the most profitable options based on tax liability and client service. Expansion, they concluded, would be most safely accomplished through renting space in a mall instead of putting the burden of lease fees on their clients. As for the new member of the company, it made the most sense to give them an employee salary instead of signing them on as a partner.

“These competitions helped confirm our desires to pursue careers in accounting,” the team said. “We were able to gain real experience of what it is like to calculate tax liabilities and make important decisions for a company. [The competitions] have also helped initiate our future goals by introducing us to an entire network of accomplished professionals willing and eager to assist in our future endeavors.”

For their solutions, the team won an Honorable Mention with a $2,000 prize. Additionally rewarding was the opportunity to network with Deloitte professionals and other teams, both formally and informally while they watched a football game in the university’s sports and games hub. After the intensive competition, it was the perfect way to celebrate their hard work.

“I was happy to see the UF team enjoy themselves at the national competition, which included a lot of social activities and networking opportunities,” said Clinical Professor Michael Schadewald, who advised the team and helped them prepare for both competitions.

Students pose with their advisor in front of Deloitte University logo. Nathan Giron (BSAc ’19, MAcc ’19), a Warrington alumnus and International Tax Manager at Deloitte Tax, also advised the team, keeping them on track as they prepared for the competition and helping them with “SPORT” type questions:

  • Scope: Confirming that the team understood the project and requirements.
  • Procedures: Confirming that they knew how to use various tools to complete their research.
  • Output: Confirming they understood the deliverable requirements.
  • Rules: Confirming they could locate a specific tax rule and understand its meaning.
  • Timing: Confirming their awareness of all deadlines and logistics.

“This program is critical to the recruitment of future talent and relationships Deloitte Tax maintains with students and faculty, and it would not be possible without their investment,” Giron said. “Thank you, Warrington College of Business, for the essential role you play in shaping the future of our practice. We look forward to the unlimited possibilities driven by continuing to attract the best-in-class talent.”