The AICPA Not-for-Profit Section's mission is to deliver information, tools, and resources to NFP professionals that facilitate timely compliance with standards and regulations, promote the excellence of our members as leaders in the NFP sector, and serve as a connector for peer-to-peer learning and information sharing.
About the AICPA Not-for Profit Section Staff
Christopher Cole, CPA
Chris Cole joined the AICPA team in September 2006. He oversees all aspects of the AICPA's Not-for-Profit Section and the Not-for-Profit Certificate Program. He is also responsible for writing, maintaining, and updating various AICPA publications for not-for-profit entities, including the Accounting and Auditing Guide, Audit Risk Alert, and Financial Statement Preparation Checklist, as well as continuing education materials and other technical publications. Cole is the staff liaison to the AICPA Not-for-Profit Expert Panel and the AICPA Not-for-Profit Advisory Council and a participating observer for the FASB Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee. He frequently speaks on various not-for-profit topics and serves on the planning committee for the AICPA's annual Not-for-Profit Industry Conference.
Prior to joining the AICPA, Cole was a manager for a local CPA firm in Durham, NC, specializing in not-for-profit, construction industry, and high net worth individual clients. During his tenure in public accounting, he performed a variety of services for clients, including financial statement audits and reviews, business consulting, tax services, and forensic/litigation accounting. Cole received his bachelors degree in education from Appalachian State University. He holds a CPA license in North Carolina and is a member of the AICPA, the North Carolina Association of CPAs, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Outside of work, Cole enjoys participating in various volunteer efforts, including the Hillsborough NC Rotary Club, Orange County Schools, and Hillsborough Youth Athletic Association baseball.
Contact Chris Cole at Chris.Cole@aicpa-cima.com.
Ashley Whitaker, CPA
Ashley Whitaker joined the AICPA team in January 2015. She assists with content development for various not-for-profit continuing education programs, including the Not-for-Profit Certificate Program and monthly webcasts hosted by the AICPA Not-for-Profit Section. Prior to joining the AICPA, Whitaker managed the not-for-profit audit practice in the North Carolina office for a national accounting firm. She has presented on many topics geared towards the not-for-profit sector relating to accounting, financial reporting, internal controls and auditing. She was also on the North Carolina Association of CPA’s Audit and Accounting and Not-for-Profit committees.
Whitaker is a licensed CPA in North Carolina and is a member of the AICPA and the North Carolina Association of CPAs. She received her bachelors degree in accounting from Meredith College and has devoted her career to serving and educating not-for-profits. She is a graduate of Leadership Raleigh 25 and Leadership Triangle. In 2012, she was recognized in the Triangle Business Journal’s “40 under 40” list.
Over the years, Whitaker has volunteered her time with many local organizations, including serving as Treasurer of Communities in Schools of Lee County and as a finance committee member of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina and House of Hope.
Contact Ashley Whitaker at Ashley.Whitaker@aicpa-cima.com.
Lana Richards, CPA
Lana joined the AICPA Not-for-Profit team in March 2017. She assists in the development of content and resources for the Not-for-Profit Section and reviews various not-for-profit continuing education programs, including the Not-for-Profit Certificate Program. Prior to joining the AICPA, Lana owned a consulting practice providing writing, editing, and marketing communications services to accounting firms and related clients across the U.S. Her writing has been featured on AccountingWEB and Accounting Today. Lana's previous experience includes serving as an auditor in the not-for-profit practice of a national accounting firm and assistant controller of a for-profit business.
Lana is a licensed CPA in North Carolina and is a member of the AICPA and the North Carolina Association of CPAs. She received her bachelor of science degree in accounting and her master of accounting degree from North Carolina State University and enjoys combining her technical and communications skills to serve and educate not-for-profits.
Throughout her career, Lana has supported various not-for-profit organizations outside of work, including serving on the marketing committee for the local chapter of national nonprofit, Dress for Success.
Contact Lana Richards at Lana.Richards@aicpa-cima.com.