VIU student wins national award

May 19, 2011 - 8:46am

Mike Dillman, a fourth-year accounting student at Vancouver Island University, is a national award winner.

He won first place and $500 in the 2011 Estey Undergraduate Student Paper Competition run by the Centre for Accounting Ethics at the University of Waterloo. The competition focuses on business ethics. Judging is a blind review process and the competition attracts submissions from across Canada.

Dillman is the first VIU student to win the competition. In addition to his $500 cash prize, Dillman receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Canadian Academic Accounting Association’s (CAAA) Annual Conference in Toronto on May 28 where he will be recognized and given the opportunity to present his paper to faculty.

VIU Accounting professor Chris Burnley says Dillman’s student research paper titled “Teaching Ethics Under IFRS: Developing Ethical Reasoning Skills in Accounting Students” is exceptional.

“Mike’s paper, and the research in support of it, are something that both accounting faculty and the educational arms of the professional accounting bodies can use as the basis for a discussion about how ethics is addressed in our curriculums,” says Burnley.

“The opportunity for Mike to attend an academic conference and present his paper to faculty is unique for an undergraduate student . It’s something that normally wouldn’t happen until a student is in a graduate program.”

Dillman landed a full-time job at Church Pickard Chartered Accountants in Nanaimo after completing an internship there in the final year of his degree program at VIU.

“Winning a national essay competition means a lot to me,” he says. “I've always taken a lot of pride in my writing, but this is the first time I've submitted something to such a large audience. This enthusiastic response is really fulfilling for me, and a great capstone to my undergraduate experience at VIU.”

VIU’s Accounting program continues to move from success to success. Graduates of the four-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree program have been very successful in terms of their professional careers and on both the Chartered Accountants (CA) and Certified General Accountant’s Association of Canada’s national exams.

Two of VIU’s grads have finished on the CA’s National Honor Roll, meaning they placed in the top 50 students in Canada. Program faculty have also received national awards for case authoring and educational innovation.

Burnley himself won second place in the CAAA’s 2011 Howard Teall Innovation in Accounting Education Award Competition. This competition recognizes faculty who have developed unique approaches to accounting education or unique ways of motivating their students with original learning activities.

Burnley’s submission entitled “Berries for Breakfast: A Teaching Analogy for the Audit Risk Model” was developed to facilitate students’ understanding of the professional judgement incumbent in the audit risk model. It provides a simple context linking the risk assessment process and the nature and extent of the auditor’s work.

The tool is something that Burnley developed for use in his fourth-year audit/assurance course. He will receive a cash prize and also have the opportunity to present his submission to faculty during the national conference in Toronto later this month.

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