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Indiana Accounting and Tax Professional Societies Collaborate on Pipeline and Workforce Challenges

Accounting profession leaders from across the country attended Vision 2027 on May 10, 2024, in Indianapolis to collaborate on developing the CPA pipeline and workforce.

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Accounting profession leaders from across the country attended Vision 2027 on May 10, 2024, in Indianapolis to collaborate on developing the CPA pipeline and workforce.

Vision 2027: Shaping the Future of Accounting — Innovation, Diversity & Leadership brought together a variety of stakeholders in the profession, including: the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), The Center for Audit Quality, Indiana Chamber of Commerce Institute for Workforce Excellence, NABA Inc., State CPA Societies and Indiana business owners.

“The Indiana CPA Society is in the business of workforce development, and we fully believe the future of our workforce is in its diversity,” said INCPAS President & CEO Courtney Kincaid, CAE. “It’s a simple math problem. If we don’t diversify, we’re not going to have enough CPAs. Accounting organizations and state CPA society leaders know this, but we don’t have the cultural competencies to carry messages that resonate within our country’s many unique communities alone. We can achieve so much more in the pipeline together with our collective time, resources and strengths.”

The American Association of Latino Professionals (ALPFA) President & CEO Damian Rivera shared ALPFA’s work in the community, along with new findings from the “More Than a Monolith: The Advancement of Hispanic and Latino/a Talent” Coqual Research Report and 2023 Official LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report™).

“Our impact on U.S. GDP can’t be understated, with 50 percent of new businesses being created by the Latino community,” Rivera said. “So when we’re talking about addressing workforce issues — you have a whole generation coming up who’s entrepreneurial and working to build wealth. If you’re not engaging in the Latino community, it’s going to be harder to engage with future customers and their customer’s customers.”

NABA Inc. President & CEO Guylaine Saint Juste shared NABA Inc.’s successes and recent revisioning of their strategic plan and goals — including more external collaborations. 

“You can’t solve problems by staying distant,” Saint Juste said. “The traditional way of thinking about the path to and within accounting has to change. And not only do we need to consider what that means for us, but we need to work together on how we can comprehensively position ourselves in this changing space.”

Presenters from The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and Indiana Chamber of Commerce Institute for Workforce Development shared their insights thoughts in a Q&A, addressing accounting workforce development nationally and in Indiana.

Current students enrolled in the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity program (BOP) at Purdue University served on a panel, sharing candid thoughts on the 150-credit hour requirement, work-life balance expectations, internship experiences and future plans.

“According to CAQ research, Black and Hispanic students both report on having a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and Indiana can help them capitalize on that,” Kincaid said. “This means conversations with high schools, community colleges and business partners about what’s next for these students. Accounting is a fundamental launchpad for a successful career in business.”

ALPFA, INCPAS, NABA Inc., State CPA Society and organization leaders in attendance were able to keep these conversations and connections going at the networking event after the Vision 2027 program ended.

“Attending Vision 2027 was truly eye-opening,” said Camilo Renteria, ALPFA board member and Falkbuilt business development manager. “Our collaboration extends beyond mere professional development — it’s about breaking down barriers and opening doors. As a Latino professional, I’m particularly impassioned about ALPFA’s mission to empower Latinos in industries where they are underrepresented. The Indiana CPA Society’s support has been pivotal in advancing this cause, facilitating initiatives such as mentorship programs, scholarship opportunities and networking events. By bridging the gap between the Latino community and the accounting profession, we’re not only empowering individuals but also reshaping the industry landscape. Our joint efforts are fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment, driving innovation, creativity and excellence.”

One of the next steps for the Indiana CPA Society is to build financial support, both for its internal Indiana CPA Educational Foundation, external partners like ALPFA and NABA Inc., and identifying areas for collaboration.

“If finding accounting talent is the most pressing issue facing employers — and, I think it is — we need to fund the solutions,” Kincaid said. “CPA firms have had record revenues the past three years, and there are scholarships out there we could help fund. This year, NABA has 1,600 accounting students seeking scholarships and only enough to fund 200. The interest is there; the students are asking us to participate — we need to use our resources to get them to the table.”

Ten of NABA Inc.’s scholarship requests were from Indiana, and, immediately following Vision 2027, four of them were funded. Indiana firms and employers can help fund those remaining six here.

Event Partners: Accounting+, ALPFA Indianapolis, Green Loop Marketing and Leaf Software Solutions.

Reception Sponsors: BGBC Partners, LLP, Deloitte, FORVIS and PwC.