The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is encouraging qualified students to apply for the 2021 Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop (ASLW) being held October 13-15 in New Orleans.

The annual workshop is an opportunity for ethnic minority college accounting students, as well as undeclared students with an interest in accounting, to strengthen their professional and networking skills and to increase their understanding of the career possibilities and benefits of earning the CPA credential, while at the same time bolstering the pipeline of minority members of the profession.

“ASLW gives ethnic minority students an opportunity to really see the benefits of a career in the accounting profession and offers tools to prepare them as they launch their careers,” said Chris Mitchell, senior manager of diversity and inclusion for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), representing AICPA and CIMA. “It also provides these students with access to a network of professionals with whom they can build working relationships.”

The U.S. Census projects that minority populations will comprise more than 50% of the total population in 2045, with the largest growth being among multiracial individuals. Firms will need to better reflect the ethnic and racial makeup of their communities and clients.

During the three-day program, students explore what it means to be a CPA, how their backgrounds and experience can add value to the profession and network with practicing CPAs. Sessions and panel discussions will cover an array of topics, including developing leadership skills and what to expect from the CPA exam. The event will run concurrently with the AICPA’s Diversity Symposium.

The program is open to undergraduate majoring or interested in accounting and fifth year or 5th year or graduate accounting majors. Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2021. Students accepted to the 2020 workshop, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, are being invited to this year’s event and do not need to reapply.

“The accounting profession is committed to working toward expanding the number of ethnic minority CPAs,” said Crystal Cooke, the Association’s director of diversity and inclusion. “ASLW is one of our efforts focused on pipeline, a critical area that the AICPA is undertaking to accomplish this important goal.”

The ASLW is funded by the AICPA Foundation and covers the cost of attendees’ experience, including transportation to/from the workshop location, hotel accommodations and meals.

More information about the program, as well as instructions to apply, are available at

ASLW is one of several programs and resources from the AICPA to help promote diversity and inclusion in the profession. The Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model is a tool to help organizations assess and measure their diversity and inclusion efforts. The George Willie Scholarship and Internship program offers students a scholarship and an internship during tax season with one of the AICPA’s Private Company Practice Section member firms. And the AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students, part of the AICPA Legacy Scholars program, provides funding to outstanding minority students studying accounting.

For more information on the ASLW and the AICPA’s Diversity and Inclusion programs, email

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