Many of us take stock of our good fortunes during the holiday season, reflecting on what we’re most grateful for and giving back to help others in need. This year has been trying for most of us. Just as businesses and professionals face economic hardships, many college students face challenges and uncertainties about how to fund their education and secure their futures.
That’s why the AICPA Foundation’s work has never been more important. Established nearly a century ago, the Foundation aims to advance the science of accountancy and accounting education. Through the profession’s generous donations, we equip accounting students with the much-needed support they need to progress in their journeys and reach their ultimate goal of becoming CPAs.
This year, I hope you will consider contributing to the AICPA Foundation to help us build on our efforts to bolster the profession’s future in these difficult times.
Our commitment and support focus on three areas:
One of our most significant efforts fund scholarships that provide CPAs with financial assistance toward their education expenses. Fueled by the AICPA Foundation, the AICPA provides more than $700,000 in scholarships, grants and fellowships for accounting students each year.
The AICPA Legacy Scholars program offers several opportunities for outstanding future CPAs of diverse backgrounds. It provides financial assistance to help offset the cost of their education, along with educational and professional development opportunities throughout the year. They include:
- The AICPA/Robert Half Student Scholarship Award, which supports those who demonstrate potential to become future leaders in the profession.
- The AWSCPA Scholarship Award, which supports the success of women in accounting.
- The AICPA Foundation Scholarship for Future CPAs, which supports undergrad and graduate students who demonstrate high potential and commitment to becoming a CPA.
- The AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship Award, which assists liberal arts and non-business undergraduate degree holders who are pursuing both graduate studies in accounting and CPA licensure.
- The AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students, which provides awards to full-time minority students pursuing an accounting or accounting-related degree.
- The AICPA Foundation Two-year Transfer Scholarship Award, which supports students aiming to transfer from a two-year college to a four-year institution to complete their accounting or accounting-related degree.
This year, we also established the COVID-19 Student Hardship Grant to specifically benefit undergraduate and graduate students who faced pandemic-related hardships. We awarded 25 students with $2,000 grants each. This type of support can go a long way to help future CPAs continue their paths forward, as it did for Sammy:
“COVID-19 impacted me in many ways. I lost my internship, and my father lost his job. The grant is extremely helpful since I am better prepared to complete graduate school in December 2021 and pursue a CPA license.” — Sammy, 2020 COVID-19 Student Hardship Grant recipient
2) Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
Additionally, the AICPA Foundation has been a long-time diversity proponent. Increasing diversity within the accounting profession has been one of its long-standing objectives. We support several DEI initiatives, including the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop (ASLW), an annual invitational program for minority accounting students, and the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion (NCDI), which proposes strategies to recruit, retain and advance underrepresented minorities in the profession.
3) Accounting education
We also support quality accounting education and accounting research. Programs include the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, which aims to increase the pool of academically qualified accounting faculty in auditing and tax with recent experience at U.S. universities, and the Accounting Program for Building the Profession (APBP), which trains high school educators to teach a higher-order accounting curriculum and promote accounting as a viable career option.
Your support goes a long way
These are just a few examples of how the AICPA Foundation works hard to build and support the next generation of CPAs. I encourage you to read more about the progress made in these and our many other programs in the most recent AICPA Foundation Annual Report.
If you are willing and able, please consider making a contribution this holiday season to the AICPA Foundation. Any amount makes a difference. Together, we will help empower the next generation of CPAs and ensure the future of the profession remains strong and vibrant for generations to come.
Christopher Radford, Senior Manager — Development & Fundraising, AICPA Foundation