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Accountants Can Honor Black History Month All Year


As Black History Month comes to a close, Enrolled Agent and the founder of G+F Business & Financial Consulting LLC Timothy L. Wingate Jr. reflects on some possible ways accounting professionals can encourage diversity and inclusion throughout the year.

Feb 24th 2021
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Black History Month is important to recognize in February, but I also try to reflect on black history continuously throughout the year. I'm constantly celebrating and remembering the African Americans who paved the way to allow black entrepreneurs like me to dream of owning my own business.

The importance of companies highlighting this month is often talked about as a means to encourage diversity. However, it’s not enough to talk about the need for, and benefit of, diversity in our industry one month a year. We should be encouraging diversity within our industry year-round. For example, firms should be clear about job expectations so that new and old recruits understand clearly how to succeed at the firm no matter the color of their skin. Once those expectations are met and the opportunity is available, reward the recruit. Let employees know that they are appreciated and valued, and reinforce not only the benefits of diversity at your offices, but the need for it.

Firms should also be encouraging and developing a diverse pipeline for future black accountants. We can do this by reaching out to youths early. Athletes go to schools and speak to students about playing sports all the time; why not tax professionals? We can show kids that working in the industry is not all about sitting at a computer and going over numbers. The industry is changing a lot because of automation, and the perception that tax professionals just file forms and crunch numbers is no longer accurate. It’s more than just a desk job. Not only will the accounting and tax profession offer job security and great wages, it will also give them a chance to be creative. The industry now is more about being a great advisor to the business owner and to create lasting relationships that are beneficial to both parties. Our clients depend on the knowledge we have to help them grow their businesses. The accounting and tax industry is cool, and we need to show that to the next generation of professionals.

This Black History Month, I encourage you to think about how you can inspire young and upcoming youth of all backgrounds to dream big and to foster an inclusive environment when they are the top executive or business owner one day.

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