The recently named chair of the California Society of CPAs argued that the profession needs to attract more minority CPAs as the society celebrates its centennial.

As the leader of the nation’s largest state accounting association, with 35,000 members, Andrea G. Cope noted that while 37 percent of Californians identify themselves as Hispanic, only 4 percent of the CPA profession within the state is Hispanic. She also noted that only 2 percent of California CPAs are African-Americans, compared to 6 percent of African-Americans in the state's population.

“I believe it is critical that we continue to support CPA career outreach,” said Cope. “We want to attract the best and brightest to the profession. While we have made great strides in attracting women — 60 percent of new licensees in California are women — it is particularly important to reach out to students who are ethnic minorities, so that our profession mirrors the public we serve.”

Cope, a CPA for more than 25 years, is a partner in the San Francisco firm of Burr, Pilger & Mayer. She provides accounting, tax and financial management services to businesses and their owners.

During her CalCPA term, Cope plans to extend the organization’s outreach efforts to a broad array of high school and college students. She encouraged CalCPA members to volunteer to visit school campuses to discuss the advantages of an accounting career.

In honor of CalCPA’s 100-year anniversary, Cope challenged each of her fellow members to donate $100 to the CalCPA Institute, a 501(c)3 organization. She noted that the fundraising effort would help support important programs, including financial literacy presentations to the public and a scholarship program that provides more than $300,000 annually to accounting students.

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