Careers in Demand: Two Young CPAs Who Started Early Share Advice

An overview of career options in personal finance

(Image: Johnnie Northern)

If you’re a numbers whiz and looking to make a career change, accounting might be for you. This industry is expecting to see a 13% job growth through the year 2022, which is about as fast as average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Robyn Fuller and Ashley Johnson began their journey toward becoming certified public accountants while still in high school.

“My interest in accounting came from a high school accounting class in the eleventh grade. Even as a young girl, I would play with calculators and I always wanted to add up money. Accounting was always something I naturally gravitated to,” Fuller says.

Johnson also had a similar experience. “I also took a few accounting classes in high school. I used to compete in a program called Business Professionals of America, and through that program I was introduced to the banking and finance industry. Due to the vast career options and my interest, I decided to make this my career,” Johnson says.

After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting, Fuller and Johnson went on to work for several top companies. Both now work for General Motors Finance. Fuller is a senior auditor of international operations and Johnson is a financial analyst.

Fuller mentioned a 2009 study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) which shows that African Americans make up just 3% of the population of CPAs, and 1% of AICPA membership.

Fuller says the number of African Americans graduating with degrees in accounting and finance has increased, but that the percentage of African American CPAs has not. She and Fuller want to encourage young African Americans with an interest in the field to begin studying for the CPA exam as soon after graduation as possible.

Fuller and Johnson decided to turn their passion into profit by pursuing entrepreneurship. They are founders of consulting firm J&F Advisors. They also participate in minority groups such as National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) in an effort to assist students with becoming CPAs.

“I am very passionate about what I do and assisting others in the process of achieving their career goals,” Fuller says.

For more information on this career, visit the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants website.

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Sonja Frugal

    I’m 42 and I am about to complete my Masters degree in Human Resources. I have been in the banking/mortgage/accounting industry since 2001 and I now realize it is something I would like to really pursue, but instead of getting a degree in accounting I’m just going to focus on benefits/payroll of HR. This is a great article.

  • http://batman-news.com Rockwell Quixote

    Congratulations!!! Robyn and Ashley
    Your participation in this summer’s High School Accounting Program (NABA’s Accounting Career Awareness Program ~ “ACAP”) was greatly appreciated. You both served as shining examples and inspirations to the next generation of accountants and busness people. Thank you for ..”lifting as you climb!!!”
    Best wishes for continued success,
    Anthony Davis
    2014 NABA Detroit ACAP Executive Committee

  • Ask Tpj

    YAY! Cass Tech! BPA members! So proud to see you all flourishing in your field of expertise! – Tricia

  • Laurie U.

    So good to see two young, successful and intelligent Black Women striving in the financial industry. Keep up the good work ladies!

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