The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants(PICPA) recently held a roundtable with Philadelphia firms on the issue of diversity, according to a press release. April marks "Celebrate Diversity Month," but the roundtable marked just another effort from PICPA to promote positive change in the profession.

“In addition to being the ethical choice, fostering diversity in the workplace is also a prudent business strategy,” said Julius C. Green, member of the PICPA’s Diversity Committee and president-elect. “Several studies show that firms with strong diversity initiatives have increased revenue compared with their competitors, and their clients consistently rank their results more favorably.”

The latest diversity meeting included managing partners of local and regional accounting firms in the Philadelphia area, recognizing the need for accounting firms to make diversity programs a strategy within their companies in order to remain current and competitive.

"A team needs to be diverse to function properly,” said Richard Caturano, national leader of culture, diversity, and inclusion with McGladrey LLP and past chair of the American Institute of CPAs’ board of directors. Using a sports metaphor, Caturano said uniformity can result in a team full of players that excel at only one position, he explained.

Timothy Christen, chair and CEO of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, also spoke at the meeting, urging firms and managing partners to shift their focus away from searching for the reasons underrepresentation in the accounting profession exists, and start taking steps toward a solution. "Managing partners are the stewards, and [they] need to make the change,” said Christen.

For more information, including toolkits, videos, articles, and more to help attract and retain underrepresented groups to the accounting profession, visit PICPA's site here