Gonzaga's mission is centered around the Jesuit tradition of a concern for others. Our accounting programs instill a care for others through various community involvement programs. Many of these projects allow our students to apply their technical accounting knowledge to help the Spokane community. Some of the longest running projects have been partnerships with other local groups and accounting professionals.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
Since the year 2000, Gonzaga accounting students have been actively involved in the VITA program. The purpose of the VITA program is to provide assistance to low income taxpayers in preparing their tax returns. The program has operated out of a variety of locations but is currently housed in the YWCA. In 2010, approximately 80 students participated and filed nearly 500 tax returns between January and April. In total, over 1000 hours each year are provided by Gonzaga students to this program.
For two of the past three years, students have also participated in the Alaskan Native VITA program. Students travel to remote areas of Alaska during Spring Break to provide assistance to native Alaskans in fulfilling their tax obligations. This trip has been sponsored each year by the regional accounting firm Moss Adams. This trip is a great opportunity for students to use their technical knowledge to give back and experience remote areas of Alaska.
Justice for Fraud Victims Project
The Justice for Fraud Victims Project (JFVP) started in the spring of 2010 as a partnership between Gonzaga University, Spokane Law Enforcement, Spokane County Prosecutors, and the Spokane Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners. The goal of this project is to assist individuals that have been harmed by financial fraud but cannot afford to hire professional assistance. Students work in teams with a fraud professional to gather evidence and build a case on behalf of the victims. Due to the work of our students, multiple charges have been filed by local law enforcement officials and victims are able to receive the justice they deserve. Click here to learn more about this valuable service to the community and opportunity for our students.
Vinegar Flats Community Garden
Each year, Gonzaga accounting students and KPMG professionals work together to keep the Vinegar Flats Garden open to the community. Since 2006, students have shaped the garden by doing everything from planting and weeding to constructing fences and greenhouses. In the most recent visit in the fall of 2010, over 75 students and 15 professionals participated in the clean-up effort. The garden is harvested each year by Spokane residents and the sale of vegetables benefits the St. Margaret’s Women and Children’s Shelter.
Spokane AIDS Network House
In 2010, Gonzaga accounting students spent a weekend painting, cleaning, and repairing the Spokane AIDS Network House on North Monroe in Spokane. The AIDS network house works to minimize the impact of and maximize the awareness of the impact of AIDS in Spokane. The accounting program hopes to continue to build a relationship with this important Spokane charity in the future
Each semester, Beta Alpha Psi members provide approximately 300 hours of free tutoring to lower-division accounting students. The tutoring lab is staffed by three students and is offered on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 4:30pm to 6:00pm in Jepson 125.