For some accountants, children are bottom line Alliance: Holding its 25th annual convention in Baltimore, the National Association of Black Accountants says it is forming an alliance with city schools


July 13, 1996|By Abbe Gluck | Abbe Gluck,SUN STAFF

The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), which held its 25th national convention in Baltimore this week, said yesterday that it plans to bring its educational summer program to Baltimore, as well as enhance its relationship with the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA).

Speaking to reporters at the Hyatt Regency hotel downtown, NABA President Angela Avant said the 5,100-member association will expand its Accounting Careers Awareness Program (ACAP) into Baltimore in the next few months.

Including Baltimore, NABA will add six chapters to the six already participating in the two-week summer program that introduces high school students to accounting.

"We are very pleased with the alliance we are forming with the Baltimore schools system," she said, adding that NABA is still "working out the details" of the student-selection process.

Calling it "a real success story," Avant said that of the 1,500 students who have participated in ACAP since 1980, 800 have majored in accounting in college and 500 have majored in other areas of business.

The Baltimore chapter of MACPA "will probably get involved" in the program, said MACPA board member Alicia J. Foster.

"There's a very small black presence in the MACPA," said Foster, who is black herself.

"The percentage of black accountants in public accounting is very small," Foster said, adding that many blacks choose the corporate path instead "because there are more opportunities."

Of the 400,000 CPAs in the United States, about 2 percent are black, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Avant also said yesterday that NABA intends to enhance its relationship with other accounting organizations.

For the past few years, NABA has been engaged in a dispute with some CPA state associations.

Finding "some shortcomings with the young people entering the profession," many states have increased the educational requirement for public certification from 130 credit hours to 150 hours, Foster said. New areas of study include computer training, economics and international studies, she said

However, because the extra requirements typically take students an extra year to fulfill, "NABA is concerned with the funding for an additional year of education," Avant said.

In states like Maryland, which passed the 150-hour requirement in 1993, Avant said, NABA is working with groups like MACPA to influence legislation providing financial assistance for accounting students who cannot afford the extra year.

This week's convention also saw the presentation of $55,000 in NABA scholarships. In total, the association has awarded $380,000 in scholarships this year, Avant said.

Serving her second term as NABA president, Avant has been the inspector general for the District of Columbia since December 1995.

Pub Date: 7/13/96

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