Our Accounting Grinds programme with Larkin Community College sees volunteers from KPMG give a helping hand to students studying Accounting for the Leaving Certificate.
One of KPMG’s newest ventures into skills-based volunteering takes place in a Dublin city school, Larkin Community College. Larkin College asked KPMG to support their fifth year students as in 2017 the school introduced Accountancy for the Leaving Certificate.
The programme was developed in coordination between KPMG staff and accounting teacher, Ann-Marie Hynes, with the aim of providing Leaving Certificate Accounting students with the chance to work through difficult questions with the help of an experienced accountant.
The programme is organised into six sessions of one hour each with KPMG volunteers working with groups of 2-3 students on one exam question. Our volunteers then provide the students with specific recommendations on how to tackle the problem at hand.
A initial trial of the programme was run, with great success. A student commented, “My mentor showed us real practical usage of the figures we work with while also showing us faster and more efficient ways of completing our tasks.” Another said, “Personally, I think a programme like this is extremely beneficial and helps us develop our accounting skills as well as letting us get a real life feel for the subject. It was a really good experience and definitely helped me learn new things that will benefit me after school.”
The success of the programme can be firmly based on the mentor style relationship built up between the volunteers and the students. Not only are the students receiving help with one of their Leaving Certificate subjects, they are also benefitting from spending time with an adult who is not a relation or teacher.
Ann-Marie Hynes says, “What makes the grinds different is that the student and mentor have a common problem to solve, working on this helps build a relationship and allows it to develop and grow. It’s these conversations and connections that can really impact and benefit students. They see that the mentor has walked in their shoes and has faced the same problems as they have and still came out the other side. Sometimes they just need to hear another perspective to realise that they will get there.”
Interest in accountancy and business studies has grown in the school since the beginning of the programme, with several students hoping to study accountancy in university. “I believe that talking and building relationships with accountants and getting an insight into their working world really supported that ambition.”
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