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advocacy community education
CAAS Corner
Jack Collins, Executive Director
Community Accounting Aid & Services, Inc.
965 East Main Street
Meriden, CT 06450-6006
Phone: 203-235-2333, ext. 7146
Enter CAAS.
If you find this experience familiar, you
Community Accounting Aid and
Services, Inc. CAAS exists to provide
pro bono accounting assistance and
advice to those who perhaps need it
most but can least afford it, especially
in the critical start-up phase of the busi-
ness cycle.
CAAS Seeks Referrals
"We are actively seeking out referrals
from CPAs who know of these people,
their start-ups, and not-for-profit organ-
izations in need of the professional
advice of a CPA while lacking the abil-
ity to pay for it," explained CAAS
Executive Director Jack Collins.
"CAAS really covers the proverbial
waterfront in providing this help,"
Collins noted. "We provide one-on-one
counseling, we teach accounting
instruction and adult education cours-
es, and we can refer our volunteers to
serve as board members. In addition,
we've published a truly comprehensive
manual on How to Start a Small
Business in Connecticut in fact,
that's the title of the book and we've
even published a version in Spanish,"
he added.
"We're actively seeking referrals from a
variety of sources to keep our volun-
teer CPAs busy," CAAS volunteer
President Rick Merrick laughed, "not
as if they weren't busy enough already
in their firms and organizations, but this
is a group of CPAs who are dedicated
to living up to the word `public' in `certi-
fied public accountant.'"
37 Years of Public Service
CAAS began as the Community
Service Committee of the CSCPA, and
then, back in 1974, it actually became
a quasi-independent organization
operating out of a storefront in
Hartford's North End. Today it receives
its major funding and support from the
Community Economic Development
Fund, the Connecticut Society of
CPAs, and the CSCPA members via a
dues check-off contribution system.
CAAS also receives financial support
from its clients and the business and
accounting communities.
In order to be eligible for CAAS account-
ing assistance, the applicant must not
presently be using a CPA and must fit
into one of the following categories:
Individuals with a household income
of $25,000 or less
Married couples with a combined
household income of $30,000 or less
Families of three with a household
income of $35,000 or less
Families of four with a household
income of $40,000 or less
Not-for-profit organizations with an
annual revenue of less than $100,000.
To refer a client to CAAS, to volunteer
for CAAS, to donate to CAAS, or to
learn more, please visit the CAAS web-
site at or
contact CAAS Executive Director Jack
Collins at 203-235-2333, ext. 7146 or
Where Do You Send the
Clients Who Can't Afford You?
ften, through networking and public service involvement in
their communities, CSCPA members encounter fledgling
entrepreneurs in search of professional accounting, tax,
and general business advice.
Just as frequently, however, these people cannot afford the finan-
cial and business counsel they so desperately need.
By Mark Zampino, CSCPA Public Affairs Director