Too Few Black CPAs, Says Howard University Professor (Who Offers Solutions)

Listen to Frank Ross, CPA:

Most of the accounting profession recognizes the importance of attracting more Blacks to the field and helping them pass the CPA exam. Few, unfortunately, have a good track record in getting results. In 2002 and 2010, Blacks hired by CPA firms accounted for only 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Even slightly lower, the percentage of Black professional staff members of CPA firms was 2 percent in 2002 and 3 percent in 2010. As expected, this has resulted in the marginal representation of Blacks at the management level of CPA firms, with only 1 percent of Black partners in 2002 and less than 1 percent in 2010, according to the American Institute of CPAs.

Have can this problem be resolved?

Ross, director of the Howard University School of Business Center for Accounting Education and a visiting professor of accounting, teaching auditing and ethics, offers his opinion.

(In 1968, Ross was one of the nine cofounders and the first president of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). In December 2003, he retired from KPMG after providing more than 38 years of service. Prior to retiring, he was the Mid-Atlantic area managing partner for Audit and Risk Advisory Services and managing partner of the Washington, D.C., offices. Ross was also a member of KPMG’s board of directors and chairman of the KPMG Foundation board of directors.)

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