An accountant who’s fighting global hunger

December 30, 2016
Caroline Jones

U of M accounting student Caroline Jones is not passionate about budgets, P&L statements, or spreadsheets. But she is excited to come to class every day, knowing business is a force to do good. And she’s driven to leverage her skills to help people in need.

“I like accounting, but I wouldn’t say it’s my passion by any means,” Jones explains. “My passion is for people—to ensure people are fed, and that they have access to clean water and education.”

Prior to joining the Carlson School’s Master of Accountancy Program, Jones worked as a field accountant in South Sudan. Her duties included managing cash for daily purchases, tracking expenses, creating budgets, and submitting reports.

Her ultimate goal is to be a chief financial officer or internal auditor for an international humanitarian organization. And she’s confident that accounting will get her there.

“I feel like a lot of people go into the field of accounting because they think every business needs an accountant, but the same logic applies to aid organizations or nonprofits,” she says. “Money is always going to be a driving force in making an impact, in any country.”

With a mere one semester of classes under her belt, Jones has already sharpened her accounting expertise.

“I’ve learned more about accounting in one auditing class than I did in all my undergrad classes put together,” she says. “[My time in Africa taught me] to see challenges as opportunities to learn, and also to have fun with those challenges.”