• Nikki Winston, CPA

The Struggle is Real for Black Accounting Students . . . STILL

"71% of black accounting students do not take the CPA exam out of FEAR.” 


Because they think it’s too hard or too expensive. Most of the fear comes from things that they’ve heard, not from actually sitting for the exam! it’s common for a conversation to start in the CPA exam study groups about studying for the first exam and someone expresses their fear of taking the exam, then several others chime in about being nervous to take FAR because it’s hard. How do you know if you’ve never (1) sat or (2) studied for it? 

It’s normal to fear the unknown and things we can’t control. It’s a waste of energy to fear something because you’ve adopted someone else’s fear as your own. It’s this fear that keeps many CPA candidates as just that - candidates. Many candidates that I work with in my CPA exam coaching programs commonly express some elevation in anxiety or stress that they’re experiencing because of the exam. 

A key driver behind our underrepresentation in the accounting industry is that pre-collegiate students are not aware of accounting and the many career options it provides. This lack of exposure decreases the likelihood that a student will pursue accounting, something they don’t know about, as a career path.

The relationships between universities, firms, and industry organizations are key to ensure minority accounting students get enough access to job opportunities, professors, and seasoned accounting professionals. These connections are key to ensuring minority accounting students are supported through collegiate years through professional experiences.

There is definitely more opportunity to do better in this area. 


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©2020 by Nikki Winston, CPA.