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P&A Foundation Inc., PICPA and ACPACI collaboration

25th Search for Outstanding Accountancy Students of the Philippines

L-R: Marc Guiab, P&A Foundation SOASP Chair; Lovely Charmaine Villamora-Dacanay, P&A Grant Thornton Advisory Services Partner; Marie Fe L. Fawagan-Dangiwan, P&A Grant Thornton Tax Advisory & Compliance Partner; Dr. Henly Pahilagao, PICPA National Chair Committee on Professional Development; Atty. Olivier Aznar, P&A Foundation SOASP Partner-in-Charge, P&A Grant Thornton Vice Chairman, Deputy Managing Partner, and Tax Advisory & Compliance Practice Leader ; SOASP Top 5: Kyle Taganas (4th Placer), University of San Carlos, Jericka Mapula (2nd Placer), University of San Carlos, Kristina Vistal (Grand Champion), University of San Carlos, Alex Guadalupe (3rd Placer), University of Santo Tomas, Aaron Culianan (5th Placer), Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sta. Mesa; Elano Marcelo, ACPACI National President; Edward Roguel, P&A Foundation SOASP Adviser.

This year marks the silver anniversary of the Search for Outstanding Accountancy Students of the Philippines (SOASP), a prestigious event celebrating its 25th year. The annual competition aims to recognize and distinguish graduating accounting students from across the country, challenging them in a rigorous battle of wits and knowledge.

The search began as early as September last year, attracting over 410 hopeful students from 110 schools nationwide. These young aspirants faced preliminary examinations and dedicated hours of review to prepare for the main event.

After rigorous qualifying rounds, 25 finalists emerged, advancing to the grand finals. The final competition was divided into two segments: a "quizbowl" based on the CPA Licensure Exam and a Q&A portion.

On 14 March 2024, P&A Foundation, Inc., in collaboration with the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and the Association of Certified Public Accountants in Commerce and Industry (ACPACI), hosted the grand finals of the 25th SOASP. 

Kristina Vistal from the University of San Carlos (USC) was crowned the 25th SOASP champion. Her schoolmates, Jericka Mapula and Alexia Guadalupe, secured 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. Alexia Guadalupe of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Aaron Culianan of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Manila (PUP) placed 4th and 5th. Each of the top 25 outstanding accounting students received a plaque and a cash prize.

The competition emphasized recognizing the students' immense potential. The SOASP was not just an academic contest but a journey of learning, highlighting the values of professionalism, agility, gentleness, and trustworthiness essential for future CPAs.

P&A Grant Thornton Partners graced the event, with Lovely Charmaine A. Villamora-Dacanay, Advisory Services Partner, serving as the Master of Ceremonies. SOASP Partner-in-Charge, Vice Chairman, Deputy Managing Partner, and Tax Advisory & Compliance Practice Leader, Atty. Olivier D. Aznar, delivered the welcome remarks. Maria Fe Fawagan-Dangiwan, Tax Advisory & Compliance Partner, was one of the judges for the Q&A portion.

The event also saw inspiring messages from Elano C. Marcelo, National President of ACPACI and P&A Grant Thornton Business Process Solutions/Outsourcing Practice Leader, and Dr. Henry Pahilagao, National Chair of PICPA.

The competition is undoubtedly a significant milestone for these promising future accountants. The room was filled with smiles as mentors and students alike anticipated the opportunities that this event would bring. Every participant was truly a winner.


As published in Mindanao Times, SunStar Cebu & Davao, Malaya Business Insight, and The Manila Times dated 27 and 29 May 2024

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