ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 25, 2016) – Kimberly N. Ellison-Taylor, global accounting strategy director for Oracle America, is the new chairman of the board of directors of the American Institute of CPAs, the world’s largest member organization representing the CPA profession.
In her acceptance speech, Ellison-Taylor talked about the importance of preparation, anticipation, accountability and “taking bold steps” to ensure a bright future for the profession.
“Being a CPA changed my life,” said Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, who recalled first being drawn to the profession as an 8-year-old student when careers were presented in her third grade class. “For many of you – particularly if you’re a first-generation CPA like me – it probably changed yours, as well.”
Ellison-Taylor, 46, was elected to the volunteer post by the AICPA governing Council, which concludes its annual fall meeting today. Eric Hansen, chief operating officer of the national CPA and advisory firm BKD, was voted in as vice chair.
Going forward, one key for the profession is pursuing “complementary and sometimes unexpected skills that drive new ways of thinking and doing,” Ellison-Taylor said. She named a number of emerging fields – Big Data, cybersecurity assurance and advisory services, for example –where this approach will pay dividends.
Ellison-Taylor’s own background in technology runs deep. At Oracle, she is responsible for driving innovation in support of the financial and professional services sectors. She also served as the company’s global practice team leader for health and human services, where she worked on cloud migration, fraud detection and prevention, customer experience and finance transformation initiatives. Prior to Oracle, Ellison-Taylor served in leadership roles at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Motorola, KPMG, and Prince George’s County, Md., Government.
Ellison-Taylor has a long history of service to the profession. She has served on the AICPA board for four years, most recently as vice chairman, was a member of the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee and has also worked with the AICPA Finance and Audit Committees, among other activities.
She is a past chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs, and has been recognized by Accounting Today as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the profession. She also serves as chapter president of Sigma Gamma Rho-Anne Arundel County, Md., a community service sorority.
In her speech, Ellison-Taylor emphasized the importance of CPAs giving back to the profession, particularly in coaching and challenging young talent.
“It’s our collective responsibility to open up the world of possibilities for the next generation - to recruit, retain, and advance our future leaders - our managing partners, CFOs, deans, agency leaders, and executives of the AICPA and state societies,” she said. “If you have an opportunity, please share your lessons learned, successes and also failures with our next leaders.”
Ellison-Taylor received her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, accounting certificate from the Community College of Baltimore County, an MBA from Loyola University and a master's in information technology from Carnegie Mellon University.
She and her husband, Darius, live in Maryland. The couple have two sons, Darius II and Dominic.