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Student CPAs work for charity

Kate Antonacci | Monday, November 8, 2004

Nearly 370 certified public accountants, including 52 from Notre Dame, gathered Friday to take part in the statewide CPA Day of Service.

The event, planned by the Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS), gathered CPAs at 39 locations in 18 cities throughout Indiana for a day of community service.

“We believe it was very successful and we haven’t even received much feedback yet,” said Dave Shatkowski of the Indiana CPA Society. “I’m sure we will get positive comments from our members who participated as well as some notes and letters of appreciation from the organizations we served. That would just add to the success of the event.”

The number of volunteer CPAs nearly doubled from last year.

“Our ultimate goal is 1,000 participants,” said Shatkowski. “I don’t know if that will be reached next year, but we hope to keep moving in that direction.”

The charity day was created in 2002 to recognize Indiana CPAs’ dedication to charity. The Day of Service has also proven a good way for accounting students to network with local CPAs.

“We thought that volunteerism is a good activity for any profession to encourage, and we already knew that many of our CPA members individually participated in local volunteer projects,” said Shatkowski. “So we created the CPA Day of Service to try to unify and mobilize as many CPAs as possible on a single day.”

The Indiana CPAs hope the event will excite those working at the 49 CPA firms involved and will encourage regular involvement in service projects.

“Although this event is just a single day, we still encourage our CPAs around the state to volunteer on other days and continue serving their communities through both professional service and community service projects like these,” Shatkowski said. “In fact, some who participated in last year’s day of service established relationships with the organizations they worked at, and continued going back there on a monthly or occasional basis.”

The six worksites in South Bend, which had help from 81 non-CPA volunteers, included the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, the YMCA of St. Joseph’s County, St. Margaret’s House, Habitat for Humanity, the Hope Rescue Mission-Family Life Center and Real Services.

Helping local charities is a key element of the Day of Service, Shatkowski said.

“It promotes awareness through the organizations we served via the people they each serve,” he said. “The coverage we receive from the media is a great way to show the public and business owners that CPAs are committed to serving the public interest and serving the communities in which they live and work.”