In 1921, 25 years after the first certified public accountant (CPA) certificate was granted in the U.S., John W. Cromwell, Jr. became the first Black CPA.
He opened a door through which thousands of other Black accountants would eventually pass.
With 2021 marking the 100th anniversary of Cromwell’s landmark achievement, various organizations have come together to announce a year-long national awareness campaign that recognizes Black CPAs in the U.S. and pushes for greater progress to be made in achieving diversity, inclusion, and equity in the CPA profession —but not without trials and tribulations. Black CPAs account for less than 1 percent of all CPAs in the U.S., according to estimates by the National Association of Black Accountants.
While the organizing partners and other stakeholders will further celebrate in their own ways, they are united in advancing the shared goals of the Black CPA Centennial campaign to “honor, celebrate, and build” upon the rich history and progress Black CPAs have made in the profession. Activities include a series of articles and videos that bring to life and preserve the inspiring stories of success against the odds of some of the most prominent and trailblazing Black accountants.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Diverse Organization of Firms, Illinois CPA Society, National Association of Black Accountants,
and National Society of Black CPAs have come together as organizing partners for the Black CPA Centennial.
Please check back soon for specific ways for individuals and organizations
(state CPA societies, universities, accounting firms, etc.) to participate.
For more information about the Black CPA Centennial efforts, email [email protected].