AICPA Creates Commission to Increase Minorities in Industry

The AICPA has created a 15-member National Commission on Diversity to serve as champions of underrepresented minorities with the goal of increasing the number of minorities within the industry.

The commission, made up of representatives from minority professional advocacy groups, CPA firms, state societies and others, are planning to meet quarterly with the goal of helping the profession better reflect the clients and communities that CPAs serve.

AICPA research shows that diversity is improving but has a long way to go. According to the 2011 Trends in Supply of Accounting Graduates and Demand for Public Accounting Recruits, minorities amounted to 25% of the new accounting bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates hired by CPA firms in 2010, up from 17% in 2001. Even though the increase is positive, the survey showed that while minorities make up 20% of professional staff positions, only 6% of firm partners are ethnically diverse. Meanwhile, minority-owned businesses increased 45.5 percent from 2002 to 2007 from 4 million businesses to 5.8 million.

“We’ve formed the commission because to continue to move the needle, a lot of people will need to work together,” said Ken Bouyer, chairman of the commission and Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting at Ernst and Young. “This issue is critical and ultimately our results will impact the profession for years to come.”

The commission’s work involves investigating and understanding the barriers to the long-term success of minorities by analyzing recruitment and retention data within the accounting profession. The group will also look at review and analyze population trends. Learn more.