Diversity and Inclusion in the CPA Profession Feed

Diverse CPAs

More than 40 years ago, the AICPA recognized the need to support people of color within the CPA profession. The AICPA launched the Minority Initiatives Committee and began a minority accounting scholarship program. Among the many accomplishments during this time are: scholarships for minority accounting students, fellowships for minority doctoral students and the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The One Personality Trait All CPAs Share

Patrick Lee medalsAs Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month comes to a close, we share the story of one CPA, his remarkable achievements and the traits that were instilled in him growing up in a Chinese-American household. 

In my five years working closely with CPAs of diverse backgrounds, I am increasingly seeing one very consistent trait all CPAs seem to share, no matter what their background: drive. I know CPAs who have faced frustrating, even heartbreaking obstacles in pursuit of their credential. Even through the obstacles those same CPAs also strive for excellence in every aspect of their lives. 

That certainly seems to be the case with Patrick B. Lee, CPA. It’s not something he can shut off. Whether he’s teaching or running a marathon, he always seems to be devising new strategies to do things better and faster.

As someone whose instinct tells him to analyze and problem-solve, Lee, an assistant professor of accounting at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, finds that drive creeping into all areas of his life.

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7 Ways to Improve Workforce Diversity

Shutterstock_241967758Do leaders of your organization put an emphasis on recruiting and retaining diverse talent? If the answer to that question is yes, then you are off to a good start. However, if your employer does not look to hire both entry-level staff and c-suite leaders of diverse backgrounds (including gender, age, ethnicity etc.), you may want to reconsider your strategy. Employing diverse individuals throughout the ranks of your organization is important. Diverse leaders in the c-suite provide unique perspectives and serve as role models for younger diverse staff. These leaders encourage a highly engaged workforce capable of effectively doing business in diverse and multicultural markets. Additionally, younger, less experienced staff members of diverse backgrounds are also crucial to an organization’s success. These individuals have opportunities to grow with your organization and fill the talent pipeline.   

Last spring, the AICPA answered the call for more workforce diversity education by conducting its first webcast series entitled “Unconscious Bias” which attracted over 3000 attendees. The conversations continued with the “Workplace Diversity” webcast series this past fall and the “Attracting and Recruiting Diverse Talent”, “Retaining and Advancing Diverse Talent”, and “How to Effectively Coach, Mentor, and Sponsor Diverse Talent” workshops this spring. Archives of these webcasts can be found here. Outlined below are seven workforce diversity best practices.

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Finding Success by Prioritizing Diversity & Inclusion

RichardcaturanoThe basic reason for diversity and inclusion (D&I) is obvious: supporting people from various diverse backgrounds is the right thing to do. The business drivers are also becoming more widely recognized—D&I fuels innovation, increases business performance, attracts top talent and more. Specifically within accounting, when we recruit, retain and advance diverse individuals, our profession is more reflective of the clients and the communities we serve.

Despite these excellent reasons, there’s still a hesitation within the accounting profession to fully embrace D&I—perhaps due to a perceived lack of time, resources or understanding of where to begin or how to move forward. So how can D&I make its way to the top of an accounting firm’s agenda?

Leadership can send a powerful message, by elevating D&I to a strategic priority and going beyond just adopting it as a philosophy. Leaders who are bringing success to their organizations by prioritizing D&I also accept that it must be ever-evolving. They recognize that it is a business imperative that not only keeps them competitive but also resonates with their personal values.

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Female Perspectives: 3 AICPA Chairs’ Success in the Profession

Women's history monthMarch is Women’s History Month, a chance for the world to acknowledge the contributions of women.  

The AICPA is on a mission to shine light on successful, female CPAs who have cracked the proverbial glass ceiling. We interviewed three women who have recently shared their talents with the AICPA by taking on the role of board chair.

Meet the first female chair to be elected in 1998, Olivia Kirtley, fourth female chair, Tommye Barie elected in 2014, and present chair Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, who made history as the first African American woman to be elected. These pioneers discuss their climb to the top and what it took for them to reach their position.

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Passing the CPA Exam: One CPA’s Journey

As many of you know, the journey to becoming a CPA is like no other—interesting, challenging, stressful, but nonetheless so rewarding in the end. Such was the journey of Shakor Jukes, CPA. An AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop (ASLW) alumnus and currently an Audit Associate at RSM US LLP, Shakor credits his success to family, faculty, ASLW and his pure determination to succeed.

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