University at Buffalo School of Management

Buffalo Business - Autumn 2014

The magazine for alumni and friends of the UB School of Management

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 31

S t e p p i n g U p S t e p p i n g U p Now more than ever, nonprofit organizations face increasing demand for strong financial management and continued pressure to do more with less. They need the latest fiscal management information and tools, but often lack the resources to keep up with fast-changing indus- try demands. In an effort to help some local agencies meet these needs, 40 School of Management MS accounting students shared their skills at four Western New York nonprofits during the spring semester. It's a hands-on collaboration that allows the students to sharpen their skills while providing the organizations with much-needed services so they can focus on their mission. "There is a need to serve, especially with the valuable skills our stu- dents can offer," says Kathleen Nesper, assistant professor of accounting and law, who coordinates the program. "These projects help the students recognize that need while gaining hands-on experience and a greater sen- sitivity to the challenges these organizations face." Positioning for the future Established in 2012, the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York (VOC of WNY) works to connect U.S. military veterans and their families with the services they need to complete the transition to civilian life and achieve their goals. Four student groups assisted the organization on a number of proj- ects throughout the semester. They wrote a fixed-asset policy (including a flowchart); set up a fixed-asset listing and depreciation schedule; wrote a grants receivable policy; evaluated and improved internal controls for cash receipts and disbursements; developed a paperless invoice and pur- chase order process; and streamlined and optimized the required report- ing demands for management and the board of directors. "The students helped position us for where we want to be rather than where we are now," says Roger Woodworth '99, EMBA '09, presi- dent and CEO of the VOC of WNY. "They were professional and eager to learn, and we treated it like a real business consulting agreement. We would definitely have them back." Finances in harmony Harmonia Chamber Singers is a professional-caliber a cappella choral ensemble. There, School of Management students set up QuickBooks, cash control policies and monthly reports. Nancy Nuzzo, former director of UB's music and special collections libraries, sings with Harmonia. She says the group needed finance help to meet the requirements of being incorporated. "All of a sudden we grew up and needed to have directors, officers and liability insurance—all those things that nonprofits need," says Nuzzo. "For the students, it is basic accounting stuff, but for a group of singers who just want to sing and not deal with the financials, it was a big help." Amilyn Scott '13, MS '14, one of the students who worked with Harmonia, says the experience expanded her skillset—and her mindset. "I had never worked with QuickBooks or on a Mac computer, so I had to develop new skills and gain new knowledge before I could pass that along to Harmonia," says Scott, who joined Freed Maxick CPAs after graduation. "As I begin my career as a professional accountant, I will continue to work with nonprofit companies in an effort to better the community." Support for entrepreneurs Students also developed an origination and collection process for a microloan program at the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), which supports entrepreneurs and small businesses on Buffalo's West Side through development, training and education. Its microloan program provides financing to prospective and current area business owners, often refugees and immigrants who lack the credit his- tory to receive a bank loan. Celebrating those who MAKE A DIFFERENCE to the School of Management B B Autumn 2014 LearningThroughServicetotheCommunity Robert Pacillo, founder and artistic director, leads the Harmonia Chamber Singers in a rehearsal at St. Joseph University Parish in Buffalo.

Articles in this issue

view archives of University at Buffalo School of Management - Buffalo Business - Autumn 2014