Accounting students put skills to test with real-world accounting experience

Accounting students in the Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting at Fort Hays State University received real-world accounting experience recently in Topeka.

John Booze and Nate Musick, senior accounting students -- under the supervision of Cole Engel, instructor of accounting -- worked with the Team Kansas/Kansas Cavalry organization to compile financial statements and informational returns to maintain their non-profit organization status. Team Kansas/Kansas Cavalry is an organization of volunteer business, education and economic development professionals who use their knowledge and credentials to promote Kansas as an attractive location for business.

"Each year students from the Fort Hays University Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting review the financials for the Team Kansas/Kansas Cavalry organization and prepare all necessary paperwork to be filed," said Mary Perez, program coordinator for Team Kansas/Kansas Cavalry. "Over the years, the students have provided our organization with thorough and valuable feedback, which helped streamline the accounting process. I found the students to be very professional and detailed."

Students do all of the work, and Engel reviews the results.

"Up until now, these students have been able to check their answers with an instructor or a check-figure in the back of the book," he said. "This is a great confirmation of their skills, because there is no check-figure. The only answer is what they say it is."

Not only is this project a great test of the skills learned at FHSU, but, Engel said, it is fun, too. "To us accounting folks, making everything balance and getting the right numbers is exciting," he said.

It is also a great networking opportunity for the students involved. "Several local businesses are involved in the Team Kansas/Kansas Cavalry organization," said Engel. "This is a good opportunity for students to get their name out there in the business community."

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