Innovations That Inspire

Consultorio Contable Javeriano

Recognition Year(s): 2023
School: School of Economic and Business Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana–Bogot√°
Location: Colombia

Through a proactive approach, this consulting initiative helps small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals in vulnerable communities take advantage of available resources to develop personalized and sustainable accounting and financial capabilities.

Andrés Rosas Wulfers, Dean, School of Economic and Business Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana - Bogotá

Call to Action

The initiative started as a way for undergraduate accounting students from Universidad Javeriana to have an experiential learning component in their curriculum. The objective is for students to help those in vulnerable groups—such as victims of internal armed conflict, single mothers who are head of household, single adolescent mothers, demobilized paramilitary groups, and owners of small and mid-sized enterprises—by providing sustainable solutions related to the students’ areas of study. This practice allows students to understand problems in context, challenges them to think of relevant contributions, and strengthens their social responsibility.

Identifying needs in these communities required a new approach. In 2017, Consultorio Contable began to offer personalized training programs in accounting and finance. To help them even more, the program built a virtual platform, SOFI, that allows SMEs to organize and control all their financial and accounting activities.

In the same year, Consultorio Contable began to provide technical services to Colombia’s food bank. Since then, faculty members that volunteer at the Consultorio Contable have taken the initiative to approach new communities and SMEs to create new personalized services according to their needs. All of these services are provided pro bono.

Innovation Details

Our innovative processes merge the service learning model and the Ignatian pedagogical paradigm of community service into a single project. The paradigm considers three aspects: (1) Take the initiative to go into the community and live as community members do, (2) act consequently, and (3) evaluate the implemented solutions and process. This combined use of models fosters:

  • Analysis of the problems, taking into account their context.
  • The application of methodologies, accompaniments, and actions that generate value undertakings.
  • Strengthening of family business owners and improvement in their quality of life.
  • Development of long-term projects, ensuring that people manage their finances at all levels.
  • Application of technological tools appropriate to each place of intervention.

All these steps include interdisciplinary teams of accountants, lawyers, sociologists, literary studies experts, and performing arts experts who contribute to the holistic view that leads to innovative solutions.

Innovation Impact

Some of our impacts are summarized as follows:

  • Euskadi Project. Since 2017, we’ve offered training programs in basic accounting, finances, entrepreneurship, blockchain, and data analytics to SMEs and vulnerable groups. We’ve had 43,728 attendees, with 75 percent of them women.  
  • Rumbo-e program. We offer training processes for Javeriana students with the support of Javeriana’s Entrepreneurship Center. We have worked with 12 new entrepreneurship projects since 2021.
  • Nascent enterprises program. This program includes training in basic accounting, finances, entrepreneurship, blockchain, and data analytics and is delivered along with the Javeriana University Alumni Office. We have worked with 28 entrepreneurship projects since 2021.
  • SOFI software. We worked with Javeriana’s engineering faculty to create our virtual platform, which has been available since 2017. We have 68 SMEs and individuals as permanent users of the platform.
  • Workshop on management accounting. This is a nationwide training program for high school students that has been available since 2018. The program has benefited 192 students so far.
  • Construyendo un Sueño Juntos Project (Building a Dream Together Project). This training program has been offered since 2017 in conjunction with Javeriana’s law faculty. We have positively impacted 126 victims of Colombia’s armed conflict through this project.

Because of these initiatives, we have been accredited by our National Directorate of Customs and Taxes as an accounting and tax support center.

Reference Links