Accounting society preps for tax season
March 24, 2011
A relatively new program is helping students learn the ins and outs of tax season while benefiting the local community with their knowledge.
The UW-River Falls Accounting Society in conjunction with students from the Accounting 361 course assisted with taxes at WESTconsin Credit Union this spring.
Under Steve DeWald, the director of the Small Business Development Center, students saw firsthand what tax season is really like.
The program was offered on four separate dates: Feb. 17, Feb. 24, Mar. 3 and Mar. 10.
Although students are not allowed to complete the taxation forms because they do not have the necessary license to do so, they were allowed to sit in and assist with the preparation of the documents.
“We are an education facility, therefore we are giving students the opportunity to partake in what they learn,” he said.
The tax program has been active for five years and there are roughly 25 students that participate every year.
“The bulk of the students are from the Federal Income Tax II class as well as members of the student Accounting and Financing Society,” said Dewald.
Other students were allowed to participate as long as they have successfully completed the Accountjng 360 class which is taught by DeWald.
The program is tied to WESTconsin by Bob Casey, the active Vice President of the River Falls and Prescott offices, who graduated from UWRF in 1986.
According to the press release from the WESTconsin credit Union, he has been a long serving member of the College of Business and Economics Advisory Board, “…and is presently a member and treasurer of the UW-River Falls Foundation Board of Directors; and this past October, added the role of Chair to the
newly formed CBE Dean’s Council to his list of services to the campus.”
Casey was the 2010 recipient of the UWRF Outstanding Service Award in 2010.
The tax help program was aimed at assisting low-income participants that have an income below $25,000 per year.
Last year the program helped roughly 12-15 people, but students are hopeful that more advertising will bring in more people this year.
“Many of the lower income participants come early during tax season because they are able to receive their refund sooner,” DeWald said.
“This allows us to take extra time to help them check for any other benefits that they might be able to receive.”
The Accounting Society was established in 1995 at UWRF but was originally named the Institute of Management Accountants.
According to their mission statement, “Our mission is to promote accounting and finance majors to become actively involved in their academic and local community, along with allowing our members the opportunity to become well-rounded business-savvy professionals.”
Membership is open to all students that have an interest in accounting and finance, according to the site.
Those involved also participate in other activities through the society including attending conferences in the Twin Cities that open up many opportunities for internships and jobs, said DeWald.
Members of the Accounting Society have found great benefits in the group as well as the tax help program.
The Accounting Society allows students to have the opportunity to see the CPA requirements as well as participate in volunteer projects while being an active part of the university, said UWRF alumnus, Tyler Orth.
The group brings in presenters to talk about CPA requirements and to give students the opportunity to see what you can do with a CPA license.
“The Accounting Society is an amazing learning experience,” said Co-President, Jonathan Burks.
“In class we only learn the mathematics of taxes but with the tax help program we get to see the forms first hand and make the connections ourselves from class.”