NSBCPA Meet the Members #7: Rob Young, CPA

When did you know you wanted to become an accountant?

I was introduced to accounting my senior year in high school and I decided to become an accountant my first year of college. They asked me to declare a major and as I looked down the list (in alphabetical order) accountant was at the top so I chose it.

When did you know you wanted to become a CPA?

I first realized what a CPA was and knew that I wanted to become one after being introduced to NABA as a student.

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BLACK CPA #11 - Richard H. Austin, CPA

Richard H. Austin, CPA licensed in 1941 was the first African American CPA in Michigan. He was a senior partner in the firm of Austin, Washington & Davenport which was later sold to George G. Johnson when Austin became Michigan Secretary of State in 1970. The firm then became known as George Johnson & Company and now operates as GJC CPAs & Advisors. GJC CPAs & Advisors is the first and oldest African American owned CPA firm in the State of Michigan

Richard H. Austin was the first African American to hold a statewide elected position in Michigan. Austin served as the Michigan Secretary of State from 1971 to 1995. His administration as Michigan Secretary of State has been highly acclaimed for operational innovation and efficiency, encouragement of greater citizen involvement in the political process and sincere devotion to highway safety and the welfare of Michigan’s citizens. 

 

NSBCPA Hires President and CEO

The National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants, Inc. (NSBCPA) recently announced today the selection of Darryl R. Matthews, Sr. as its President & CEO. NSBCPA is currently the only organization completely focused on increasing the number of Black CPAs by providing CPA Exam candidates with the resources and coaching to pass the exam, ensuring they become CPAs.

Vista Equity Partners Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Robert F. Smith, recently pledged $1 million to support the NSBCPA’s first-of-its-kind Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam Bootcamp Program for Black Accounting Students.  The program is also supported by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation.

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PRESS RELEASE - NSBCPA BOOT CAMP TO INCREASE BLACK CPAS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – The National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants, Inc. (NSBCPA) is launching a first of its kind Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam Bootcamp Program for Black Accounting Students.

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BLACK CPA #10 - CHARLES A. BECKETT, CPA

Charles A. Beckett, CPA licensed in 1941 was one of the first African American certified public accountants in Illinois. He was also a community activist who helped found Paul G. Stewart Housing Development; which was named after his friend Paul G. Stewart, CPA.

After receiving his CPA he often stated that it was hell, because there really was no place for black accountants to practice; therefore, he started his own firm, Charles A. Beckett & Co. One of his major clients was Johnson Publishing.

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NSBCPA Meet the Members #6: Antonio D. Luke, Sr

When did you know you wanted to become an accountant?

I never wanted to become an accountant. In a sense, the profession chose me. I started out as a general business major, but I didn't feel adequately challenged by the educational curriculum. The demand for more out of my education led me to inquire about the most challenging major in the university's business program; and, voila, an accountant was born!

When did you know you wanted to become a CPA?

I knew I wanted to become a CPA when I became a CPA. Again, the profession chose me. When I graduated (with a B.S in accounting), a friend encouraged me to study for the exam. After taking and passing my first exam, all that I knew at that point was that  I wanted to pass the exam. The want to become a CPA didn't reach my internal radar until I passed all four exams.

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BLACK CPA #9 - THEODORE A. JONES, CPA

Theodore A. Jones was the 9th Black CPA licensed in 1940 and hailed from the State of Illinois by way of Colorado. He attended the University of Illinois, where he studied accounting and economics. His professors ignored him; therefore, he pretended to be asleep one day, and the professor called on him. Theodore answered the question correctly and, from that day forward, was recognized by his professors. Though people stated he could not succeed because of his color, he proved them wrong and noted as a man ahead of his time.

 He served as executive vice president of Supreme Life Insurance Company and the president of the National Insurance Association, representing 48 black-owned and operated insurance companies.

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NSBCPA Meet the Members #5: Greta Brown

When did you know you wanted to become an accountant?

I was aware of accounting during my high school days when my little sister took an accounting class but that was the extent of my understanding. I would not see accounting again until my sophomore year at Rice when I had to take an accounting class as part of my business minor (and even then I chalked it up as a necessary evil in the pursuit of my education. It was hard and I think I passed with a B-).

I kinda fell into the accounting profession after my internship with my current employer (during my internship I actually worked in the corporate budgeting department). There was a position in our financial reporting department that became available and I was interested because it was finance-related (or so I thought). And as an economics major, at the time I thought it would be a good-fit. That was in 2013 and I've been there ever since! 

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NSBCPA Meet the Members #4: Jason Jones

When did you know you wanted to become an accountant?

I was recruited for a position at a CPA firm in 1995 while I was still an accounting student; it was something I actually liked, so I kept accounting as a career going forward.

When did you know you wanted to become a CPA?

I knew what a CPA was when I took my first accounting course in 1994, I knew I wanted to be a licensed accountant in 2010.

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NSBCPA Meet the Members #3: Joyce Miller

When did you know you wanted to become an accountant?

I first learned about accounting during my first year in college. I had not heard of accounting or accountants before that time. I was in the business school at Temple University and one of the first required courses was accounting. I immediately liked it because to me it was similar to solving a puzzle.

When did you know you wanted to become a CPA?

During my time at Temple, I started to hear about "CPAs" so I actually thought that was what you were supposed to get after taking 4 years of accounting in school.  Since I liked my first accounting course, I decided to major in accounting.  All of the talk from professors was about CPAs and working for the Big Eight.

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NSBCPA Meet the Members #2: Stephanie Simmons Johnson

When did you know you wanted to become an accountant?

I knew I wanted to be an accountant in high school after taking the bookkeeping class. I knew what an accountant was because my parents went to an African American CPA in a small town in Louisiana to get their taxes done. I always admired him and his office ever since I was a little girl. My aunt also married an accountant in 1977 and his twin brother was a CPA at Arthur Anderson in the 1990's.

When did you know you wanted to become a CPA?

I knew in college that was wanted to be a CPA because that was the highest point for an accountant, therefore it was a natural progression.

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BLACK CPA #8 - ALFRED W. TUCKER, CPA

In 1938, Alfred W. Tucker was the 8th #BlackCPA and the 2nd to be licensed in the State of New York. Mr. Tucker was a graduate of Columbia University and a charter member of the Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He founded the firm Lucas (Major Wilmer Lucas, CPA) and Tucker which was the first Black Certified Public Accountant firm in the State of New York.

In addition to conducting a business, he held positions of Accountant and Field Auditor at the New York State Transit Commission.

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NSBCPA Meet the Members #1: Al-Nesha Jones-Holiday

When did you know you wanted to become an accountant?

Accounting 101 was one of the required core courses when I switched my major from Computer Science to Business Management in my freshman year. Accounting balanced; there was always a right answer. I liked the certainty of it. Of course, it doesn't always work out like that in real life, but it was enough in textbook practice to get me hooked!

When did you know you wanted to become a CPA?

I knew I'd become a CPA in junior year when I had 11 job offers to work at different accounting firms. An accounting professor of mine told me, you'll rarely find an unemployed CPA. They're always in demand. She was right!

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BLACK CPA #7 - LOUIS RAWLINGS, CPA

Louis Rawlings, CPA, the 7th Black CPA hailed from Illinois making him the 3rd Black CPA licensed in the state in 1937.

Little has been printed about Mr. Rawlings, but knowing that he is one of the first 100 Black CPAs speaks volumes.

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BLACK CPA #6 - PAUL G. STEWART, CPA

In 1937, Paul G. Stewart was the 2nd licensed Black CPA in the State of Illinois, which makes him the 6th Black CPA.

Mr. Stewart was the organizer of Chicago’s Peoples Consumer Co-Operative in 1937. Paul G. Stewart died shortly after becoming a CPA. The Paul G. Stewart Twin Towers a 550-apartment housing complex for senior citizens was built and named in his honor.

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BLACK CPA #5 - WILMER F. LUCAS, CPA

No one could have imagined that in 1922 the fifth Black Certified Public Accountant would hail from NYU, one of the two top business schools, but as many of the first Black CPAs General Wilmer F. Lucas, CPA was above average!

In 1929, Mr. Lucas became the first African American Certified Public Accountant in New York. The State of New York required experience of working under a CPA. Mr. Lucas gained experience by working for Daniel Levy & Company, a Jewish firm. In 1938, Wilmer F. Lucas, CPA, and Alfred Tucker, CPA, formed Lucas, Tucker & Co. Their accounting firm provided the required experience for more than 25 percent of all the Black CPAs who have obtained their licenses in New York.

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BLACK CPA #4 - JESSE B. BLAYTON, SR, CPA

Jesse B. Blayton, Sr, CPA graduated from Langston University and served in the US Army in World War I. Mr. Blayton passed the Georgia accounting examination in 1928, becoming the state's first black Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and only the fourth African American nationwide to hold the certification. 

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BLACK CPA #3 - CHAUNCEY LEWIS CHRISTIAN, CPA

Imagine sitting in a room of 49 white men and you are a black man that is trying to fulfill your dream to become a Certified Public Accountant.

Chauncey Lewis Christian, CPA

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BLACK CPA #2 - ARTHUR J. WILSON, CPA

Who is this gentleman? I am glad you asked.

This is a photo of Arthur J. Wilson. Mr. Wilson was the 2nd Black Certified Public Accountant. He was licensed in 1923 in the State of Illinois before the state required an apprenticeship to become a CPA. Arthur J. Wilson, CPA provided experience to others and by 1945 half of the Black CPAs in the country worked in Chicago.

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BLACK CPA #1 - JOHN W. CROMWELL JR, CPA

John W. Cromwell Jr., the first Black Certified Public Accountant, graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and earned a master’s degree but chose to teach high school math because of limited practice opportunities.

Early on it was difficult to get a CPA license due to the inability to get the experience requirement. Then New Hampshire passed a law that allowed people to obtain a CPA license without the experience requirement. With that change he passed the CPA exam and was initially licensed in 1921 in New Hampshire.

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