Implementing Service Learning For Accountants: The Not For Profit Project


  • Gretchen Vik


Experiential learning for accountants most often appears in the tax area, as students take part in the VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). The Not For Profit Project described in an ABSEL 2001 paper (Vik and Doran, Experiential Learning for Accountants: The Not for Profit Project) now places some students in an Accounting Communication class in short-term projects with a local community partner. This demonstration will provide useful handouts about organizing such a hands-on project, finding appropriate community partners, assigning a useful reflection component to students, and evaluating the projects when complete. A nationally compiled resource list on community service learning will be available. Not all accounting communication students go out into the community; some teams still write and research their NFP, its fundraiser, related budget, and persuasive proposal, from a distance. This dichotomy will also be discussed, as most community service-learning projects are class-wide rather than having just some teams in the class included.