NABA and CAQ announce partnership to develop accountancy talent pool

By Neil Amato

The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) are partnering to help community college students transition from two-year to four-year accounting programs. Support will include connecting students with mentors and tutors.

NABA and the CAQ announced the partnership Thursday. NABA will run the program, according to a press release, with a five-year, $1 million grant from the CAQ, which is affiliated with the AICPA. The program aims to help high school and college students transition to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

In January, the CAQ announced a new program aimed at increasing the diversity of talent entering the accounting profession. This announcement included the creation of Accounting+, an initiative to help students understand the benefits and possibilities of a career in accounting. The partnership will provide NABA with Accounting+ resources.

CAQ research suggests that 89% of black and African-American community college students are open to accounting as a profession, but the number drops dramatically when it comes to choosing an accounting degree compared to other fields of activity.

“While public company audit firms have made progress on diversity, we can and must do more to diversify the talent pool. We need to better understand what is driving the gap between openness to accounting and eventually dropping out of the degree, especially for black community college students, who in our research showed the highest level of interest.We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to do more to engage these students,” CAQ CEO Julie Bell Lindsay said in a press release. “Through this collaboration with NABA, we aim to remove the current barriers to entry that black students face when exploring a career in accounting, and to increase the number of black CPAs within the public company audit profession.”

Guylaine Saint Juste, CEO and President of NABA, said the organization’s work to create educational pathways from high school and community college to HBCUs through articulation agreements was a critical part of creating diversified and strong pools of accounting and financial talent. “Our partnership with CAQ positions us better to engage and provide students with comprehensive support services that ensure their journey to higher education is both manageable and successful on a large scale, Saint Juste said in the release.

— To comment on this article or suggest an idea for another article, contact Neil Amato at [email protected].


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