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  • October 16, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    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! 

    When did you know you wanted to become a CPA?

    I had first heard about the CPA through my old college roommate but, as an econ major, I wasn't sure if that was the right track for me when I graduated in 2012. It seemed like a lot of work that I wasn't in the mindset to commit to nor was I sure of my career goals at that time.

    I became interested in pursuing my CPA after my promotion to financial reporting supervisor in 2015. But I really wasn't serious about it until 2017 after my old college roommate, who is also Black, passed hers (on her first attempt!) that I felt like it was truly an attainable goal for me. At that point, I also knew that if I wanted to have any long-term tenure with my current employer that I should get my CPA.

    Do you have any family members who are also CPAs?

    No family members that I am aware of. Most of my immediate family are healthcare workers. (However most of the Black CPAs I know have been people I have met through my job).

    Where did you sit for the CPA exam?

    Houston, Texas

    How many times did you take each part? FAR - ; REG - ; AUD - ; BEC?

    1

    In your own words, what are the advantages of being a Black CPA?

    Exclusivity. Respect. Trust. Bragging rights.

    More negotiating and bargaining power for jobs, positions, and salaries.

    And of course money!!!! 

    (And now with the renewed interest in Black economics, people are interested in supporting Black businesses/endeavors so should I ever decide I wanted to open my own firm, I would have support from my community).

    What do you do now professionally?

    I am a financial reporting manager and have been in this position since 2018.  Using salary.com definition - I am responsible for managing the preparation and distribution of periodic financial statements and disclosures for external use. Ensures that reports, filings, and documentation complies with company's regulations, professional standards, and SEC and (US) GAAP reporting guidelines.

    Under my directive, I have filed 8-Ks, Proxy statements, Forms 10-Q/Ks, Form 11-Ks, Earnings (Press) Releases, and assisted with preparation of debt offering materials. I work extensively with our external auditors and assist with the annual audits and quarterly review activities with external auditors. I also create and maintain a financial calendar to inform parties of necessary deadline adherence for the following processes: financial close, BOD package, press release, 10-Q/K, and other SEC items.

    Additionally, our reporting department has oversight of the internal reporting functions to executive management via a monthly CODM package where I manage the preparation of consolidated/entity-wide financials, provide variance analytics against budgets and actuals, and other analysis.

    Financial reporting has a high degree of involvement with other accounting departments as we rely on their functions in the preparation of our financial statements and disclosures. So it really requires a user to be a "jack-of-all-trades" (and a master of none - HA!) to understand the "what" behind the "why". 

    What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in accounting?

    Not every accountant does things with journal entries, reconciliations, or voluminous data. So don't let that deter you. While I was a staff, I spent a lot of time talking to others from different accounting departments to better understand their processes and I realized then if a position became available in those operational/transactional areas, it would not be something I would be interested in pursuing.

    Not everyone starts in the Big 4 (or any auditing firm for that matter) - I did not!

    As everyone says most accountants can do finance, but the reverse of that isn't true :)

    Find someone whom you trust and built a good working relationship and learn from them. Listen to their stories, ask questions, and seek advice. I am not sure if I would call it a mentorship per se, but just be honest about your intentions.

    I graduated college in 2012 with a 2.95 GPA from a prestigious university. Please don't be ashamed or think you're a failure. That is no way a predictor of your future success. Additionally, my first employee eval as a full-time staff said I needed work. But I didn't let it stop me or become discouraged by it. Fast forward to 2020, I am a manager making over six-figures and who also passed their CPA on their first attempt (within a four month timeframe!!!). I have a very bright future ahead of me.



  • October 09, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Do you have any family members who are also CPAs?

    No

    Where did you sit for the CPA exam?

    Ohio

    How many times did you take each part? FAR - ; REG - ; AUD - ; BEC?

    4

    In your own words, what are the advantages of being a Black CPA?

    Being part of a unique minority group.

    What do you do now professionally?

    Audit manager (being groomed for partner) at a CPA firm.

    What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in accounting?

    Accounting is the language of business, not math. Approach accounting like you would a foreign language. If you treat it like math, you will be seriously disappointed. If you would like a career that uses math, consider becoming an actuary.



  • September 25, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Do you have any family members who are also CPAs?


    No

    Where did you sit for the CPA exam?


    Philadelphia - at the old Convention Center that is now long gone.

    How many times did you take each part? FAR - ; REG - ; AUD - ; BEC?


    2

    In your own words, what are the advantages of being a Black CPA?


    It represents that you have achieved the highest level of professionalism in the Accounting Industry.

    What do you do now professionally?


    I own J. Miller & Associates, LLC, a public accounting firm that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations.

    What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in accounting?


    You need to learn not only the numbers, but how to use those numbers to tell a story and advance the goals of people and organizations.  Developing good communication skills are key.



  • September 18, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Do you have any family members who are also CPAs?


    I have an uncle-in-law who is a CPA.

    Where did you sit for the CPA exam?


    I sat for the exam in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    How many times did you take each part? FAR - ; REG - ; AUD - ; BEC?


    6

    In your own words, what are the advantages of being a Black CPA?


    One of my main reasons for becoming a CPA was to be an example for young African Americans to show that there is nothing impossible for us to accomplish.

    What do you do now professionally?


    I own my own management consulting firm, Simmons-Johnson Consulting, LLC.

    What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in accounting?

    My suggestion is to stay focused and never give up.



  • September 16, 2020 5:03 PM | Anonymous

    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.

    The National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants honors the forefathers that paved the way for us to be CPAs and firm owners.

    Join us in our mission to increase the number of Black CPAs. 

    #BlackCPAs #NSBCPA #AICPA #NASBA #Entrepreneurship #CertifiedPublic Accountant # BlackHistory #CPA


  • September 11, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    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!

    Do you have any family members who are also CPAs?


    No

    Where did you sit for the CPA exam?


    I wish I could remember!

    How many times did you take each part? FAR - ; REG - ; AUD - ; BEC?


    2-1-1-1

    In your own words, what are the advantages of being a Black CPA?


    Being a CPA speaks volumes. It conveys that you were disciplined enough to attend college, and then study and pass the CPA exam. People know that you are required to take continuing education courses to stay on top of your craft. Being a Black CPA is the icing on the cake. It levels the playing field, and speaks volumes before I ever even enter a room!

    What do you do now professionally?


    I own an accounting & tax firm in NJ where I cater to individuals, small business and non-profits. 

    What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in accounting?

    There are so many avenues when you pursue a career in accounting, even if you leave the accounting field! So many accountants are CEOs, because accountants understand how to assess the financial health of a business. It's one of the few areas where you don't have to stay in the field, but your experience will continue to carry weight.



  • September 02, 2020 8:14 AM | Anonymous

    The National Society of Black CPAs is happy to announce it will be doing six sessions focused around Entrepreneurship for both members of NSBCPA and the general public.  These sessions will be particularly helpful for small business owners and those who have their own CPA firm or are interested in starting their own CPA firms.  The guidance and education will give small business owners thoughts on how to understand financial information, tax saving strategies and capital raising ideas for their businesses.  The sessions will be in the form of Zoom webinars and will be eligible for 2 hours of CPE each.  

    To register for the webinars go here.  Questions about the Entrepreneurship Track please contact cpechair@nsbcpa.org.

    The 6 part Entrepreneurship Track includes the following sessions: 


  • August 19, 2020 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    The National Society of Black CPAs honors the individuals that became CPAs in spite of discrimination and other barriers.

    Become a member and assist us in increasing the number of Black CPAs.


  • August 11, 2020 4:06 AM | Anonymous

    Do you want a Black CPA Firm to help you with your tax and accounting needs?  Well the National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants, Inc.  will help you find one.  We are aggregating data on as many black owned CPA firms around the country that we can identify and we will be able to provide interested parties with information on firms in their particular are, state, or field of expertise they need.  

    If you are a governmental agency or corporation interested in some diversity spend initiatives and you would like to identify some black owned CPA firms to put a request for proposal in, we will help you find those entities.  

    Black CPAs are a rarity and black owned CPA firms are even more rare, as the Go To Resource for Black CPAs we want to make sure we provide the general public with the information they need to procure our services and for our members with CPA firms to be successful by bringing them business.  

    If you are looking for a Black CPA firm to assist you with some services you can submit a request here

    We are committed to increasing the number of Black CPAs in the profession and to providing current CPAs with the tools and resources they need to be successful.  

    If you are a Black owned CPA firm and would like to be included in our directory please sign up here.  Your firm must be majority Black owned by CPAs and at least one owner or partner must be a member of NSBCPA.  If you are not yet a member please join now.  

  • August 07, 2020 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    Calling all CPAs, the National Society of Black CPAs is looking for mentors for our CPA Candidate Members to provide advice, assist with questions they may have about the profession or CPA exam, etc.  

    If you are available to be a mentor please sign up by clicking here.  Any questions about the program please reach out to Felicia Farrar at vicechair@nsbcpa.org



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