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Report offers solutions to close the diversity gap

The IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), CalCPA (California Society of Certified Public Accountants) and IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) released the report “Diversifying Global Accounting Talent: Actionable Solutions for Progress” last month. As part of a joint effort, the report assesses the deep-rooted issues impeding progress on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) within the accountancy profession and offers concrete solutions to bridge the gap. gap in DE&I.

The culmination of a series of regional DE&I research studies, the report outlines the key factors contributing to the under-representation of diverse individuals in the profession, and particularly at management levels, in the targeted regions (Asia-Pacific, Europe and Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa and North America – United States). Three key catalysts for action toward DE&I progress are presented: the current state of DE&I in accounting, the responsibility to protect the public interest, and demands for sustainable business information around DE&I.

“The voices of more than 8,000 study participants around the world issued a call to action to leaders of the profession: a call for recommended solutions and intentional collective action to bring about greater change” , said Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, IMA President and CEO.

The report generated an inventory of more than 70 actionable DE&I practices, each mapped to relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and reflects contributions from dozens of leaders representing millions of accountants who can implement these practices. It offers recommended steps needed to address the lack of equity and inclusion as a pathway to improving diversity. While increased efforts have energized DE&I, there is often a disconnect between the progress perceived by leaders and the progress actually felt and made by staff or the profession as a whole.

“By collaborating through shared resources and efforts, leaders can learn from each other and find lasting solutions,” said Denise LeDuc Froemming, CPA, CAE, president and CEO of CalCPA. “We are therefore humbled and honored to be joined by more than 60 professional accountancy organizations who join us as DE&I advocates for progress and engage in collective action.”

The authors categorized their actionable practices into two main categories: attracting diverse talent and retaining and promoting diverse talent. Leaders must welcome and value diverse employees to sustain the accounting workforce in the years to come.
Kevin Dancey, CEO of IFAC, said, “Professional accountants are bound by ethical commitments, which should extend to DE&I’s efforts. The solutions recommended in this report can and should be leveraged by professional accountants and leaders in the profession, to move our workplaces around the world towards a culture of belonging and fulfill our obligation to protect the best interests audience.

The IMA is one of the largest and most respected associations dedicated exclusively to advancing the management accounting profession. Overall, IMA supports the profession through research, CMA (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and promotion of the highest ethical business practices.

CalCPA traces its heritage to 1903 when the California State Society of Certified Public Accountants was organized. In 1909, it merged with two other state CPA associations to form CalCPA. CalCPA serves more than 43,000 members in public practice, private industry, students, universities, and government, and has 14 chapters across California. CalCPA also offers more than 1,400 live classes, lectures, webcasts, and on-demand self-study courses each year.

IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is made up of 180 members and associates in 135 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than three million accountants in practice, education, government service, industry and commerce.

The full report can be viewed at