Personal Finance Career Spotlight: Accounting
Career Women

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

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(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.