College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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2006 - 2007 Roundtable Series: A Successful Partnership


3/23/2007


Ken Kuykendall, partner at PwC, and Al Sutherland, ’85 Accy and Senior VP at ITW, delivered an engaging presentation on FIN 48, detailing how consulting firms and corporations interpret uncertain tax provisions.

The College of Business 2006-2007 Roundtable Series, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a successful series of lecture presentations designed to enhance professional development and cultivate a regional network among working professionals, faculty and alumni in the Chicago area. The series runs from September 2006 through May 2007 and includes 7 sessions covering topics designed to meet the current and future issues facing business professionals.

“We are pleased to offer this level of intellectual engagement with an esteemed corporate partner such as PricewaterhouseCoopers,” said Tracy McCabe, Assistant Dean for External and Alumni Affairs. “The series is the culmination of thoughtful planning and attention to content that is timely and forward thinking, resulting in attendance that has exceeded expectations.”

This is the first time that the College has collaborated with a corporate partner in planning and executing the series. “In considering this series, we were mindful that Chicago is a very competitive marketplace and that it would be important to do it right,” McCabe said.

The roundtable series covers a variety of business issues that appeal to particular audiences, such as young alumni just starting their careers, to women, and accounting specialists, as well as to a universal audience.  

“In an effort to help attendees remain one step ahead in their careers as business leaders, each session was designed to capitalize on the expertise of either faculty or professionals,” said Tim Reierson, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers and University of Illinois Accountancy alumnus.

Feedback from presenters has been positive. PricewaterhouseCoopers speakers have said they’ve experienced and enjoyed a rapport with their co-presenters from Chicago’s business community, as well as University faculty, and their accompanying perspectives, he added.  

“It’s really a win-win for us, in that our presenters get better acquainted with the academic professors in their area of practice,” said Reierson.  “Our partners don’t always have regular opportunities for public speaking engagements, so they’re delighted to have the chance to interact with the audience and fellow presenters.”
 
Commenting on the value of partnering with the College in developing the series, Reierson said it’s a natural fit and is an extension of the company’s strategic alliance with the University of Illinois.

“The series is a mutual interest for us because the College has recently stepped up its visibility in the Chicago marketplace and we also want to reach out to Chicago,” said Reierson.

In the February roundtable session, “Dive Deep Workshop:  Exposing Fraud,” Tom Golden, PricewaterhouseCoopers partner and co-author of A Guide to Forensic Accounting Investigation, and professor Frank Nekrasz, forensic accounting expert in the Department of Accounting at Illinois, delivered timely and useful tips on common fraud schemes and interviewing techniques to help expose them.

“The PwC partner brought a wealth of experience to the discussion,” said an employee of Unitrin, Inc.  “As an audit professional, I found it very interesting to learn that very little fraud is discovered through typical audit techniques and I found the interviewing techniques to be very useful.”
 
There are two remaining sessions in the series, “Finance Roundtable” on April 19 and “Women in Business Roundtable” on May 9.  The Finance session will be held in the Illini Center, Fourth Floor, 200 South Wacker Drive, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Women in Business Roundtable will be held at PricewaterhouseCoopers, located at One North Wacker Drive, 14th Floor from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch is included in the cost of $20 for alumni and $40 for non-alumni.  Please visit www.business.uiuc.edu/alumni/events for more information.

“We look forward to continuing our sponsorship of the 2007–2008 Roundtable Series next year,” added Reierson.

Related Information:

Roundtable Series

UIUC College of Business