Sep 11, 2019

Financial Literacy through PICPA’s CPA Voice

Mylin Batipps Jr.By Mylin Batipps Jr., PICPA member engagement administrator

PICPA members take great pride in giving back to their communities through financial education, whether that’s through media engagement, writing informational blog pieces, or presenting financial literacy to students or office employees. Marissa Lieb, CPA, has been a member of PICPA’s CPA Voice volunteer network for a number of years, and she has presented budgeting and money saving tips to students, Girl Scouts, interns of the Philadelphia Youth Network, and more. She recently sat down with me to share some of her rewarding experiences.

You have presented various financial literacy programs on behalf of the PICPA for several years now. Is there a particular memory that stands out to you?

Marissa Lieb, CPAA coworker, Lori Pietzsch, and I spoke with a 5th grade Girl Scouts group about what it means to be a business owner. It was a lot of fun as they really got into the material. They paired up and presented their business ideas as well as an advertisement and plans for opening night. My favorite presentation was from two girls who wanted to start a real estate business. They created a jingle and sang it to us. In their presentation they mentioned that Lori and I would get invitations to opening night!

Why is it important for students to receive lessons in financial literacy?

We teach younger students about wants vs. needs, which can help them make decisions about how to spend their allowance or birthday money. Young adults learn about budgeting and saving for a goal. It’s eye-opening for some of the students who have never seen a pay stub before and don’t realize taxes would be withheld from their paychecks. It can be hard for students to learn if they have parents who don’t talk about money, parents who pay for everything, or parents who themselves might not have had the opportunity to grow their financial literacy.

What benefits can a PICPA member reap from addressing financial literacy with students?

Members would have the benefit of knowing that they helped a few students. Each presentation starts with an introduction that explains what the PICPA is, what it means to be a CPA, and a little about what I do and the firm I work at, Mazars USA LLP. Depending on the age of the student, our presentations might introduce them to a future career opportunity that they didn’t know existed. Maybe a student will become a future PICPA member!

What does being a member of CPA Voice mean to you?

I really enjoy presenting to the younger students. I have a 5-year-old, and I’ve been introducing these ideas to her too. The younger students are so creative and energetic. I also really enjoy presenting to Philadelphia high school students and giving back to that community, as I’m a product of the Philadelphia School District and my mother taught in a Philadelphia elementary school for 39 years.

If you’re interested in presenting financial literacy programs, please contact me at mbatipps@picpa.org.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.