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  • November 18, 2020 6:46 PM | Anonymous

    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.

    “One of the reasons we thought it was important to start this organization is because Blacks currently make up less than 1% of CPA’s in America” said Shannon Nash, Chair NSBCPA. “In 2021 we embark upon the 100th Anniversary of the first Black CPA, John Cromwell; if not now then when will we increase the number of Black CPAs.”

    The National Society of Black CPAs is laser focused on increasing the number Black CPAs. “We developed our own CPA Exam Review that encompasses study methods to enhance the skills of Black students by providing professors from our community.” said Felicia Farrar, Vice Chair NSBCPA.

    This one of a kind virtual program also includes:

    1. Placement Assessment

    2. Pre-recorded Black CPA/professor accounting sessions

    3. Weekly CPA exam review sessions led by Black CPAs

    4. Weekly accountability study sessions

    5. CPA mentor assigned to each student

    6. Application and test fee support

    Felicia adds “We believe by teaching the history of Black CPAs and connecting our community with Black CPAs we can change the trajectory of the lack of diversity in the CPA profession.”

    The program has also garnered support from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation. Funding provided by the AICPA Foundation will be used towards the accounting professors working with CPA Exam candidates and to help Exam candidates defray testing costs.

    NSBCPA welcomes partnership with companies struggling to meet diversity goals and organizations that have insights on best diversity practices that can be replicated. NSBCPA’s conference, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first Black CPA is June 3-5, 2021 in Washington, DC. It’s an excellent opportunity for hiring managers to meet with diverse accounting talent. Please visit www.nsbcpa.org.

    Contact Info:
    Name: Keturah Cummings
    Email: Send Email
    Organization: National Society of Black CPAs
    Address: 2828 N Central Ave, Ste 1000 , Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States
    Website: https://www.nsbcpa.org


  • November 16, 2020 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Mr. Beckett used his strong leadership skills and perseverance as a founding member of the Peoples Co-op Credit Union, which opened in the 1930s, and the Peoples Consumer Co-Operative. The credit union helped African Americans get loans and buy homes, and the consumer co-op became the developing organization for the housing.

    Which was a very serious need for people, because black people were pretty much out of the picture of home ownership, and the credit union became a way to get people to buy a house.

    Mr. Beckett's efforts led to the formation of about 20 housing cooperatives in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area.

    The struggle and the number of the Black CPAs has not changed much between the 1940’s and today. NSBCPA has incorporated to address these issues.

  • November 06, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Do you have any family members who are also CPAs?

    No.

    Where did you sit for the CPA exam?

    I sat in Florida and Colorado.

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

    FAR - 2; REG - 2; AUD - 1; BEC - 2

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

    As a  Black CPA, you offer a unique perspective about a variety of issues, obstacles, and opportunities within the profession that can't be seen by your counterparts. That's because there is no substitution for diversity.

    What do you do now professionally?

    I work in Public Accounting. 

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

    Learn that there is value in your mistakes.



  • October 28, 2020 12:17 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Mr. Jones was appointed by President Kennedy to the Federal Committee on Equal Opportunity in Housing. President Johnson appointed him as Midwest Great Lakes Regional Director of the Federal Anti-Poverty Program.

    From 1963 to 1971, he served as a trustee for his alma mater. Mr. Jones also served as director of the Illinois Department of Revenue and as general manager of radio station WGRT in Chicago.

    NSBCPA honors our Black CPA pioneers.  Join us and help us further our mission.


  • 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.



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