Accounting Students Get Beyond the Textbooks with River Valley Riders

By Professor Richard S. Sathe, EdD., CPA

A team of three St. Thomas accounting students, Diana Matveychuk, Erin Moore, and Robert Polacek recently completed a project to assist a local nonprofit organization with an accounting project.  River Valley Riders (RVR) provides therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving in the St. Croix River Valley for children and adults with special needs. Benefits include improvement of balance, increase of core strength, development of self-confidence and improvement of social skills.

The students assisted RVR with financial statement presentation, detailed accounting records, RVR’s use of Quickbooks, and banking.  In a letter to the students, the RVR Board of Directors wrote, “We would like to thank you deeply for your work on this.   Completing this project has increased our understanding of our finances.”  RVR’s take-aways helped them to better understand their requirements as they grow and are subject to more sophisticated accounting and reporting rules.  The students were able to roll up their sleeves and work with a real organization’s records—to get beyond the textbooks.

The original contact between St. Thomas and RVR was through a project in Professor Chelley Vician’s Accounting Information Systems course in the Master of Science in Accountancy program.  RVR identified other accounting and reporting needs that resulted from its growth and led to this project.  Department of Accounting faculty members Larry Davis and Rich Sathe assisted the student team.