At Brown Plus, you will often hear us say, “we exist to help people achieve extraordinary outcomes.“ That means all people. We strive to embrace a culture of celebrating the uniqueness of not just our team members but our communities and our future.
Impact Requires Change
As a Firm, we made a pledge to listen to different perspectives and to enact change within our organization where necessary.
Internally, that meant creating a more robust training for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for our team members. While our policies and training were adequate, we believe there is always room for improvement. We took action to hire a consultant to work with us on creating two mandatory half-day training sessions for our team members that are interactive and engaging. We’ve also created a DEI Committee to ensure that DEI remains a focal point for our organization.
Externally, we continuously ask ourselves what we can do to impact change in our industry and community. A study released by the Institute of Management Accountants in February of 2021 named lack of exposure to the accounting profession prior to college and insufficient support during college as two contributing factors that disproportionately reduce the profession’s attractiveness to underrepresented groups. These statistics indicate that we need to do more to show students of all backgrounds that accounting is a viable and attainable career.
Brown Plus Impact
To help show the viability of accounting as a career, we’ve taken the following measures:
- To help mitigate the issue of insufficient support while in college, Brown Plus:
- Maintains an annual scholarship for students who are majoring in accounting with the National Association of Black Accountants, a nonprofit membership association dedicated to bridging the opportunity gap for Black Business Leaders in accounting, finance business and entrepreneurship;
- Makes an annual contribution to Ascend Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit Pan-Asian organization primarily engaged in research, with a mission to advocate, enable and assist Pan-Asians in North America to become the leaders of today and tomorrow; and
- Provides a contribution to the Annual Student Scholarship Fund of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), an organization dedicated to empowering and developing Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy.
- To create more exposure to the accounting profession, Brown Plus:
- Provides an annual contribution to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation to cover a student of color in our region to attend the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop, which aims to strengthen students’ professional skills and understanding of the benefits of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation; and
- Creates an annual educational webinar series, Find the Right Path: Accounting. The first part explores the accounting profession, educational tracks and what an accounting career is and is not. The second part includes a panel of our team members, who answer questions submitted by students. These webinars are then made available to high school teachers, college professors and students, with the goal of educating students on the accounting profession.
These actions may simply be a drop in the bucket. However, with enough drops from both organizations and individuals, the bucket will eventually overflow with change – and change is exactly what we need to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive space for our industry and our community as a whole.