Nearly 100 Minority Students Graduate from AICPA’s 25th Annual Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop

AICPA’s Annual Invitational Program Strives to Increase Diversity in the Accounting Profession

June 5, 2019

NEW YORK (June 5, 2019) – Ninety-nine minority college students completed the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) 25th annual Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop (ASLW).

The ASLW program is an annual, all-expenses-paid event for racial and ethnic minority students anticipating a career in accounting. The three-day, invitational program is designed to strengthen students’ professional and networking skills, while helping them to prepare for a career in accounting.

“The Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop shows minority students the abundance of professional opportunities available to them as CPAs and how they can achieve more than they ever knew,” said Kim Drumgo, director of diversity and inclusion for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and vice chair of the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. “For a quarter century now, the AICPA has worked through this program to better prepare minority students for a career as a CPA professional, and we remain more committed than ever to provide students with role models that help them visualize the success that awaits them in the accounting profession.”

During ASLW, students engaged in panel discussions and learned what it’s like to be a CPA, as well as how to prepare for the CPA exam, network and build a social media brand. Among the presenters and speakers offering guidance were Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, President and CEO of the AICPA and CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Kimberly N. Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, former Chairman of the AICPAs' Board of Directors and Billy Williams, CPA, audit partner at KPMG. 

“ASLW was an incredibly valuable experience and had a tremendous impact on me,” said Neta Galili, an Arizona State University accounting student and 2019 ASLW attendee. “Not only did I build an amazing network and meet lifelong friends, ASLW educated me about the importance of taking the CPA exam and the endless opportunities available to me in the accounting profession!”

The AICPA held the ASLW concurrently with the Accounting Profession Diversity Symposium, which brought educators and professionals together to discuss building a culture of diversity, recruiting and advancing minority employees, and using new technologies, like artificial intelligence, to enhance recruiting efforts.

“Holding these two events together gives accounting students and professionals the opportunity to connect in a casual environment,” added Drumgo. “It’s a great opportunity for students to hear firsthand the tremendous impact that earning their CPA license will have on their career.”

Eligible candidates for ASLW include Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native American or Asian sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students with majors in accounting, finance or tax, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates must explain their interest in obtaining their CPA licensure, show active involvement in campus and community life, and hold a Student Affiliate AICPA membership. Program travel and lodging is funded by the AICPA Foundation.

A list of all 99 graduates of the 2019 ASLW class is available on the AICPA's website.

Students are invited to connect with the AICPA via social media and learn more about the ASLW at ThisWayToCPA.

For details on the Accounting Profession Diversity Symposium and other AICPA Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, contact diversity@aicpa.org.