By Jason Bramwell
The Denver office of Hein & Associates LLP will be transformed into a shopping plaza on April 25. That's because visiting school-aged children will be starting their own businesses – one of many activities the accounting firm has organized for Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day.
"We think it will be fun to have a bunch of enthusiastic kids in the office, so we're very much looking forward to it", Hein Office Manager Joan Solano told AccountingWEB. "Hein puts an emphasis on community service and volunteering, so we feel that it's important to have the kids in our office."
While Hein & Associates has informally recognized Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day in the past, this is the first year that organized activities have been planned by the firm's Fun Committee, which is comprised of fifteen employees.
Seventeen children, ranging from kindergarten through ninth grade, are expected to visit the firm on Thursday, including the twelve-year-old daughter of Bill Mueldener, Hein & Associates tax principal and national director of state and local tax.
"She's excited about coming", Mueldener told AccountingWEB. "She's been to work with me before for a couple hours when I've had to come in on a weekend, but she's excited to see more of the full day and participate in the activities."
Those activities kick off at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast and an icebreaker game so the kids get to know one another. The kids will then create nametags and play another game",Accounting Is a Kid's Game", that was created by some of the firm's tax accountants.
"They're going to help the kids understand what a balance sheet is and what profit and losses are", Solano says.
The kids will then be ready to create their businesses. First, each child will decide if they want to be the sole owner of the business, partner with another child, or work as a team. Next, they'll come up with a name for their business. Then they'll design a sign for their company and acquire a loan from the firm, according to Solano.
"We'll loan them $10, which will need to be paid back to the firm, so we're looking forward to making it fun and something that's real", she says.
After lunch, the kids will use their $10 to shop and buy inventory from Hein & Associates, which will consist of such snacks as chips, candy, bananas, apples, and gum, that the firm purchased from a wholesale store.
"They'll need to price their inventory", Solano says. "We'll ask them to price everything in quarter increments so it's easy to make change. They'll be required to make change for their customers."
The businesses will be placed all throughout the office, and Hein & Associates employees were asked to bring dollars and change to purchase snacks from the children.
Once their businesses close for the day, the kids will go to a conference room to work on their profit and loss sheet as well as their balance sheet, Solano says.
"I hope the children learn some general concepts of business. It might give them a better idea of what a business career might be like, whether it's in accounting or something else", Jim Brendel, partner in charge of Hein & Associates' Denver office, told AccountingWEB. "We do a lot of things in our community that are related to children, but we don't get the opportunity too often to help our own kids. Being able to provide some business education to them, have them see how a business works, and have them understand what their mom or dad is doing every day is a great opportunity."
To finish out the day, the kids will snack on popcorn and watch the movie, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jason Bateman, whose character plays an accountant.
Good for Culture
Mueldener believes that celebrating Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day is good for the culture of the firm.
"We ask a lot of our employees here, especially during the busy season, so it's nice that the firm provides them the opportunity to bring their kids to work for the day", he says.