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Accounting & Audit

Kecia Williams Smith, CPA, Ph.D. – 2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting

As new generations of accounting professionals aspire to leadership roles in the profession, it is inspiring to look to those who have attained those ranks ahead of them. The AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor partner each year to honor ...

Kecia Williams Smith

Kecia Williams Smith, CPA, Ph.D.

2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
Director, Center for Accounting Diversity, Director MACC Program, Asst. Professor
North Carolina A&T State University



  1. She has been the driving force to create a culture of excellence, innovation, and inclusion. If she is a vendor, she has helped to develop the technologies and solutions that will empower organizations to be more productive and profitable.
  2. She is one of the top leaders in the accounting profession and her leadership has had a demonstrable effect upon the accomplishments of the organization with which she is associated.
  3. She is a mentor, sponsor, and a role model, someone who stands out in her ability to encourage and help those around her thrive and flourish.
  4. The work she does is influential and is having a positive impact on the accounting profession as a whole.


What do you feel is the most important issue facing the accounting profession today?

Identity. The accounting profession has enjoyed a storied history that has not always communicated its value to society.  The pandemic, digital automation, and social injustice has caused the profession to take a critical look at who we are and how we do business. The profession needs to articulate that we are a profession that is inclusive and embracing and that the services that we provide are a benefit to society.  If not, we run the risk of not having the talent needed to address the business challenges and complexities of the future.

What one thing would you recommend accountants do to prepare for the future?

Accountants need to upskill and embrace the digital technologies that are disrupting business as we know it. Blockchain, data visualization, robotic process automation should be viewed as opportunities for accountants to show their value to these processes.  Understanding and learning more about these technologies will enable accountants to better position themselves as valued advisors.

What one skill or experience would you recommend that young women getting started in the accounting profession master?

Resilience. From accounting standards to the demand for assurance to workplace dynamics, the accounting profession is always changing.  Mastering the art and science of resilience will allow young women to be able to adapt quickly in a complex environment.  Over my career, I have changed roles several times and being able to bounce back from changes, learn from missteps, and seize opportunities have enabled me to stay relevant.


Read more about the 2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting Winners.