AICPA and NAF’s Academy of Finance Partner to Increase Pipeline of Skilled and Diverse Talent to Accounting Profession

High School Program Launching in Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and New York

NEW YORK--()--The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and NAF are pleased to announce a new program aimed at educating and preparing a diverse workforce, ready to enter the accounting profession. The AICPA/NAF Recognition Program combines a variety of learning platforms and experiences designed specifically to engage NAF Academy of Finance high school students, who are concentrating on accounting, early in their career decision making process.

“What makes NAF academies so special are the relationships we have with the business community”

The nationwide recognition program will teach students both soft skills – such as communication, time management, and leadership - as well as the technical accounting and finance skills that will encourage and prepare them to pursue an accounting degree at a post-secondary institution. In addition, students will learn about the career possibilities available to Certified Public Accountants.

“By focusing on a combination of technical accounting skills and soft skills, the AICPA/NAF Recognition Program will help strengthen the pipeline of diverse students entering the accounting profession,” said Kim Drumgo, AICPA director of Diversity and Inclusion and vice chair of the National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. “The program will expose high school students early in their career decision making process to the opportunities that being a CPA offers, as well as the support they’ll receive from the accounting profession as they work to earn their CPA license and throughout their careers. The AICPA is excited about our partnership with NAF and we look forward to implementing the program and growing it in years to come.”

A pilot program will begin in the fall of this year, with academies in districts in Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and New York. These pilot academies will provide comprehensive education and resources to students in four states to better prepare them to pursue careers in the accounting profession.

NAF’s Academy of Finance connects high school students with the world of financial services, offering a curriculum that covers entrepreneurship, banking and credit, financial planning, international finance, securities, insurance, accounting, and economics, among other topics. Today, there are 212 Academies of Finance in 123 school districts across 35 states, including the US Virgin Islands. They serve more than 25,000 students annually, 61% of whom are from low- to moderate-income families (determined by eligibility for free and reduced price lunch).

The U.S. census projects that minorities will comprise the majority of the population in the U.S. by 2045. The AICPA/NAF Recognition Program seeks to address these changing demographics and shifts in entrepreneurial capital by broadening the pipeline of talent and creating a more inclusive profession.

“What makes NAF academies so special are the relationships we have with the business community,” said JD Hoye, President of NAF. “With the NAF/AICPA Recognition Program we are adding value to an educational experience that we know works. Industry alignment and recognition is the key to the development of an educated and skilled workforce.”

Students will be recognized upon completion of following requirements:

  • Complete and pass at least two finance or accounting courses
  • Participate in a paid internship facilitated by NAF
  • Complete an online enrichment program designed to help develop soft skills and provide exposure to various careers in accounting.
  • Register as a student affiliate member on AICPA’s Start Here, Go Places. website.
  • Complete an AICPA online pre- and post-program survey to assess their perceptions of the accounting profession and their likelihood to take future accounting courses.

About NAF

NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career, and future ready. NAF’s educational design ignites students’ passion for learning and gives businesses the opportunity to shape America’s future workforce by transforming the learning environment to include STEM infused industry-specific curricula and work-based learning experiences, including internships. Since 1982, NAF has been partnering with existing high schools in high-need communities to enhance school systems at a low cost by implementing NAF academies – small learning communities within traditional high schools. NAF has grown from one NAF Academy of Finance in New York City to hundreds of academies across the country focusing on growing industries including: finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. During the 2014-15 school year nearly 82,000 students attended 667 NAF academies across 38 states, including DC and the US Virgin Islands. In 2014, NAF academies reported 97% of seniors graduated with 93% of graduates planning to go to college.

About the AICPA

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 412,000 members in 144 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation which sets a new standard for global recognition of management accounting.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at


James Schiavone, 212-596-6119
Dana Pungello, 212-635-2400

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Release Summary

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and NAF are pleased to announce a new program aimed at educating and preparing a diverse workforce that is ready to enter the accounting profession.

American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and NAF