Accounting students make an impact beyond the numbers

6 August 2021

Accounting students at Monash Business School understand how accounting helps businesses thrive.

Third-year management accounting students recently undertook a significant project collaborating with Edgars Mission, a not-for-profit animal sanctuary with a ‘mission of kindness’ and a vision of ‘a humane and just world for all’.

Edgars Mission not only rescues and protects animals, they also provide education, advocacy and community enrichment and provides an excellent setting for an authentic collaboration.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded existing pressures on not-for-profits.

Course director Associate Professor Carly Moulang saw an opportunity to encourage her students to make a difference by developing useful and relevant strategic advice to help Edgars Mission navigate these turbulent times.

From left: Monash Business School's third-year Management Accounting cohort at Edgars Mission; student Victor Chua.

Students analysed the business operations of the organisation and provided them with strategic advice to develop their performance measurement systems, identifying key performance metrics and advising on how to creatively and effectively communicate performance to their stakeholders.

Further, with Edgars Mission clearly aiming to have a positive impact on society through their abundance of activities, students provided advice on ways that Edgars Mission can measure and report their wider social performance and impact.

“The highlight of our project was being able to take students to visit the sanctuary and to see the meaningful work that Edgars Mission does, and of course to bond and play with the animals. The students loved this experience,” says Dr Moulang.

“We also had a two-hour virtual tour with Kyle from Edgars Mission for the rest of the students where Kyle explained to us the inner workings of Edgars and introduced us to his many animal friends. This gave students an excellent sense of the purpose of the mission and the challenges they face.”

The benefit of creating authentic assessment projects such as this are wonderful from a student and wider perspective, says Dr Moulang.

From left: Students Xinwei Song and Justine Mogueis, and Sammy Chan.

“My students were so enthusiastic about this project and the quality and creativity of the projects were outstanding – it was a very difficult task to select the very best projects to package up and provide to Edgars Mission.”

One such project selected was from Bachelor of Accounting student Priscilla Poernomo. “Having the opportunity to participate in such an engaging project, the Edgar's Mission project has definitely been a rewarding experience for my studies,” she says.

“Being able to visit the sanctuary virtually was a great way to delve deeper into the assignment, allowing me to provide more strategic advice for the organisation.”

In the past, Dr Moulang’s students have undertaken projects for Yellow Ladybugs, She Qu, Bluearth, and Mums Supporting Families in Need, among others.

“The way I see it is that we have a unique opportunity to both educate our accounting students while creating impact through this initiative. It is really a win-win situation,” says Dr Moulang.