Accounting education all adds up for ISU student

October 31 2006

An internship at an accounting and financial business was just one more thing for April Huey to add to her Indiana State University education.

In just over three years at Indiana State, the senior accounting and finance major has so far traveled overseas, teamed with a business executive mentor, and learned the traditional classroom material.

Huey, the daughter of David and Marita Huey of Scottsburg and a graduate of Oblong (Ill.) High School, served her internship with Larry E. Nunn & Associates Certified Public Accountants in southern Indiana, where she experienced a variety of accounting practices

"She's been involved with certain client transactions, client general ledgers, financial statements, tax reporting, some payroll taxes, and some other types of projects," said Rick Schultz, audit and litigation partner at Larry E. Nunn and Associates. "She even worked on a project to refresh and consolidate some of our census information for our clients."

Along with all those projects, Huey was able to get into not-for-profit work, a part of the accounting business where her interest really lies.

"I was able to work on a not-for-profit audit," she said. "Not-for-profit really seems like an area I would really like to go into. I took a not-for-profit accounting class this summer online, and it really looks like the place I want to be and the expertise I want to have."

Huey's interest in not-for-profit business can be partially credited to her mentor, Moira Carlstedt, president of Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP).

"Having a corporate mentor has probably been one of the best experiences for me," Huey said. "I have been able to sit personally with Moria numerous times to discuss my courses, professors, problems, accomplishments, internships, and career choices and preparation."

Carlstedt agreed that the mentoring program has been a great experience for her and INHP as well as for Huey.

"The mentoring relationship I think is mutually beneficial," she said. "It's been very helpful for myself and my staff, the senior staff in particular, to have the opportunity to interact with a young person who's seeking information and opportunities to experience the business world."

Through her mentor, Huey has been able to add even more experiences to her accounting education.

Carlstedt said Huey has attended board meetings, even the meeting where the next year's budget was passed.

"As anybody in the business world knows, creating the budget is one thing, getting it passed is another," Carlstedt said. "April was able to participate in that meeting, as well as the preparation for that meeting. Additionally, we had an opportunity to meet with one of our primary funders, and we invited April to come along."

Huey has also witnessed a loan-pool sale, looked through a not-for-profit audit report, and witnessed first-hand the work the INHP has done in Indianapolis.

Networks Financial Institute, an outreach of ISU?s College of Business, set up the mentoring relationship for Carlstedt and Huey. As a Networks Scholar, a program funded by a generous gift from the Lilly Endowment, Huey receives a $5,000 annual scholarship a laptop computer and a professional development account. Networks Scholars, who aspire to careers in financial services, also receive an international experience.

Huey had not just one international experience, but two.

"The most rewarding part of going to ISU is being a Networks Scholar and having the opportunities to travel overseas twice and study abroad," she said. "I know that I probably wouldn't have been able to do that if I hadn't gone to ISU and received the Networks Scholarship."

Huey traveled with other Networks scholars to New York, London, Paris, and the southern part of France to learn about the financial services industry in the United States and abroad.

Her second trip overseas was to Switzerland to study abroad. She was able to use part of her professional development account for the experience.

Huey's in-classroom experience is also making her an asset to any accounting business. She has a minor in an increasingly popular field, forensic accounting.

"Forensic accounting definitely is taking off with the past accounting scandals that have gone on and are still going on, such as the Enron and World Com scandals," Huey said. "It's just becoming more evident with more strict rules of accounting and how many frauds are taking place how serious a problem it is."

Thomas Harris, an assistant professor of accounting at ISU, said the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that five percent of a firm?s revenue is lost to fraud, amounting to $468 billion a year.

"Every dollar of fraud that can be prevented will increase the firm's net income by a dollar," Harris said. "Thus, it becomes necessary for every employee to know something about fraud, who is likely to perpetrate a fraud and how to recognize the 'red flags' of fraud."

With the growing problem, there is a growing need for people with Huey's expertise. Larry Nunn, managing partner of Larry Nunn and Associates, realizes the importance of Huey's knowledge.

"Forensic accounting is a growing field," he said. "There is a new certification for certified fraud examiners, which we have one person in our office who is thinking of doing that instead of the CPA or maybe doing both."

Internships, out-of-class experiences through Networks Financial Institute, and mentoring from a corporation president are all things Huey has been able to add to her accounting knowledge.

"These are real life experiences where you have to make decisions," Huey said. "Some of those decisions are challenging, but it is really rewarding once you complete something that has been a challenge."

Harris said, "By having an opportunity to study abroad and having a corporate mentor, April will have an advantage that most college students will not have had. These experiences will enrich her education and give her a better understanding of the global economy."

As an employer, Nunn recognizes the importance of ISU's commitment to experiential learning.

"Things like internships offer a lot to students, because it gives them practical experience rather than just reading the theory book sitting in the classroom," he said. "They know how to use the knowledge when they get in the field."

Contact: Thomas Harris, assistant professor of accounting, analytical department, Indiana State University College of Business, (812) 237-2005, tharris7@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Megan Anderson, media relations intern, Indiana State University,(812) 237-3773, manderson13@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

In just over three years at ISU, April Huey, a senior accounting and finance major from Scottsburg, has served a variety of internships, traveled overseas twice, and teamed with a business executive mentor - all with a goal of learning as much as she can about her chosen field.

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