New Jersey accountants teach financial independence to young people

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Fostering students’ understanding of personal finance and individual responsibility is important. No one understands that better than the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). That’s why the NJSCPA is partnering with Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ) to present the Annual Accountants/CPA Bowling Party, an industry-wide fundraiser that engages employees, company leadership, and members of the industry to come together for a common cause.

“Supporting Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ) and the Annual Accountants/CPA Bowling Party fundraiser is part of the NJSCPA's ongoing commitment to increasing financial literacy in New Jersey and providing Garden State residents with information they can use to manage their finances successfully,” said Don Meyer, director of communications and marketing for the NJSCPA.

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. These lessons include how to make money and how to manage it. In turn, students take learned skills and apply them to their everyday life.

According to Dawn Schwartz, vice president of development for Junior Achievement of New Jersey, who better to teach financial literacy education and bring financial programs to kids than accountants?

“The people in the accounting industry obviously see the relevancy of the importance of financial literacy. The impact they could have starting with kids as early as kindergarten is going to make a difference in everyone’s future,” she said. “Junior Achievement’s mission is to give kids the tools to succeed in the future and understand the greater economy. The accounting industry is an excellent partner because they value the relevancy of financial literacy.”

NJSCPA’s relationship with JA is pretty new, but five years ago, they were involved with the Annual Bowl-A-Thon. But, this is the first time that the Society and JA are partnering to create a JA Day volunteer effort across the state in local schools.

“The JA Day gives NJSCPA members the unique opportunity to teach Junior Achievements financial literacy and workforce readiness curriculum to New Jersey youth,” Meyer said.

According to a recent press release, several accounting firms, Crowe Horwath, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC, and Sax Macy Fromm are sponsoring the event. Participating companies will form teams of six people who will raise and collect pledges prior to the event. Meyer says many of the participants return each year because it is great for morale, and management sees it as a team-building experience for everyone involved.

In addition, Meyer also believes the event is a powerful team-building experience as well as a memorable community service project, and it encourages members and accounting firms throughout New Jersey to participate in these worthwhile events. Money raised from this event will help fund a first-ever NJSCPA JA Day volunteer effort in elementary schools in Trenton, Edison, and West Orange.

“The mission of the accounting industry is so alive with Junior Achievement that it's such a natural reason to ensure financial accuracy and fiscal responsibility amongst our community,” Schwartz said. “Who better to educate and inspire kids about being financial responsible individuals than accountants?”

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