Assessment on the Diversity in Accounting

Assessment on the Diversity in Accounting

 

One of the pertinent issues in Accounting today is the issue of diversity. Diversity is not only a business issue, but a social issue. Undeniably, business has become more global than ever before. Is it fair to say that that the workforce should reflect this trend? If so, how can we assess the diversity in the Accounting profession today? Specifically, how can Accounting firms assess their hiring efforts of minorities? Analyzing this situation, it is clear that Accounting has come far in diversity inclusion; however, hiring efforts must increase and more needs to be done to specifically interest minorities into accounting

 

In general, Accounting has considerably gained ground on the medical and legal communities in minority recruitment. It wasn’t too long ago that less than one percent of CPA profession was African American, Latino, or Asian.  Many statistics show that numbers have significantly improved. For example, the National Association of Black Accountants state that more than 200,000 African Americans are in the profession, with more than 5000 of them being CPA’s.  However, some people argue that more work still needs to be done. If critics argue that Accounting should reflect the general population it would fail since numbers are not proportional. The lack of minorities in the accounting profession can be contributed in one of two ways. First, it could be the result of lack of recruiting efforts. Though, the main problem exists as a result of lack of interest from minority students. There are ways in which these two barriers to minority recruitment can be solved.

 

It is not uncommon to observe that minorities have a negative perception of the Accounting field. Minorities are more typically to hold the stereotypical view that Accounting is boring and involves people sitting at a desk crunching numbers all day. This stereotype is fed by the increasing availability of the media. Many TV shows and movies portray the medical and legal professions to be much more exciting than the Accounting profession. Essentially, getting minorities interested when their young is important. Simply, firms could attend urban high schools and inform about the benefits about being a CPA. Specifically when presenting the environment of Accounting, firms should focus on how Accounting really does not fit into the stereotype. In fact, the Accounting profession appeals to the qualities that minorities seek in a career. In a study conducted by the CPA Journal, three qualities that minorities seek in a career were a dynamic workplace, ability to work independently, or creativity stimulation. Firms could explain how Accounting, in fact, involves these traits.

 

Firms could also increase or better their current hiring efforts for minorities. In order for this occur, firms must know the benefits of diversity. Human Resources departments could tap all known websites where resumes of minorities can be found. Also, there are many minority professional organizations that could be utilized. For example, there are the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting and the National Association of Black Accountants. Firms could also better leverage resources that it already uses. Many firms hire young accounting professionals and offer internships through programs such as Inroads and Monster Diversity Inc. PricewaterhouseCoopers even offers an internship program for minority students called the Talent Development Program. This program hires many students from programs such as Inroads and Monster and the internship is designed develop young minority accounting majors to young accounting professionals.

 

Hiring efforts and the level of minorities in the Accounting profession has clearly become improved but more can be done. Firms must not only improve upon their hiring efforts but must do more to attract the interest of behalf of the minority student. Firms must understand the benefits of diversity, especially of today’s increasing trend of globalization. Ultimately, Accounting will develop into a profession that can epitomize how the professional workplace benefits from Diversity.

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