Accounting for the Heart of the Matter

When TCU Neeley accounting students work on projects for local nonprofit agencies, it adds up to a win for everyone. 

April 06,  2017

By Elaine Cole

[Excerpt from Neeley Magazine] – Most people don’t think of audits, risks and controls when they think of volunteer work, but nonprofits need accounting assistance just like any other organization.

That’s where TCU accounting student come in. Throughout their studies at TCU, accounting students use their skills to help others.

In Dr. Laurie Wood’s class, undergraduate accounting students research, analyze, solve and improve business processes for nonprofits. Recent clients include Community Food Bank, Northside Inter-Community Agency and University United Methodist Church.

TCU Master of Accounting students work on projects for nonprofits in Dr. Renee Olvera’s Advanced AIS class.

Francesca Roberts, Jimmy Wallace, Diane De La Concha and Michael Nakhleh evaluated the payroll processes and internal controls for the United Way of Tarrant County.

“It helps to have them come in as ‘internal auditors’ to show us ways we can improve our processes.” said Britton Pavlic BBA ’05, controller for United Way of Tarrant County. “We were very impressed with their questions, thought processes, feedback and suggestions.”

Francesca said the project showed her the different accounting challenges nonprofits have. 

Like many TCU accounting students, Francesca also volunteered for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, an IRS-supported, free income tax preparation program for low-to-moderate income individuals and families.

“TCU has provided many opportunities for me to give back to the community,” she said. “The service learning projects showed me the challenges of implementing internal controls in the nonprofit sector, while volunteering through VITA allowed me to improve my tax skills by doing tax returns for low-income families.”

She added: “Combining accounting and community service is important, because both the community and I benefit from our interactions.”

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