Black professionals remain underrepresented among US CPAs, according to a 2019 AICPA report. Forensic accountant and New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants President Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello discusses her career journey, obstacles facing people of color and efforts to improve diversity in the profession.
Some organizations claim that diversifying their ranks is complicated by a lack of qualified candidates, but this article notes that this argument is based on four faulty assumptions. Organizations looking to correct the imbalance will need to ask themselves hard questions and address underlying issues.
To remove unconscious bias from compensation decisions, one company used a system that incorporates market data and performance information. Other organizations can follow suit by determining how they want their pay to compare to regional averages and developing a rubric for determining pay ranges.
Many organizations participate in Pride-themed events during June, but it's also crucial to support LGBTQ+ members of the workforce during the other 11 months. Supporting allyship across the organization, partnering with LGBTQ+ charities and identifying opportunities for collaboration are among the strategies that can help.
Age discrimination and ableism are two sometimes overlapping issues that need to be addressed as part of an organization's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Leaders should avoid stereotyping employees based on the generation they are part of and encourage the creation of intergenerational teams to help everyone feel valued.
A diverse talent pool is essential for any advisory firm seeking to thrive in the fast-changing socioeconomic landscape as demographic shifts continue. The role of the advisory profession has changed over time, so part of the effort will involve rethinking how it is presented to the public.
Establishing employee resource groups can foster inclusion and highlight the issues facing certain segments of the workforce. An effective group will be guided by a clear purpose, have the support of an executive sponsor and be led by an informed individual.
Training sessions can be helpful to ensure that organizations meet appropriate standards of diversity and inclusion, but training alone does not go far enough. This article reviews six steps for driving real progress, including facilitating communication, ensuring actions align with messaging and ensuring diversity is treated as an organizational goal.
Many women have experienced increased workloads and diminished career optimism during the pandemic, according to a survey of 5,000 people around the world, writes Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Global. Companies can address this issue by offering certain resources and making a commitment to gender equality, and policymakers also have a role to play, Renjen writes.
Accenture has long had internal goals for representation, but leaders eventually decided to share objectives externally to foster public accountability. Accenture determined that goals should reflect local communities and be compared with external benchmarks, and it also introduced a scorecard to evaluate leaders in part on how well they support diversity.
Leaders whose organizations focus on promoting the advancement of Black CPAs, both on their own and as part of the Black CPA Centennial, offer insights on where the profession stands and where it needs to go. Leaders from the Diverse Organization of Firms, the National Association of Black Accountants and National Society of Black CPAs discuss the need to promote awareness of the profession, provide equal opportunities to new hires and engage with a broader range of schools.
Registration is open for our 2021 Accounting Profession Diversity Symposium taking place virtually on Oct. 13-14. This CPE-eligible event provides a platform for professionals from firms/organizations, universities and state societies to collaborate, explore diversity-related best practices and identify ways to overcome obstacles in filling and retaining a diverse pipeline. More details and registration information can be found here.
We need your input
The AICPA Women's Initiatives Executive Committee is exploring an opportunity to connect women across the country in groups with similar goals, challenges, etc. Please take this quick survey (3 minutes or less) to provide feedback on your interest in these woman-focused Connection Circles.
COVID-19 grant for accounting students
Know future CPAs affected financially by the pandemic? They may qualify to receive up to $2,000 toward their educational expenses through the AICPA's COVID-19 Student Hardship Grant. Make sure they apply by Sept. 15.
Don't let CPA Exam fees stop you from pursuing your dreams
Need help paying for the CPA Exam? The AICPA Foundation CPA Exam scholarship reimburses up to $1,500 for CPA Exam fees and exam preparatory courses. Visit ThisWayToCPA.com for eligibility requirements and to apply by Sept. 15.
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, not-for-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers credentials for a number of specialized areas. With The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it offers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets the global benchmark for quality and recognition in management accounting.
About the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion
The AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion was formed to serve as champions within the accounting profession and to work toward proposing strategies to recruit, retain, and advance minorities in the profession. The National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion has set a new course to address best practices and develop tools to help members and firms succeed in their diversity and inclusion efforts.