Top 24 Under 24: Richard Wong, The Accountant 0
Accounting student Richard Wong is president of the University of B.C. tax clinic, a free service that helps more than 1,700 students annually. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
For many first-year students, adjusting to campus life can be bewildering — and during tax season, even the brightest of finance students can get frustrated.
University of B.C. accounting student Richard Wong acknowledges his enthusiasm for taxation is, admittedly, “kind of a little weird.”
“I really enjoy taxes,” said the president of the university’s tax clinic, which provides free help to more than 1,700 students annually. “I like decoding something a lot of people find confusing.”
The 20-year-old got involved in the club as a volunteer two years ago, and since then he's become its leader, overseeing the recruitment of 150 volunteers from various disciplines on campus.
“Some people don't even know the basic credits they can get back,” he said, adding it's not just about the paperwork.
“It branches outside just the tax return to being more about campus life,” he said. “A lot of volunteers talk to students about where they went in their first year to seek help for certain issues.”
Wong, who is also the president of the university's accounting club, was chosen to be a “medal bearer” for the Rick Hansen Relay on its 25th anniversary and hopes to become a Chartered Professional Accountant.
“Something I really enjoy is the numbers side and helping out clients,” he said. “Accounting combines both. It gets a bad rep a lot, 'bean-counters' and so forth, but it's actually such a customer service-oriented field.
“It's not just about crunching the numbers, but giving back to community.”