RIC Hosts Accounting Olympics

RIC student Kyle Beausoleil

RIC student Kyle Beausoleil


“If RIC hosts the Olympics, the contenders will come,” thought RIC senior Kyle Beausoleil.

Beausoleil was referring to the first annual RISCPA Accounting Olympics, a networking event initiated by the RI Young Accountant Network (RIYAN), a subcommittee of the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants (RISCPA). As a member of RIYAN, Beausoleil saw it as an opportunity for RIC.

“I felt that if the event was held at Rhode Island College, it would give our students the opportunity to network with professional CPAs,” he said.

Beausoleil’s prediction was accurate, with more than 150 competitors converging on RIC’s Recreation Center to take part. They were employees of professional CPA firms from across the state as well as accounting and finance students from RIC, Johnson & Wales University, Providence College and the University of Rhode Island.

On the day of the tournament, entrants gathered in the 80,000-square-foot recreation facility, grouping themselves into teams of 15 members and preparing themselves for some heated competitions. “Accounting can be a conservative profession,” said Beausoleil. “This was a time to loosen up the tie.”

Competitive events included a paper plane challenge to see which team could build the most aerodynamic airplane, and a rubber band challenge to see who could shoot a rubber band into a cup from three different distances. The popular toilet paper/tissue box relay race involved one teammate’s unwinding a full roll of toilet paper with a single hand, then sprinting across the gym to pass the tube to another teammate; that teammate then cleaned out a tissue box with one hand, while another teammate took the empty box and crab-walked across the floor. For winning the most competitions, Providence College took home the trophy.

The RISCPA Accounting Olympics also had a charitable element. The entry fee consisted of one canned good or other nonperishable, which RIYAN gave to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. In all, one ton of food was donated. In addition, Don Tencher, RICs director of athletics and assistant vice president for administration and finance, waived the rental fee for the gym, which allowed sponsor Santander Bank to donate the $1,100 fee to the food bank.

In choosing RIC as the hosting college, Beausoleil was driven by pride in his alma mater. “I think the accounting program at RIC is exceptional, and the students are extraordinary. We work full time, have families, commute and still excel academically. I wanted the professionals to see the kind of talent we have here,” he said.

Beausoleil was recently hired as audit associate at LGC+D, LLP, a comprehensive accounting, tax and financial services firm in Providence.