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CAQ Launches DEI, Talent Pipeline Initiatives in Support of Accounting Profession, Releases Research of Student Attitudes Toward Accounting

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Center for Audit Quality makes strategic investments to raise awareness and to continue to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion within the public company accounting profession. 

Washington, DC (January 12, 2022) – Today the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) announced the profession’s Bold Ambition to increase a diverse talent pipeline and bring awareness to the profession’s progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The new strategic initiative, supported by the eight CAQ Governing Board firms, aims to further drive progress in increasing representation of minority groups within the accounting profession. The effort has two main components; Accounting+, a multi-year initiative to increase the profession’s diverse talent pipeline, and a Bold Ambition website providing more transparency into the profession’s diversity, equity and inclusion actions and efforts.

Passionate about providing every student an opportunity to explore a future career in accounting, the CAQ launched Accounting+, a campaign to help students understand the benefits and possibilities of a career in accounting. Accounting+ offers resources for high school and college students from underrepresented minority groups, particularly Black and Hispanic students, to discover the potential for a career in accounting that matches their own passion and goals.

Accounting+ will be a multi-year campaign to actively engage high school and college students with dynamic, tailored resources on the benefits of a career in accounting, including paths to entrepreneurship and to helping build vibrant local communities. The campaign will also dispel misperceptions that many students, particularly those who identify as Black or Hispanic, have about the accounting profession – namely that it isn’t interesting or is a place where they do not see themselves fitting in. The CAQ’s market research found substantial openness to accounting as a profession, with 52% of Black and 48% Hispanic students expressing an interest in accounting as a major.[1]  The campaign will focus on translating that openness into a diverse pipeline of accountants.

With more than $470 million and growing in public commitments, the accounting profession has already made significant progress towards increasing diversity, equity and inclusion. The Bold Ambition website showcases the work the profession has done – from research to best practices – and shares it with the public to increase transparency and create accountability. “The audit profession has been focused on DEI for many years, yet there clearly remains room for more growth, specifically with diverse talent entering the profession, and with retention and advancement of people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds,” said Julie Bell Lindsay, Chief Executive Officer at the CAQ. “Our Bold Ambition is to advance equity and opportunity within the profession, which will help us better live up to our public mission and, ultimately, improve audit quality.”

“We applaud this bold initiative from the CAQ. The data is revealing that much is needed to create belonging and relevance in the accounting profession for Black and Brown people. It takes intentionality of action and Bold Ambition frames both the opportunities and the challenges to developing the workforce of tomorrow in Accounting,” said Guylaine Saint Juste, Chief Executive Officer of NABA.  “We look forward to continuing our work with the CAQ to advance DEI with a keen eye on belonging and relevance in the profession.”

Visit the Bold Ambition website here and Accounting+ website here.

About the Center for Audit Quality

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) is a nonpartisan public policy organization serving as the voice of U.S. public company auditors and matters related to the audits of public companies. The CAQ promotes high-quality performance by U.S. public company auditors; convenes capital market stakeholders to advance the discussion of critical issues affecting audit quality, U.S. public company reporting, and investor trust in the capital markets; and using independent research and analyses, champions policies and standards that bolster and support the effectiveness and responsiveness of U.S. public company auditors and audits to dynamic market conditions.

Press Contact:

Julia Germain
Manager of Communications
jgermain@thecaq.org
703.675.6077

[1] For the results of the CAQ’s market research, conducted by Edge Research during the summer of 2021, please visit www.boldambition.org.