You’ve heard about Teach for America: Get Ready for “Accounting” for America

Teach for America is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 with the mission to eliminate the education gap in America’s lower income communities. This is accomplished by bringing in recent college graduates (and other professionals) to teach in these communities for at least two years. The program has become a win-win situation offering college graduates the teaching experience they need while giving financially disadvantaged students the opportunity to learn from some of our “best and brightest” fresh out of college. Accounting for America

The Wall Street Journal reported on a similar movement that is afoot in the accounting world. Accounting for America would enlist recent accounting graduates to work for small businesses after college, allowing them to gain valuable real world experience and offering this service to entrepreneurs and small businesses at a significantly lower price than an established accounting firm.

The Accounting for America idea has already been employed successfully in a different way with low income and elderly individuals. Today, many accounting students (and even students with other majors) do individual tax returns free of charge for those unable to do it themselves as part of their community service. These are typically very simple returns that can be done easily and quickly on a software program like TurboTax. Still, students are often able to identify tax savings such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Social Security income exemption (at certain income levels) that the taxpayer may have otherwise missed.

Accounting for America would take this model a step further by helping small businesses with more complex bookkeeping needs. Many businesses are in desperate need of help with their books because of the fast-moving technology in today’s world. Some are unaware of the latest and best bookkeeping methods and others simply lack the time to keep track of everything after putting in a long hard day running their business.

Small to medium sized businesses will almost always benefit from the services of a local accounting firm that can identify any and all areas of tax savings they are eligible for. However, many of them do not feel they can afford a local CPA firm, particularly when they are just getting their business off the ground. Accounting for America has the potential to become a win-win solution for both new accounting grads and small businesses, helping the business stabilize their bookkeeping and offering much-needed experience for brand new accountants. For more information, please speak to a small business accountant.

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