My co-bloggers Ally and Xinmiao have talked about how as MPAs, we do get various opportunities to give back to the community and work with/for not-for-profits. This semester, I am taking a course, which allows me to do just those. Yes, UT has an accounting class that is solely committed to using our accounting knowledge to serve others.
ACC 384 or ACC 366P is the Accounting Practicum class that can be taken by undergraduate and graduate students at McCombs. The class has been offered at UT for six years and has allowed students to become volunteer tax preparers at low-income neighborhoods.
UT partners with Community Tax Centers, a local not-for-profit organization under Foundation Communities. It has partnered with the IRS to implement the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for low income filers. Students taking the class are required to complete at least 55 hours of volunteer service as tax preparers at various Community Tax Centers from January until mid-April. Shifts can be as long as six hours per day.
This past weekend, we took the basic training to become preparers. We learned to navigate the tax preparation software that is being used for the program. We also worked on various cases and scenarios that we might encounter as volunteers and how we can effectively use the IRS guidebooks in helping clients with various tax issues and preparing their returns. Next Friday, we will have our intermediate training to become equipped in handling more complicated tax issues and preparation. The class requires that we take the certification tests after each training to assure that we have sufficient knowledge to do our volunteer work well. Continue reading Accounting Practicum: The Class that Gives Back→
As I come back from of the Thanksgiving holiday, I realize it is almost the end of my first semester here. As one of my professors said, it takes forever to get to Halloween, but once Halloween comes, the rest of the semester flies by.
I wanted to talk a little about one of the specific classes I am taking right now. It is my Valuations class in the finance department. Finance is not one of my strong suits, I will be one of the first to admit that, but I know its great importance in the accounting field and more in the business world. I took an intro to finance in undergrad and again in an accelerated course here at UT. I was very ambitious in making my schedule and decided to take the accelerated valuations class for the second half of the semester. During orientation, we had a faculty panel when several professors gave the advice to challenge yourself, take the hardest classes you could and the classes in which you are least confident. Needless to say, I took this advice and registered for valuations even though it was not a requirement for my degree. (Other advice I was given included to take as many accounting and finance classes you can, as well as to take courses outside of your track i.e. tax classes if you are in the audit track and audit classes if you are in the tax track in order to broaden and deepen your knowledge.)
As the first half of my semester went along, my intro to finance class proved to be a lot more difficult than I had imagined. The whole time I was thinking – what am I going to do in valuations?! Why did I ever think I could do more advanced finance when I cannot even do this?! I ended up doing fine in finance, but let’s just say, not with flying colors. Continue reading Challenge Yourself and Keep Giving Thanks→