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Accounting Industry Groups Join Forces to Provide DE&I Solutions

Custom Content by the Los Angeles Business Journal

Report offers solutions to closing the diversity gap

IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), CalCPA (California Society of Certified Public Accountants), and IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) last month released the “Diversifying Global Accounting Talent: Actionable Solutions for Progress” report. As a joint effort, the report assesses the deeply rooted issues inhibiting progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) within the accounting profession and offers actionable solutions to close the gap in DE&I.

The capstone in a series of regional DE&I research studies, the report exposes key factors contributing to the underrepresentation of diverse people in the profession, and particularly at leadership levels, in focus regions (Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, and North America – the U.S.). Three key catalysts for action toward DE&I progress are presented: the current state of DE&I in accountancy, the responsibility to protect the public interest, and demands for sustainable business information around DE&I.

“The voices of more than 8,000 study participants across the globe issued a call-to-action to the profession’s leaders: a call for recommended solutions and intentional, collective action to affect greater change,” said Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, IMA president and CEO.

The report generated an inventory of more than 70 actionable DE&I practices, each mapped to relevant United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and reflects input from dozens of leaders representing millions of accountants who can implement those practices. It offers recommended steps needed to remedy the lack of equity and inclusion as a path to improving diversity. While expanded efforts have energized DE&I, there is often a disconnect between perceived progress among leaders and progress truly felt and realized by the staff or profession at large.

“By collaborating through shared resources and efforts, leaders can learn from one another and yield long-lasting solutions,” said Denise LeDuc Froemming, CPA, CAE, president and CEO at CalCPA. “So, we are humbled and honored to be accompanied by more than 60 professional accountancy organizations who join us as DE&I advocates for progress and commit to collective action.”

The authors classified their actionable practices into two main categories: attract diverse talent and retain and promote the diverse talent. Leaders must welcome and value diverse employees to sustain the accounting workforce in the years to come.
Kevin Dancey, CEO at IFAC, said, “Professional accountants are bound by ethical commitments, which should extend into DE&I efforts. The solutions recommended in this report can and should be leveraged by professional accountants and leaders across the profession, to move our workplaces around the world toward a culture of belonging and fulfill our obligation to protect the public interest.”

IMA is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices.

CalCPA traces its heritage to 1903 when the California State Society of Certified Public Accountants was organized. In 1909, it merged with two other state CPA associations to form CalCPA. CalCPA serves more than 43,000 members in public practice, private industry, students, academia and government, and has 14 chapters across California. CalCPA also offers more than 1,400 live courses, conferences, webcasts and on-demand self-study courses annually.

IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 180 members and associates in 135 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than three million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

The full report can be viewed at imanet.org.

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