Part 6 of 10
In honor of Black History Month, NCACPA would like to celebrate the diverse individuals who contributed to the success of the accounting profession and the association. Please join us in recognizing these trailblazers through a 10-part series of posts being published throughout February.
By D. Scott Showalter, CPA, CGMA, CGFM, Immediate Past Chair, NCACPA Board
The individuals highlighted in this series of posts represent minorities and have all made significant contributions to the accounting profession during their careers despite the many challenges they faced.
I’ll introduce everyone by asking a question that describes their respective contribution. I apologize in advance for any factual inaccuracies in this article. While researching, I ran across conflicting dates and proofs, settling on the facts that seem best supported. Either way, I don’t think it distracts from their significant accomplishments.
Who is one of the founders of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) who went on to become a partner in a Big 4 firm? This individual was born in NYC and went to college at Long Island University. While there, he and eight other individuals (called the NABA Nine) established NABA in 1969 and he became its first president. Since that time, the group has grown to more than 150 chapters on college campuses and over 40 professional chapters. Upon graduating college, he joined Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG) working his way to partner, office managing partner, an area managing partner, and a member of the firm’s board of directors.
Always wanting to give back, he taught auditing and ethics classes at Howard University, serving as a role model for other young under-represented minorities. After 39 years, he still teaches at Howard University. The AICPA acknowledged his contribution to the accounting profession by awarding him the AICPA Gold Medal for Distinguished Service in 2014. Today over 200,000 African Americans participate in the accounting profession, more than 5,000 CPAs. Who is he? His name is Frank Ross. If you would like to know more about Frank and his values, check out his book Quiet Guys Can Do Great Things Too: A Black Accountant’s Success Story.