LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2016) — This spring, University of Kentucky accounting students again partnered with Dean Dorton Allen Ford, one of the largest certified public accounting firms in the Southeast, to gain real-world internal audit experience by performing risk and control assessments for local businesses. The students consistently produce impactful and eye-opening results for their clients.
Urton Anderson, director of the UK Von Allmen School of Accountancy and Ernst Young Professor of Accountancy, places about 40 students into community audit projects each semester. The student teams have worked closely with Bill Kohm, audit director for Dean Dorton and a 1996 UK graduate, on audit projects focused on risk and control assessments for three local organizations that lacked an internal audit function. These included a nonprofit, a restaurant and a veterinary practice.
Students conducted their projects by spending time at the client site, conducting interviews and performing testing as necessary. Each team connected with Kohm throughout the duration of the semester through conference calls, emails and at least one meeting at Dean Dorton's Lexington location. The projects concluded with a formal report and presentation to management, which along with the documentation supporting their report served as 50 percent of each student's grade in Anderson's class.
The results of these projects provided surprising insights. Students working with the nonprofit organization generated such impressive results in their initial risk assessment that two additional audit projects were spurred. The veterinary practice's management was so impressed with the findings from their team's risk assessment that they invited a new group of students onsite to conduct a billing audit that went on to generate numerous improvement recommendations.
"It has been great to work with an actual business and an actual audit firm, and have some insight into the real world of internal audit," said UK student Peter Townsend.
"As a UK alum I appreciate the opportunity to pay it forward through these community internal audit projects," Kohm said. "The students have a very unique opportunity to practice the skills that Dr. Anderson teaches in class. The projects reflect Dean Dorton's commitment to give back to our community as well."
In addition to providing a résumé-building experience that correlated to an audit internship, students established relationships with local businesses and provided value-added services at no out-of-pocket cost. Anderson noted many students in the internal audit class told him that it is one of the richest educational experiences they have had to date.
Dean Dorton is a leading Kentucky-based regional accounting firm, providing audit, accounting, tax, health care consulting, and many other services to clients throughout the Southeast. For more information, click here.
The Douglas J. Von Allmen School of Accountancy in the Gatton College of Business and Economics exists to prepare accounting graduates for leadership roles in the profession by offering high-quality, fully accredited programs, conducting research that advances the body of accounting knowledge and has implications for accounting practice, and providing service to local and state institutions, the accounting profession and UK. For more information, click here.
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