Fueling Racial Diversity in Accounting

Deloitte’s $75-million MADE commitment aims to foster fundamental, long-term change.

While no single act can alleviate the racial disparities evident across many industries today, Deloitte is doing its part to open doors and help minority students realize the possibilities of a career in the accounting field.

The firm’s $75-million Making Accounting Diverse and Equitable (MADE) commitment aims to generate more advisory, auditing, tax career opportunities, and leadership pathways for students, and will help support them on their journey from high school to business professional to leadership in the profession. 

In fact, Deloitte has stated that its goal is to increase the number of Black and Hispanic professionals in its overall US workforce by 50% by 2025. 

“Accounting has long been considered the language of business, which creates opportunities for those who speak it,” says Lara Abrash, CEO of Deloitte’s US Audit & Assurance business. “The representation of racially and ethnically diverse CPAs in our profession is unacceptably low and bringing these voices to the conversation requires decisive, bold investments.” 

Part of the MADE commitment is the Deloitte Foundation Accounting Scholars Program. Over the next six years, Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation expect to fund $30 million in scholarships to students pursuing a fifth-year master’s program in accounting from an accredited college/university program in the US. Scholarships from the Deloitte Foundation will cover 100% of tuition at participating universities with a mutual desire to increase diversity in master’s programs, and, in turn, the accounting profession. 

Additionally, by collaborating with high schools, colleges, state CPA societies, and various non-profits, the Deloitte Academy will look to increase awareness of accounting as a career possibility for thousands of historically underrepresented and underserved youth. 

The firm announced a number of other programs as part of the commitment as well, including the Stride CPA readiness program, which will provide real-time access to, and instruction from, experienced CPA tutors, providing up to 13-weeks of fully-paid time dedicated to studying, and covering CPA exam costs. 

Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation will also build on its support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic-serving institutions, as well as create a community for mid-career accounting professionals to help position them for senior roles within their organizations. 

“As leaders in the accounting profession, I believe it’s our responsibility to enable the change we want to see – in this case, taking concrete steps to create racial diversity,” says Steve Kimble, chair and CEO of Deloitte of Tax LLP.  

“I couldn’t be more hopeful about the future of the accounting profession – racial and ethnic diversity is an essential part of that future,” Abrash says.”

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