How Accountable?

Q: I am a first-year graduate student at Roosevelt University in Chicago, working on my master of science in accounting. Because of recent accounting scandals, is a career in accounting worth pursuing? If so, what are some of the top companies and corporations in Chicago?
C. Avant, Via the Internet

A: You should definitely continue your studies—and look forward to a bright future in accounting. “College enrollment for accounting studies is up,” says James Hill Jr., managing partner of Hill, Taylor L.L.C. Based in Chicago, the company is one of the few African American-owned certified public accounting firms in the country. “Accountants are essential to every business in our community, our country, and the world,” he says. He notes that the Enron and WorldCom scandals represent less than 1% of the profession. “Because of their size, they automatically get media attention. But the profession has since taken preventive measure against such occurrences.”

And you couldn’t be in a better city. Chicago is the fifth largest financial center in the world and is home to accounting firm Ernst & Young. Other top companies include Ameritech, Citigroup, and advertising giant Leo Burnett. “There are opportunities to work in all sectors, including public firms, government, private, and nonprofit business. You could also teach,” Hill states.
Become active in industry organizations as part of your networking strategy. There are several, including the National Association of Black Accountants (www.nabainc.org) and the American Society of Women Accountants (www .aswa.org). Log onto www.account ing.com for more listings and for information on employment opportunities.

Mail your career development questions to: Since You Asked, BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011, or send an e-mail to alleynes@blackenterprise.com.

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