Rene Dubos in his Celebrations of Life may have said it best: "Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival."And that's precisely what's happening in accounting firms throughout the U.S. Diversity has often become the key to profitability, or, in some cases, whether a practice will survive.

By the end of this year, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that one in three Americans will be African-American, Hispanic-American or Asian-Pacific American. Together, these three groups are increasing seven times faster than the population as a whole. This shifting population mix, along with the demands of growing international markets, has chief executives across many industries wrestling with diversity as never before.

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