Conversation with Vahan Karian about the Accounting Aid Society, Part 1

Established in 1972, the Accounting Aid Society is the largest provider of volunteer income tax preparation assistance in Michigan. Successful businessman and consultant Vahan Karian, a resident of Northville, offers his expertise to the noted organization.

Q: Recently we caught up with Mr. Karian and asked him to tell us a bit about the Accounting Aid Society and his involvement with it.

A: Community-minded accountants founded the organization to promote economic health and self-sufficiency among low- and middle-income families. I grew up in a very hard-working but supportive environment, and I know the importance of a solid family to an individual’s development. The Society offers tax counseling as well as preparation services, and its efforts in assisting individuals to regain financial assets have been nationally recognized. I really enjoy helping people get and stay on their feet financially. In these tough times, it becomes even more imperative to lend a hand to struggling people.

Q. The Accounting Aid Society has numerous programs. Can you tell us about some of them?

A: All of the programs are tailored to meet the needs of various members of the community. For example, the Society includes services for homebound seniors or people with disabilities who have difficulty visiting a tax site; free services during the summer for low-income people who missed tax deadlines; year-round education and outreach tax clinics for low-income communities and residents whose native language is not English. That really speaks to me: my family came to this country from Armenia, and I know how difficult it is for immigrants to make the transition to a new country and gain access to resources when learning a new language. Several year-round clinics provide comprehensive financial education and job training, as well as tax assistance. These clinics partner with other financial experts in the community and offer all the services onsite. Having these kinds of centers in many neighborhood locations really increases the accessibility and usefulness of the Society’s resources.

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