CPA credential perceptions: a case study of Hispanic accountants

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One of the recommendations of The Pathways Commission report was to increase the number of diverse entrants into the accounting profession. While the Commission’s recommendation is commendable, the lack of diversity in the accounting profession is not a new problem. Hence, the accounting profession has attempted to address the underrepresentation of minority Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) for many years. To this end, organizations such as American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA), and the Ph.D. Project have provided different types of support to alleviate the problem. However, the numbers are still disturbingly low. This is particularly true for Hispanic accountants. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine Hispanic accountants’ perception of the CPA credential. While the results indicate that gender, exam affordability, and job incentives are positively associated with the likelihood of being a CPA, the 150-hour requirement was not perceived as a hindrance for certification.

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