Accounting groups offer solutions to overcome diversity challenges


The Institute of Management Accountants, the California Society of CPAs and the International Federation of Accountants jointly released a new report on the problems with diversity, equity and inclusion in the accounting profession and ways to address them.

The report, released Wednesday, includes more than 70 actionable DE&I practices with proposed indicators and metrics to measure progress. It comes after the IMA and CalCPA released an earlier report last year that found only 48% of accountants polled say the profession is equitable (see story). As a follow-up, the two groups teamed up with IFAC to look more broadly from an international perspective to focus on various regions of the world (Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, and North America – the U.S.). The report looks at the current state of DE&I in accounting, the responsibility to protect the public interest, and demands for sustainable business information around DE&I.

According to the new report, fewer than 60% of respondents of all backgrounds view the profession as equitable or inclusive. Only 58% of respondents across all regions and of all genders view the profession as equitable, and 59% view the profession as inclusive. Respondents from the U.S., Europe and the Mediterranean are less likely to view the accounting profession in their respective geographies as equitable or inclusive than those in Asia-Pacific or the Middle East and North Africa.


“The voices of more than 8,000 study participants across the globe issued a call-to-action to the profession’s leaders: a call for recommended solutions and intentional, collective action to affect greater change,” said IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson in a statement.

The report identified a set of recommended DE&I practices, mapped to relevant United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to improve diversity.

“By collaborating through shared resources and efforts, leaders can learn from one another and yield long-lasting solutions,” said CalCPA president and CEO Denise LeDuc Froemming in a statement. “So, we are humbled and honored to be accompanied by more than 60 professional accountancy organizations who join us as DE&I advocates for progress and commit to collective action.”

The report classified the 70 actionable practices into two main categories: attract diverse talent and retain and promote them.

“Professional accountants are bound by ethical commitments, which should extend into DE&I efforts,” said IFAC CEO Kevin Dancey in a statement. “The solutions recommended in this report can and should be leveraged by professional accountants and leaders across the profession, to move our workplaces around the world toward a culture of belonging and fulfill our obligation to protect the public interest.”


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