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advocacy community education
57
CAAS Corner
By Jack Collins, Executive Director
Community Accounting Aid & Services, Inc.
CAAS
965 East Main Street
Meriden, CT 06450-6006
Phone: 203-235-2333, ext. 7146
Email:
ctcaas@hotmail.com
or
service@accountingaid.org
Now is a great time to become a part of the team of volun-
teers helping small business owners, small nonprofit organ-
izations, and qualified individuals in Connecticut with
accounting, tax, and financial management issues through
CommunityAccountingAid&Services,Inc.(CAAS).
CAAS was founded in 1974 by the Connecticut Society of
Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants. CAAS volunteers work to fulfill
the mission of providing pro bono accounting assistance to
qualified economically disadvantaged businesses, individu-
als, and not-for-profit organizations who are not currently
being served by accountants.
CAAS frequently provides assistance and information
regarding the appropriate form of business organization,
how to access governmental agencies, tax filing require-
ments, how to set up an appropriate business recordkeep-
ing system, and financial management.
In several communities, CPA volunteers use the CAAS book
Starting a Small Business in Connecticut to teach evening
classes on just that: how to be an entrepreneur in the
Nutmeg State. Courses normally include four two-hour ses-
sions and are conducted in the fall and in the spring (after
April 15). Check with CAAS for communities offering the
courses. PowerPoint presentations are available to assist
instructors with the courses.
CAAS volunteers provide a helping hand to new business
ventures by challenging their owners to address the issues
involved in transforming good ideas into great businesses.
CAAS also provides assistance to nonprofit organizations
by conducting training for Board and staff members on
accounting procedures, internal controls, understanding
financial statements, and preparation for audits. CAAS vol-
unteers also assist with the preparation of IRS Form 990
returns for qualified organizations.
Through its affiliation with the Community Economic
Development Fund (CEDF), CAAS volunteers instruct
evening courses on "Understanding Business Financials
and Business Taxes" (four sessions). Courses are designed
for existing small businesses that have or seek micro loans
from CEDF. These courses run two to three times per year
in Danbury, East Hartford, Meriden, Bridgeport, Norwich,
and Stamford.
CAAS is receiving an increasing number of requests for
assistance with the preparation of past-due income tax
returns. The requests are received year-round and normally
come from the University of Connecticut or Quinnipiac
University law schools' low-income tax clinics. The CAAS
volunteer's role is to prepare the returns for the client's sig-
nature. The preparer's name is not part of the return or the
subsequent package. The law schools' representatives han-
dle the negotiations with the IRS and help resolve any set-
tlement issues. Clients are normally from Hartford, New
Haven, or Fairfield counties. Please contact CAAS if you
would like to participate in this service.
We welcome CSCPA members to join the many CAAS vol-
unteers who make a difference in their communities. While
working on CAAS assignments, CAAS volunteers are cov-
ered under a volunteer liability insurance policy provided by
CAAS.
To be a part of our volunteer effort or for more information,
please contact CAAS at 203-235-2333, ext. 7146, via
email at ctcaas@hotmail.com, or visit our website at
www.ctaccountingaid.org.
CAAS Welcomes Your Help!
Join the many CAAS volunteers who
make a difference in their communities.