Inspiring and Supporting the Black Accounting Community

Noir CPA Exclusive: Woman Behind PwC Farewell Email Speaks Out

Listen to our Q and A with the author of the email.

Roger CPA Review for Academic Credit Program

Earn credit towards graduation and CPA exam eligibility.

Show Me the Money: Salaries in Accounting

Thinking of a career in accounting? Learn how much money you can make in the profession.


A Message as Black History Month Comes to a Close


Sankofa and How It Applies to the Accounting Profession
By: Lontier V. Hicks, CPA

As originally published in the February 2014 issue of Accountability, an eNewsletter from the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance

Black History Month is a prime opportunity to learn and/or reflect back on the past accomplishments of African Americans in our country. The act of reflecting brings to mind the West African word, sankofa. Sankofa comes from the Afkan language of Ghana which translates to English as “reach back and get it.” It is a reminder that we must go back to our roots in order to progress. Sankofa is a concept I definitely agree with and try to embody through my contributions at Noir CPA (a blog I created to assist African Americans pursuing a career in accounting).
In the midst of making my decision to embark on the creation of Noir CPA, I came across a book that I knew would be imperative for me to read. A White-Collar Profession: African American Certified Public Accountants Since 1921 penned by Theresa A. Hammond. It is a book I think not only every African American accountant should read, but all accountants should have on their bookshelves.
Among the major professions, certified public accountancy has the most severe under-representation of African Americans: less than 1 percent of CPAs are black. Theresa Hammond explores the history behind this statistic and chronicles the courage and determination of African Americans who sought to enter the field. In the process, she expands our understanding of the links between race, education, and economics.
Drawing on interviews with pioneering black CPAs, among other sources, Hammond sets the stories of black CPAs against the backdrop of the rise of accountancy as a profession, the particular challenges that African Americans trying to enter the field faced, and the strategies that enabled some blacks to become CPAs. Prior to the 1960s, few white-owned accounting firms employed African Americans. Only through nationwide networks established by the first black CPAs did more African Americans gain the requisite professional experience. The civil rights era saw some progress in integrating the field, and black colleges responded by expanding their programs in business and accounting. In the 1980s, however, the backlash against affirmative action heralded the decline of African American participation in accountancy and paved the way for the astonishing lack of diversity that characterizes the field today. (via Amazon)
A White-Collar Profession is a wonderful source to learn about individuals such as John Cromwell Jr. who became the first African American CPA in 1921 or the first African American female CPA by the name of Mary T. Washington. I implore you to not consider the stories of the remarkable men and women featured in the book as just African American history, but view it as American history as well as history of the accounting profession as a whole.
I believe it should be the duty of all members of the profession to exemplify the teachings of sankofa; to learn from the past in order to bring about change in the future. Accomplishing a goal such as increasing diversity will take our collective effort. The more individuals that can take that issue to task, the more the accounting profession will benefit. Whether it be a blog, tutoring, becoming a mentor, or lecturing to students about the profession, we all have the capacity to “reach back and get it.”

If you enjoyed this post and want to see more from Noir CPA, subscribe and receive every new post in your inbox!
Enter your email address:


Wiley Test Bank Winner

And the winner is...

Bev M.!

Congratulations to Bev for winning the complete CPA exam test bank courtesy of Wiley CPA Review from our Thanksgiving giveaway.

Thanks to everyone that entered and if you didn't win, don't despair. In February, Noir CPA will be offering another giveaway that CPA candidates surely will not want to miss!

If you enjoyed this post and want to see more from Noir CPA, subscribe and receive every new post in your inbox!
Enter your email address:


Accounting Resources Bulletin #2

CPA Exam

  • Noir CPA - Thanksgiving Giveaway!
    • We here at Noir CPA have a lot to be thankful for and we wanted to show our appreciation and thanks to you! Enter our giveaway for your chance to win a Wiley Test Bank. Time is only have until December 2, 2013.
  • CPAexcel - Virtual Classroom Series
    • BEC starts December 5, 2013 and AUD starts December 6, 2013. Seats are limited. For more details and pricing click here.

  • CPAexcel - Accounting Student Scholarship Program
    • Enter to win a $2,000 cash scholarship or a complete CPAexcel course. 11 CPA review courses will be awarded in total at a value of $1,800 each. The deadline to enter is November 30, 2013. For more information about eligibility and to enter, click here.
  • - Becoming an Accountant: A Complete Online Guide 
    • This infographic resource provides information on various types of accountants, salary and employment statistics, the top 5 university accounting programs in the site’s estimation, certification requirements, an accountant’s software toolbox, and the CPA, CMA and CFE exams. 
  • ParenteBeard - A Day in the Life of a Tax Accountant Tweet Chat
    • ParenteBeard is ranked among the top 25 accounting firms in the U.S.. Chat live via Twitter with ParenteBeard tax professionals from various career levels to get a better idea of what it's like to be a tax accountant. If you have questions you'd like answered during the chat, tweet them with #taxnight to @ParenteBeard by December 3, 2013. The tweet chat begins December 4, 2013 at 8pm ET. For more info click here.

Noir CPA would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!! 

If you have relevant news you would like to have featured in our upcoming bulletin, email us at with "ARB" in the subject line.

If you enjoyed this post and want to see more from Noir CPA, subscribe and receive every new post in your inbox!
Enter your email address:

Web Analytics