Students stroll across the mall with Old Main in the background at the University of Arizona, Thursday, April 6, 2017, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

A University of Arizona team of six accounting students snagged first place in the 2018 Audit Innovation Campus Challenge, beating out 52 other teams from around the country.

The winning students are junior and senior accounting majors in the Eller College of Management. They are Nicole Naslund, Jessica Stelmach, Hang Khuu, Ben McDowell, Hannah Miller and Jacob Uthe. The event was April 6-7 in Westlake, Texas.

The team was mentored by faculty advisors Katie Maxwell and Rob Stussie.

The challenge was sponsored by Deloitte’s Audit Innovation group and the Deloitte Foundation, which seek to promote innovation in auditing to keep pace with the rapidly evolving marketplace and technology.

The annual challenge invited students and faculty members to test their skills in real-world scenarios, asking them to apply their analytical skills to complex problems. This year, students were asked to present innovative ways of bringing audit and assurance services to the marketplace via technology.

The team’s winning submission dealt with the need to audit sustainability reports produced by corporations. To do so, the team suggested using an artificial intelligence tool dubbed “Deloitte Danni” to assist in the auditing process.

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It would measure the environmental impact of a company, then compare those findings against the company’s environmental impact reports as well as mandated environmental standards, said Stussie, who has experience as an auditor.

The students each won $2,000 scholarships as well as $10,000 for the Eller Department of Accounting.

Teams from Brigham Young University and the University of Kansas took second and third place, respectively.

Contact Mikayla Mace at mmace@tucson.com or (520) 573-4158. Twitter: @mikaylagram.