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Announcing Xero’s second accounting scholarship winner

Posted 5 years ago in Xero news by Beeny Atherton
Posted by Beeny Atherton

Today we’re excited to announce our second accounting scholarship winner – Regan Stewart of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Regan’s impressive GPA, glowing recommendation and thoughtful essay make her an extremely deserving recipient.

Last year, we awarded our first $5,000 finance, economics or accounting scholarship to Alisha McGoldrick of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Alisha was an incredibly deserving winner, who wrote a fantastic essay detailing how she deals with OCD on her journey to becoming an accountant.

Regan has kindly agreed to let us share her essay, which demonstrates her passion and drive to use accounting to make a difference in the world.

Accounting: beyond “crunching numbers”

By Regan Stewart

Xero's accounting scholarship winner Regan Stewart

Regan Stewart, the most recent winner of Xero’s accounting scholarship

When I tell people my career aspirations of being an accountant, almost undoubtedly the first words out of their mouth are, “Oh, you must really like math.” The truth is, I do like math, but the ability to complete complicated calculations is not what defines me. I am defined by my intentions to make a difference in the world – to be the creator, pursuer, and achiever of dreams. These ambitions are relevant in business, in the home, and in the community.

The role of accounting technology in business and beyond

Entrepreneurs and business owners across the globe live with lofty goals of creating – and maintaining – a successful business. Unfortunately, they are often intimidated by the number crunching and transaction recording sides of business. One of the reasons accounting is so intriguing is that I know I can enable these visions to come to fruition. I can take charge of bookkeeping, payroll, and tax returns. I can be responsible for all the behind-the-scenes work so that the business owner can focus on pursuing their dream. I will be in charge of preservation; he or she will be in charge of innovation.

Modern technology allows for simple acquisition of important financial information. Banks can automatically route transactions to accounting software through bank feeds. Employees can be paid online through direct depositing. I can even demonstrate certain accounting practices to business owners through remote control programs such as TeamViewer or LogMeIn. Whether I perform the accounting work for a business or teach the owner to do it individually, I will encourage them in the pursuit of their dreams and in the betterment of society.

I am a firm believer that no success in the world can compensate for failure in the home, which is why I intend to extend my accounting knowledge beyond the corporate sphere. In my accounting classes I have learned valuable skills about budgeting, organization, and critical thinking. I believe these are all imperative in raising a family. I will teach my future children that keeping a budget and tracking their expenses ultimately allows them to fulfil any dream or desire. I will teach them problem-solving skills so they can be leaders and responsible citizens of their community.

Steps for Noah

As a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to co-create the “Steps for Noah” foundation at my high school. Noah Hernandez was fatally injured in a car accident and was paralyzed from the neck down. I ached for this family in our community and yearned to lend a helping hand in any way possible. Using my organizational skills, we formed a committee that visited classrooms every day to ask for donations. We raised over $1,000 the first week of the drive. We also posted announcements on various forms of social media which greatly increased our publicity.

Throughout the year, we continued to raise money to help this family in dire need. I recognized the immense joy I feel in helping others achieve their dreams. As I kept record of the money we were receiving, it seemed that community members were enthusiastic to help as well. I realized that careful organization and use of social media are powerful forces in fulfilling desires.

Using accounting to make a difference

In my accounting profession, I will be a successful organizer – organizer of transactions, organizer of events, and organizer of people – but I also plan to be an encourager. I will recruit community support of worthwhile business ambitions like the “Steps for Noah” foundation. Modern technology in social media makes this possible because it allows any idea to be proposed and promoted across a worldwide audience. Strength in numbers and power in purpose can be achieved by citizens working together to promote good in their community.

Before we can make a difference in the world, we must be different from the world. I can be that difference. I will be fearless in my pursuits to make a difference not just in the accounting field, but across the globe. If opportunity doesn’t knock, I will build a door.  If someone feels they have reached the end of their road, I will help pave a new one. Today, I commit to be not just an accountant, but a valiant pursuer and achiever of dreams.

Enter Xero’s accounting, finance and economics scholarship

To anyone inspired by Regan’s essay, we encourage you to apply for our scholarship, which will next be awarded later this year. It’s open to all US residents enrolled full-time at an accredited university or business school in the US. All the information you need can be found here:

Win an accounting, finance or economics scholarship for 2015

To Regan – thank you for sharing your story with us and our readers. Xero wishes you the best in the rest of your studies and hopes you have a wonderful accounting career.

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