Los Angeles is truly a national leader when it comes to influential women in business – and the field of accounting is no exception. There are some particularly stellar CPAs in the LA region who happen to be women and we’ve alphabetically profiled a number of them here, along with some basic information about their careers, practice and some relevant recent accomplishments they’ve achieved.

While accounting has been a historically male-dominated field in terms of leadership positions, the profession has certainly improved in terms of diversity over recent years.

More women are getting further at the 12 accounting firms that comprise the Accounting MOVE Project’s 2017 “Best Public Accounting Firms for Women” list. Women comprise 28% of partners and principals at these firms, compared to 24% in aggregate for the 49 firms that participated in the 2017 benchmarking survey. The MOVE Project is the profession’s only annual benchmark of the status of women in the leadership pipeline.

A few firms are even breaking down firm-wide measurements for advancing women to practice areas and offices. That injects immediacy to the overarching initiative and equips office and practice leaders with context for creating fresh ways to retain and advance women.

“Innovative firms are finding that they win new clients when they clear the way for senior women to open new offices and new lines of business designed around workplace flexibility and collaborative growth strategies,” said Joanne Cleaver, president of Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., the content strategy firm that designed and manages the annual MOVE Project.

More leadership opportunities will mean more outstanding women accountants such as those profiled in these pages.

In perusing the descriptions of the women in this special section, it is quite clear that one common thread of similarity that exists across this unique group is a propensity to focus on the big picture and not simply on the bottom line. It is a trait that has surely helped bolster the careers of the professionals seen here, while also helping secure the success and longevity of their respective firms and clients who turn to them as trusted advisors.

After all, it was another leading light in business, Ursula Burns, herself an American business leader who was Chairwoman of Xerox from 2010 to 2017, and the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company, who said so eloquently, “As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve come to appreciate - and really value - the other attributes that define a company’s success beyond the P&L: great leadership, long-term financial strength, ethical business practices, evolving business strategies, sound governance, powerful brands, values-based decision-making.”

Thinking outside the box, then, is surely a hallmark trait for all the outstanding professionals included in our Most Influential Women in Accounting feature.

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