Sustainable Luxury: An In-Class Accounting Competition

This competition helps students understand the creativity, critical thinking and teamwork that go into accounting, as well as how accountants can help the entire planet, not just a single organization’s bottom line. 

A world-class, high-end hotel is searching for more sustainable ways of operating—and your students are just the people to help. They will work in teams of 3-5 to evaluate existing ideas and come up with one of their own to create a written proposal for the general manager (a.k.a. you) to evaluate. The three teams with the strongest ideas will move onto Round Two, where they will create another written document that details their favorite idea and provides analysis along with additional support for their idea. These top teams will then present their single-best idea and its rationale to the committee (a.k.a. the entire class) who will take it all in, ask questions and then vote on the team whose idea should be implemented. (Of course, the CEO ultimately has the final say on which team’s idea is the strongest.)

This advanced project will require class time (and potentially time out of class), as well as help from you, if students have questions. We recommend basing students’ grades for this competition on four factors: creativity, effort, strength of analysis and professionalism. The top groups will likely need twice as much time for Round Two as they did for Round One. Teams that do not make it to Round Two can be divided amongst the top teams to help with research and provide them with additional support. However, they will not be eligible to win if the team they are helping comes out on top.

If you would like prizes to give to the winning team (in addition to a stellar grade), email us at least two weeks in advance (at Please be sure to tell us how many students are on a team. 

Download the supporting document to share with your students by clicking the button in the upper right corner of the page. Directions and information for both rounds are in one document, so be sure to withhold the pages for Round Two until that round actually begins.