Understanding the Role of Accounting and Finance Skillsets in Social Impact Work
Slattery, Patrick J.
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
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Patrick J. Slattery is a member of the Class of 2022 of Washington and Lee University.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT RESTRICTED TO WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY LOGIN]Throughout this research, we have seen that accounting and poverty studies have the potential to garner a much stronger academic association. By studying non-profits, we can see how significant of a need there is for more individuals with accounting backgrounds to assist with financial decision making. This reality creates a heightened importance for more students to understand how accounting can truly contribute with poverty alleviation efforts. In breaking down common accounting stereotypes and making efforts to illuminate the increased use of accounting and finance skills in non-profits, schools and academic departments can help to build a stronger relationship between accounting and opportunities to enact social change. This can be implemented by challenging conventional accounting introductory classes to widen the scope of cases and examples to also include non-profit entities. This would allow students to understand the parallel issues and financial measures that can be used in non-profit operations. Another potential idea would be to increase the representativeness of finance alumni that speak during Career and Professional Development presentations. This could ultimately motivate more students interested in a career promoting social change to consider majoring in accounting to position themselves to fulfill a current need within the non-profit space. This would benefit more poverty alleviation missions in their effort to grow in capabilities and outreach. [From Summary of Initial Findings]