I still remember the day when my high school accounting class had a guest speaker from one of the Big 4 accounting firms. I already knew I wanted to be a business major in college the following year, but what I heard that day spurred me to pursue an accounting major and career as a CPA. Now as an experienced CPA, I really enjoy paying it forward by speaking to high school students about the CPA profession.
Like me back in 2003, many people vaguely know that a CPA handles a company’s books or does tax returns, but they often do not truly know what we do. The CPA profession is dynamic, with many interesting career paths and specializations, but not everyone knows that. There are not many movies or TV shows made about us, so it is up to us to educate others and advocate for the profession.
We know that the CPA profession has been slow in closing the diversity and inclusion gap. We need to find ways to spread awareness in communities with diverse populations. High schoolers, the next generation who are the future of our profession, may not have family members or mentors who are CPAs or accounting courses offered at their school. Sharing our experiences as CPAs can be a pivotal moment in the trajectory of a student’s future.
It does not take much of your time to speak to a local high school accounting, business, or career exploration class and potentially make an impact on someone’s career path. I find it energizing to reflect and talk about my favorite career experiences, why I chose my career path, and the many benefits of being a CPA. As a CPA, you have valuable experience and insights to share too.
If just one student is compelled to learn more about accounting and the CPA profession, or decides to pursue an accounting major in college, isn’t that worth it? I encourage you to volunteer your time to grow the CPA profession by speaking to high school students. To join me, fill out the INCPAS speaking form
If you are interested in helping INCPAS and sharing your CPA story, let us know! We are still scheduling CPA Week classroom presentations and will need more CPAs to help with Q&As for both print and video for the spring CPA Week, scheduled for May 3–7.