The State of the Profession - The CPA Journal

Orumé Hays

On diversity in the profession, my prediction for 2022 and beyond is that, regrettably, things will remain relatively the same. It was heartbreaking to read some of the participant quotes in the recently published report “Diversifying U.S. Accounting Talent: A Critical Imperative to Achieve Transformational Outcomes” (IMA-CalCPA,

The report shared responses from professionals in the field who left their firms or the profession due to lack of diversity, equity, inclusion, and or advancement in their careers. (I identified with many of their thoughts.) And yet there are others who feel that DEI efforts are overrated and access to opportunities in the profession should be based only on skill.

The profession I love is far behind others in diversifying. African Americans, while 13% of the U.S. population, still only make up about 1% of CPAs, and under 1.5% of leadership in the profession. Hispanic/Latino Americans, whereas 18.5% of the U.S. population, make up about 5% of CPAs and under 2% of leadership in the profession. Asian Americans are doing much better, as they make up almost 10% of CPAs and about 5% of leadership in the profession, even though they account for 6% of the U.S. population.

Orumé Hays, CPA, CGMA, MST is the Managing Director, Hays CPA LLC. She is also a member of The CPA Journal Editorial Review Board.