Young accounting professionals head to Gulf Coast to help hurricane victims

Five young certified public accountants from the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) traveled to New Orleans, LA to participate in the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants' (NCACPA) and Operation HOPE's week-long Gulf Coast Relief Trip in November, providing financial advice to small business owners and nonprofits affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Gustavo, and Ike.

These young professionals realized their ability to aid those devastated by the hurricanes and offered free consultations and seminars. Working alongside other CPAs from Indiana, North Carolina, and New York, the New Orleans volunteers assisted 85-90 clients in the five-day trip.

"It became more evident that these businesses need our help, and we need to reach out to them as a profession. Our knowledge should not be reserved for our highest paying clients. I believe that we represent a profession, and we have a duty to the public," said Kristin Costa, CPA of Braver PC in Newton.

The November trip to New Orleans concludes this year's Gulf Coast Relief efforts. In the four Gulf Relief trips, 50 volunteers from eight states reached out to over 450 clients in a total of 17 working days.

The MSCPA has sent nine CPAs to the Gulf Coast in 2008, making the MSCPA one the top contributors to the program.

"The MSCPA is proud of our young professionals that were willing to volunteer their time and expertise for this week-long experience. These are the future leaders of the accounting profession, and it is inspiring to see their commitment to both the profession and the community. The MSCPA looks forward to participating in future Gulf Coast Relief Trips and hopes to bring these services to business owners in Massachusetts as well," said Theodore J. Flynn, CAE, president and CEO of the MSCPA.

The November trip's volunteers from Massachusetts were: Charlotte Cathro, Raphael and Raphael LLP; Kristin Costa, CPA, Braver PC, Todd Doe, CPA, Caras and Shulman PC; Geoff Jarok, CPA, Dassault Systemes ENOVIA Corp; and Todd McGrain, CPA, Sullivan Bille PC.

To read about the volunteers experience first-hand, visit the MSCPA's Gulf Coast Relief Trip blog.

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