Accounting Analysis & Decision Making

Category: Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)
Type: Individual or Team


Two (2) parts: an objective test and interactive role play or presentation. A 60-minute objective test will be administered onsite at the NLC. Team competitors will take one (1) objective test collaboratively.

Objective Test Competencies: Advanced Accounting; Auditing; Intermediate Accounting I & II; Managerial & Cost Accounting; Tax

Case: An interactive accounting role play situation.

Skills: Earning a degree in a specific field is important to an individual's future success in the job market. This event recognizes PBL members who possess knowledge across the core curriculum in the area of accounting.


Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)

Performance Guidelines—Final Round

  • Two (2) 4"x6" note cards will be provided to each competitor and may be used during event preparation and performance. Information may be written on both sides of the note cards. Note cards will be collected following the presentation.
  • No additional reference materials allowed.
  • Turn off all electronic devices.
  • Individuals/teams should introduce themselves, describe the situation, make their recommendations, and summarize their cases.
  • If participating as a team, all team members are expected to actively participate in the performance.
  • All questions raised in the case must be addressed during the presentation.
  • Objective test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.
  • Final performances are not open to conference attendees.

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.
General Performance/Demonstration

Performance Guidelines

Fifteen (15) competitors/teams—or an equal number from each section in the preliminary round—will advance to the final round. When there are more than five preliminary sections for an event, two competitors/ teams from each section will advance to the final round.

In the case of team events, all team competitors are expected to actively participate in the performance/demonstration.

Competitors cannot be replaced or substituted after the name change deadline of 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June.

All competitors must comply with the FBLA‑PBL dress code.

Prejudged materials and résumés will not be returned.

Technology Guidelines

  • Internet access will be provided for:
    • Computer Animation
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Global Analysis & Decision Making
    • Network Design
    • Social Media Challenge
    • Website Design
  • Internet access may not be WiFi, so competitors should plan appropriately when selecting laptops/tablets on which to present.
  • All competitors in accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events may bring and use financial calculators.

Performance Competencies

  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication.
  • Display effective decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Express self-confidence and poise.
  • Work well as a team when applicable.
  • Exhibit logic and systematic understanding.
  • Conduct a professional business presentation.
  • Answer questions effectively (when applicable).

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for presentations over the allotted time.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.


  • Preliminary and final performances/demonstrations are not open to conference attendees.
  • Recording performances/demonstrations is prohibited.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • All attendees must follow the dress code and wear their name badges; however, the badge may be removed when presenting.
  • All attendees are requested to remain quiet while in competitive event areas.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials

Rating Sheet

Format Guide

Website Resources
Advanced Accounting
1. Describe historical trends in types of business combinations.
2. List the reasons why firms engage in business combinations, mergers, acquisitions, divestures, and liquidations.
3. Calculate the excess purchase price for stock or assets over the book value and the appropriate allocation of this difference to identifiable assets and goodwill.
4. Prepare the journal entries for acquiring firm under the fair value and equity methods.
5. Explain the concept of control as used in reference to consolidations.
6. Prepare the journal entries for the acquiring firm that has purchased control over another firm’s assets under the purchase method.
7. Register journal entries on the parent’s books and records to record an investment under the equity method.
8. Prepare consolidated financial statements as of the date of acquisition and for periods subsequent to the date of acquisition.
9. Explain how the impairment of goodwill is treated and what is done with any reduction in the value of goodwill.
10. Explain the characteristics of variable interest entities who must become part of a consolidated group, or whose relationship must be disclosed in financial statements of a controlled group.
11. Discuss the limitations of consolidated financial statements.
12. Create the eliminations for intercompany asset dispositions.
13. Create eliminations for consolidation when subsidiary issues new common stock or treats preferred stock as a debt equivalent.
14. Create eliminations for intercompany transactions arising when the parent purchases the bonds of the subsidiary.
15. Explain how distribution to a partner affects the value of his or her interest and the interests of other partners.
16. Demonstrate an understanding of the accounting techniques and methods associated with the formation and liquidation of partnerships.
17. Demonstrate an understanding of current GAAP related to Business Combinations and its relationship to present reporting practices.
18. List and describe common foreign currency transactions.
19. Apply the correct exchange rates in measuring or translating financial statement data from one currency to another.
20. Prepare and analyze accounts for importing and exporting transactions denominated in foreign currencies, as well as accounting for forward exchange contracts.
21. Compare the IASB and different standards as it relates to international financial reporting standards.
22. Conduct research using the FASB Codification database.
1. Define and contrast auditing, attestation, and assurance series.
2. List and describe the activities that auditors undertake before beginning an audit engagement.
3. Identify the procedures and sources of information auditors may use to obtain knowledge of a client’s business and industry.
4. Distinguish between management’s and auditor’s responsibilities regarding an entity’s internal control.
5. Explain the phases of an evaluation of control and risk assessment and the documentation and extent of audit work required.
6. Describe the approach used to examine major revenue and expense accounts.
7. Describe the finance and investment cycle, including typical source documents and controls.
8. Describe the production cycle, including typical source documents and controls.
9. Describe the acquisition and expenditure cycle, including typical source documents and controls.
10. Describe the revenue and collection cycle, including typical source documents and control procedures.
11. Define and explain the differences among several kinds of employee frauds that might occur in an entity.
12. List three general functions of the auditors’ report on an entity’s financial statements.
13. Explain the significance of each of the paragraphs in the auditors’ standard report on an entity’s financial statements.
14. Describe the basic principles of sampling, including the differences between statistical and non-statistical sampling and sampling and non-sampling risk.
15. Define and describe the five basic components of internal control and specify some of their characteristics.
16. Explain the importance of the completeness assertion for the audit of accounts payable and list some procedures for a search for unrecorded liabilities.
17. Describe some common errors and frauds in the acquisition and expenditure cycle and design some audit and investigation procedures for detecting them.
18. Describe the payroll cycle, including typical source documents and controls. 19. Summarize important communications made by auditors following completion of
19. Identify procedures performed by auditors to evaluate contingencies including the use of an attorney letter, during the completion of the audit.
20. Give examples of tests of controls over purchases of inventory and services.
21. Give examples of tests of controls over purchases of inventory and services.
22. Give examples of tests of controls over conversion of materials and labor in a production process.
23. List and describe the general and application controls in a computerized information system.
24. Name the various practice standards for internal, governmental, and independent auditors and public accounting firms and identify their sources.
Intermediate Accounting I & II
1. Discuss the conceptual framework underlying financial accounting.
2. Identify objectives of financial accounting.
3. Prepare reports in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
4. Discuss the international movement towards one global set of financial statements under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) initiative
5. Discuss and evaluate disclosure requirements for various balance sheet accounts.
6. Evaluate a statement of cash flows using both the direct and indirect methods.
7. Explain and evaluate the internal controls systems used to protect cash and receivables.
8. Explain and evaluate transactions about a company’s operational assets including computing depreciation, depletion, and amortization using a variety of methods.
9. Discuss the recognition criteria for revenues, expenses, and gains and losses.
10. Define and discuss the three levels of the FASB’s conceptual framework.
11. Discuss disclosure requirements for intangible assets.
12. Discuss disclosure requirements for property, plant, or equipment and the related depreciation charge.
13. Analyze complex transactions.
14. Prepare and analyze financial statements.
15. Measure and journalize transactions for intangible assets.
16. Calculate depletion of natural resources
17. Calculate and journalize acquisition and depreciation of property, plant, and equipment.
18. Estimate the value of ending inventory using the gross profit and the retail methods.
19. Determine cost of merchandise inventory valuation, using current costing methods.
20. Define master budget and explain its major benefits to an organization.
21. Critique the master budget and its components.
Managerial & Cost Accounting
1. Define managerial accounting and related terms.
2. Distinguish between cost of merchandise sold and cost of goods sold.
3. Differentiate between job order and process accounting and give examples of items produced under each system.
4. Summarize the process of accounting for materials, including appropriate documentation, determination of material cost, and the journal entry to record the flow of materials into production.
5. Define factory overhead, explain the use of the factory overhead ledger, and list the major sources of charges to this account.
6. Identify and connect the controlling accounts and subsidiary ledgers normally used in job order cost accounting.
7. Record journal entries for the issuance of materials, factory labor, and factory overhead.
8. Prepare journal entries for goods completed and transferred to finished goods.
9. Prepare journal entries for the cost of goods sold.
10. Break down service departments and explain the allocation of service department costs to departmental factory overhead accounts.
11. Record journal entries for the allocation of service department costs.
12. List the elements which comprise processing costs.
13. Explain the calculation of the unit processing cost
14. Summarize the concept of equivalent units.
15. Describe the four purposes for allocating costs to cost objects.
16. Record journal entries for the flow of factory costs between departments.
17. Record journal entries for the application of factory overhead and determine the amount and nature of the balances in departmental factory overhead accounts.
18. Record journal entries for routine business transactions related to manufacturing operations.
19. Prepare various budgets such as a sales budget, production budget, factory overhead budget, operating expenses budget, capital expenditures budget, and an inventory, purchases, and cost of goods sold budget.
20. State the primary reasons for using flexible budgets.
21. Describe the difference between a static budget and a flexible budget.
22. Explain the nature of capital investment analysis and how managers make decisions about capital investments.
23. Adapt the factors that complicate capital investment such as income tax, lease vs. buy, changes in price levels, and uncertainty.
1. Identify the manner in which tax law is formulated
2. Explain the influence of economic, social, equity, and political considerations on the development of the tax law.
3. Compare the taxation of individuals and corporations.
4. Identify fundamental considerations involved in tax planning and research tax laws and resources.
5. Discuss the tax rules and reporting process for corporations.
6. Explain the reason for the alternative minimum tax.
7. Identify the tax consequences of incorporating a business.
8. Summarize the role that earnings and profits play in determining the tax treatment of distributions and dividends for shareholders.
9. Distinguish between taxable and nontaxable stock dividends and stock rights.
10. Apply the fundamental concepts of consolidated tax returns.
11. Discuss governing principles and theories of partnership taxation.
12. Compute depreciation and depreciation recapture for pre-ACRS, ACRS, and MACRS properties.
13. Identify differences in tax accounting methods and financial accounting methods.


PBL Program of Study
Accounting & Finance


States may submit up to 2 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


The top fifteen (15) scoring individuals/teams advance to the final round.


Test: 1 hour
Prep: 20 min
Equipment Setup: N/A
Performance: 7 min
Warning: 6 min
Time Up: 7 min
Penalty Over Time: N/A
Q & A: N/A