Elevating Diversity in Accounting: Insights from a Chicago CPA and NABA Member

Elevating Diversity in Accounting: Insights from a Chicago CPA and NABA Member

Chinedu “Chin” Iwuora possesses an innate fascination with the intricate workings of economies and a keen interest in the dynamics of money. This natural curiosity paved the way for his journey into the world of accounting, a journey that began with his first accounting class at Chowan University in North Carolina.

Hailing from Nigeria and having spent the last 13 years in the United States, Chinedu's journey in the field of accounting has been marked by academic achievements, a passion for entrepreneurship, and a commitment to professional excellence. As a Chicago CPA and an active member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), Chinedu embraces the opportunity to share his insights and experiences, particularly with emerging accounting professionals from diverse backgrounds.

The Attraction to Accounting

Chinedu's initial exposure to accounting at Chowan University was transformative. The structured nature of financial reporting, the nuanced complexities of journal entries, and the puzzle-solving aspect of determining debit and credit accounts resonated deeply with him. For Chinedu, accounting serves as the language through which he expresses himself within the culture of business.

Reflecting on his passion, Chinedu shares, “You can say I like the culture of business, and accounting is the language I use to express myself within that culture.”

The CPA Journey: A Credential of Distinction

Chinedu's commitment to accounting led him to pursue CPA licensure in the State of Illinois. For him, the CPA license is not merely a professional designation; it symbolizes a commitment to upholding the highest standards in the accounting profession. As a CPA, Chinedu perceives himself as a superhero safeguarding the capital markets through meticulous audits.

The decision to obtain CPA licensure was motivated not only by professional progression but also by the recognition that it is an indispensable credential for those aspiring to excel in public accounting. Chinedu emphasizes the unique positioning of CPAs as individuals equipped with the skill set and competencies to navigate complex accounting challenges.

For aspiring accountants, especially those from diverse backgrounds, Chinedu offers valuable advice—get licensed as soon as possible. He underscores the importance of viewing the CPA exam as a one-time challenge, the successful completion of which solidifies one's standing in the profession.

Navigating the Profession: Tips for Emerging Professionals

As someone who has successfully navigated the intricate landscape of accounting, Chinedu provides sage advice for new professionals, particularly those with diverse backgrounds. His emphasis on obtaining CPA licensure early in one's career underscores the significance of this credential in establishing a strong professional foundation.

Chinedu acknowledges that the CPA exam is challenging but emphasizes its one-time nature. Once achieved, the CPA license becomes an enduring testament to an individual's expertise and ethical commitment. This is especially pertinent for individuals with diverse backgrounds, as it highlights their unique perspective and dual-threat capabilities at the onset of their careers.

NABA: A Catalyst for Professional Growth

Chinedu's trajectory in the accounting profession has been significantly influenced by his membership in the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Introduced to NABA by a cousin working as a consultant, Chinedu recognized the organization's potential as a dynamic platform for minority accounting and finance students.

NABA served as a catalyst for various aspects of Chinedu's professional journey. His first encounter with the organization, at a regional conference during his student years, resulted in securing a full-time position with Deloitte. Beyond job opportunities, NABA provided a rich network of mentors, fostering relationships that extended into both mentoring and being mentored.

The unique ethos of NABA, encapsulated in the motto "Lifting as we climb," resonates deeply with Chinedu. He embodies this philosophy in all aspects of his life, striving to uplift others as he progresses in his career. The organization's emphasis on mentorship, networking, and professional development has proven invaluable, particularly during pivotal moments, such as Chinedu's relocation to Chicago.

The Power of Networks: NABA's Impact

Chinedu underscores the power of the NABA network, emphasizing that, regardless of the state or city he visits, there is always a fellow NABA member ready to extend a warm welcome. This network proved especially beneficial when he moved to Chicago, a city where he initially knew no one. The connections forged through NABA not only provided professional support but also facilitated a smooth transition to a new environment.

Reflecting on his journey, Chinedu expresses profound gratitude for the opportunities NABA has afforded him. Beyond the tangible benefits, he appreciates the sense of community and shared purpose that defines the organization. The collaborative spirit within NABA aligns seamlessly with Chinedu's personal and professional values, creating an environment where individuals uplift one another on their respective journeys.

NABA's Guiding Principle: "Lifting as we climb"

Chinedu's commitment to "Lifting as we climb" echoes the core ethos of NABA. This principle encapsulates the collective responsibility to uplift fellow professionals and create an inclusive and supportive community. Through mentorship, networking, and mutual support, NABA contributes to the holistic development of its members.

For Chinedu, NABA transcends its role as a professional organization; it embodies a shared journey towards excellence and equity in the accounting profession. His story serves as a testament to the transformative power of professional networks, emphasizing the impact of organizations like NABA in fostering diversity, inclusion, and professional growth.

Chinedu "Chin" Iwuora's narrative exemplifies the intersection of passion, professional commitment, and the transformative influence of organizations like NABA. His journey from Nigeria to becoming a Chicago CPA is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the potential unleashed when diverse perspectives are embraced in the accounting profession.

Chinedu's advice for emerging professionals, especially those from diverse backgrounds, resonates as a beacon of guidance. The pursuit of CPA licensure, active engagement with professional organizations like NABA, and a commitment to "Lifting as we climb" collectively contribute to a more inclusive and empowered accounting community.

In navigating the dynamic landscape of accounting, Chinedu's story inspires individuals to embrace their unique perspectives, pursue excellence, and actively contribute to the uplifting of others in the profession.

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