When she became chair of the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA.org) for 2017–18, Kathy Johnson, CPA, said she will devote her term to three admirable initiatives, all of which she has been working toward. These include:
• Bringing more minorities into the accounting profession
• Expanding CalCPA’s financial literacy outreach
• Reaching out to both college and high school students to encourage them to consider accounting as a career.
At her inauguration last year at a meeting of the CalCPA Council at the Encore Hotel, Johnson noted that as the first black chair of CalCPA, she aspires to be a role model for others of diverse backgrounds. She hopes to work with such organizations as the National Association of Black Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals “to inspire young minorities to give them an opportunity to see themselves as a CPA.”
'There are opportunities for everyone in this profession, and I really want to take advantage of this opportunity and platform to communicate that message, as well as be a role model.'
She also emphasized to her fellow CPAs the importance of CalCPA’s efforts to improve the financial literacy of Californians: “I would like to shine a spotlight on these programs that are increasingly needed in all sectors of our economy,” she said. “No one is too young or too old to focus on financial literacy.”
Johnson noted that CalCPA’s Campus Ambassador Program, which currently reaches into 40 California college campuses, has significantly increased student involvement in Cal- CPA. The society also provides scholarships and mentoring for accounting students. Johnson hopes to extend CalCPA’s outreach to high school students to make them more aware of career opportunities in accounting.
“There are opportunities for everyone in this profession, and I really want to take advantage of this opportunity and platform to communicate that message, as well as be a role model,” she said.
Johnson previously served as CalCPA’s first vice chair. She is a forensic accountant and owner of CPA Forensics Plus, San Bernardino.
The California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA.org) is the nation’s largest state accounting organization and the largest CPA association in California. It serves more than 43,000 members in public practice, private industry, education and government. Through CalCPA Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CalCPA members provide financial literacy programs to high schools and community groups.