Over the last few years, Americans throughout the nation have become more aware of the needs of others, including minority communities.

This shift in sensibilities has been the driving force behind a renewed commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Organizations such as the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc., and the National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants, Inc., have been leading the charge in the finance industry.

Specifically, the NSBCPA has announced that they are launching a boot camp program that is designed to help prospective black CPAs obtain licensure.

Below, we’ll discuss why such a program is necessary and what benefits it offers to black CPAs. Read on to learn more about this exciting program!

What Is the NSBCPA?

The NSBCPA was founded in June of 2020. It is an Illinois-based non-profit organization. The mission of this organization is to increase the total number of black CPAs through concerted efforts.

The organization especially wants to increase access to training resources and relevant knowledge. Members of the NSBCPA also provide advocacy services for black CPAs in order to “promote cultural competence, diversity, and inclusion.”

While the NSBCPA is behind the flagship boot camp program, they are not the only organization that is serving black CPAs and financial professionals.

NABA, Inc., is another nonprofit membership association. NABA was founded in 1969 in New York City by nine African American men. At the time, there were a mere 136 black CPAs throughout the United States.

The NABA membership includes over 200,000 black financial and accounting professionals. They are dedicated to providing resources, education, and networking opportunities.

Whereas NSBCPA primarily focuses on providing resources for black certified public accountants, NABA consists of a broader range of financial professionals.

How Significant Is the Gap?

When NABA was created in 1969, a mere 1% of CPAs in the United States were black. Out of 100,000 certified public accountants, only 136 were black CPAs. Over the last five decades, significant strides have been made in the financial industry. However, there is still much work to be done.

Currently, African Americans account for approximately 13.6% of the U.S. population. But this community only makes up 10.8% of employed Americans. Of those individuals, less than 10% are employed in accounting or auditing roles. Fewer than 7% hold positions as financial managers or analysts.

Despite the efforts of organizations like NABA, the CPA profession still falls short in terms of diversity. This data is a major reason why the NSBCPA decided to create and launch its boot camp for black CPAs. They hope to bridge the gap by providing talented black financial professionals with the resources they need to become CPAs.

How Does the NSBCPA Boot Camp Help Prospective Black CPAs?

The diversity issue is incredibly complex and cannot be resolved with a single tactic. With that in mind, the NSBCPA boot camp takes a multifaceted approach to solving the diversity problem in the CPA industry. They aim to assist candidates through every part of the licensure process and even help with job placement post-licensure.

Some highlights of the program include:

CPA Exam Review

The NSBCPA created their very own CPA exam review. This comprehensive review includes proven study methods. They provide professors from within the community that are committed to helping black CPAs become licensed.

Placement Assessment and Assistance

The NSBCPA virtual program also includes a placement assessment. This assessment is designed to help black CPAs find jobs after obtaining licensure. The NSBCPA provides this resource in order to guide black CPAs as they begin their new careers in the financial industry.

Mentoring

Every student that enrolls in the NSBCPA boot camp program will be paired with a CPA mentor. This mentor will be an invaluable resource to the student as they navigate the program and take steps towards becoming a certified public accountant.

Each mentor is a member of the NSBCPA and a licensed black CPA themselves. They are able to provide unique guidance and insights into the career field.

Fee Support

As part of their efforts to remove all barriers for prospective black CPAs, the NSBCPA also offers fee and application support.

When accepted into the boot camp program, applicants will be eligible for partial or complete test fee support. This allows them to sit for the CPA exam without having to worry about financial limitations.

The NSBCPA can also cover the entire application fee that is required after passing the exam.

Accountability and Review Sessions

Becoming a CPA is incredibly rewarding, but it also requires applicants to participate in rigorous study sessions. In order to help candidates stay on track, the NSBCPA boot camp program also includes weekly accountability study sessions.

The NSBCPA is taking meaningful steps to pave the way for future black CPAs with their boot camp program. Their efforts have been bolstered by the support of other organizations, such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The future is bright for black CPAs and other financial professionals, thanks largely to organizations like NSBCPA and NABA.

Learn more about the program here.

Additional Resources

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in Accounting and Corporate Finance

Diversity Begets Diversity: Lacking It Distances Talent

The Black C-Suite: Challenges and Opportunities

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