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Less than 1 percent of the CPAs in the United States are black — and that has not changed in 40 years, Shannon Nash, Chair of the National Society of Black CPAs (NSBCPA), pointed out to the NASBA Annual Meeting. “If we do not do something now, then when?” she asked. The new organization seeks to increase the number of black CPAs, then offer them continuing professional education and the ability to advocate for the black community’s issues. Through a virtual bootcamp, NSBCPA wants to reach a larger number of students to help them through the Uniform CPA Examination, plus NSBCPA wants to offer assistance with exam fees.

“We are looking for lots of help – for universities to partner with us for the bootcamp,” Ms. Nash stated. A 9-12-month bootcamp is envisioned including mentorship. Volunteers are welcome. “We think we can reach candidates who have not been reached before.” NSBCPA will hold their first annual conference on June 4-6, 2021 at Howard University.

NASBA has taken the position that it will be a leader in diversity, Alfonzo Alexander, NASBA Chief Ethics & Diversity Officer, stated. “We are setting ourselves up to be a resource and preparing content for the Boards on being more diverse.” He said NASBA will continue to work with the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), the Ph.D. Program, the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) and NSBCPA.

Alison Houck (DE), Chair of NASBA’s Diversity Committee, reported they are researching the number of minorities on each Board of Accountancy. The Committee will be working on developing target numbers.

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