Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 7:48 am | Fair 45º


For McGowan Guntermann, Involvement in Partners in Education All Adds Up

Accounting firm's employees bring a team approach to tax preparation as well as philanthropic choices

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series on Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteers. This article is sponsored by McGowan Guntermann, a Partners in Education President’s Council member.]

Santa Barbara Partners in Education’s best asset, other than its unique relationship with the K-12 public-school system, is its vast network of impressive business partners who use their power for good. McGowan Guntermann is no exception among local influential business leaders who have gotten involved in Partners in Education.

      |  Partners in Education President’s Council Series |  Complete Series Index  |

A nonprofit organization run under the administration of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, Partners in Education collects and tracks school needs (someone to help third-graders with reading, for example), and then connects those needs with volunteers who can help.

Partners in Education encourages its volunteers to address school needs according to their personal passions and expertise. For example, if you happen to be really good at soccer and you also like children, you could be a great fit for a lunchtime volunteer activity at an elementary school. Someone else might be excellent at both public speaking and describing his or her career in a language junior high school students can grasp. In that case, Career Day all the way!

McGowan Guntermann, in its second year on the Partners in Education President’s Council, has followed the lead of local volunteers and has offered support to Partners in Education by doing what it does best: accounting.

Founded in 1945, McGowan Guntermann is one of the longest-running CPA firms on the Central Coast. It prides itself on delivering quality-driven service and exceeding client expectations. You won’t be surprised then by the enormous sense of relief Partners in Education staff feel each year knowing that a McGowan Guntermann CPA will be guiding them through tax season. The firm has been working with the organization for more than 10 years consulting on Form 990 tax preparation.

Partners in Education executive director Michelle Magnusson voiced her appreciation.

“I am personally very grateful to have McGowan Guntermann staff, especially Steve Smith, support our organization with 990 tax preparation each year,” she said.

“On top of that, Chris Reed invited a group of interested and engaged staff to learn more about the specific ways to fulfill the requests of local teachers. I wish I could have filmed the meeting to show other companies how fun it can be to involve your staff in selecting a corporation’s philanthropic agenda.”

Chris Reed, who became a McGown Guntermann partner in 1999, says the opportunity was a natural extension of the firm’s work.

“We are more than a CPA firm that prepares income tax returns,” he said. “We are a team dedicated to helping our clients, many of which are nonprofits that we offer discounted rates, in many different ways.”

In addition to offering discounted rates, the firm has donated more than $125,000 to local charities over the last few years, including $2,500 to Partners in Education as a member of the President’s Council. Employees help choose the charities, a conscious decision on behalf of the partners to help the team feel more invested in local efforts.

“Community is important and can only continue to develop and grow with everyone’s help, whether it’s through volunteering your time or donating funds and resources,” Reed said.

“But donations alone aren’t enough, and that’s why what Partners in Education is doing through its Volunteer Program is so important,” he continued. “Time and hands-on effort are needed for real growth. The Volunteer Program creates ways for people to help students during the school day, where the learning environment is and where there’s a great opportunity to enhance it.”

Reed is also a firm believer in the power of internships, and he applauds the efforts of the Partners in Education Internship Program.

While attending UC Santa Barbara, an internship with a local accounting firm gave Reed the unique access into the industry he needed and is the reason he is where he is today.

“It’s one thing to read about accounting theory, but it’s another to apply what is learned in the classroom to real situations,” he said.

Reed believes it’s important for businesses to recognize the role they have in shaping young people’s futures, whether it’s through hiring interns or volunteering in their classrooms. He sees any job as an avenue to give back to the community.

“If you have fun at work you will be successful in so many ways,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed working at McGowan Guntermann since the day I started in December 1989. Working in the public accounting realm or in any field can be really rewarding, once you find a way to help others become more successful themselves through your work.

“Simply put, it feels good to help others.”

                                                                  •        •        •

Santa Barbara Partners in Education is a nonprofit 501(c)3 administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Partners programs include a Volunteer Recruitment program serving K-12 public schools and nonprofit organizations; a Paid Job Readiness Training & Internship program for deserving high school students; and Computers for Families, a program working to close the digital divide.

» Click here to volunteer with Partners in Education, or call 805.964.4710 x4401.

» Connect with Partners in Education on Facebook. Follow Partners in Education on Twitter: @sbpartnersined.

» For other inquiries, contact internship program and communications coordinator Chelsea Duffy at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

      |  Partners in Education President’s Council Series |  Complete Series Index  |

— Chelsea Duffy is a program coordinator for Santa Barbara Partners in Education.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.