Chicago CPA and NABA Member Shares Advice for Diverse Accounting Professionals
Chinedu “Chin” Iwuora has always been fascinated by money and how economies work. It’s no wonder he was immediately hooked on accounting after his first accounting class at Chowan University in North Carolina.
“You can say I like the culture of business and accounting is the language I use to express myself within that culture,” he said.
Chinedu is originally from Nigeria but has lived in the United States for the past 13 years. After attending Chowan University, where he played D-II collegiate soccer, he completed his MBA at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a Chicago CPA and member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), Chin is able to express his passion for accounting – and hopes to share this passion with other up-and-coming accounting professionals.
Read on as Chinedu shares why he decided to become an accountant and pursue CPA licensure, and how his membership at NABA has influenced his career.
Why did you decide to become an accountant?
I was hooked on accounting after my first accounting class. I loved the structure and rules of financial reporting, as well as the complex puzzles of journal entries and determining which accounts to debit and credit. I also have plans to be an entrepreneur – being an accountant allows me to really understand how to run a business.
Why did you continue and obtain CPA licensure?
I am a proud CPA in the State of Illinois. You cannot progress in public accounting without a license. Having a CPA license demonstrates to my clients that I have the required skill set and competencies to help them navigate their most complicated accounting issues, such as purchase accounting or fair valuing complex level 3 securities. CPAs are superheroes protecting the capital markets one audit at a time.
Do you have any tips for new accounting professionals, especially those with diverse backgrounds?
My advice to new professionals would be to get licensed as soon as possible. The CPA exam, while tough, is a one-time exam. Once you pass it, no one can take that license from you unless you do something unethical. I feel this is even more important for people with diverse backgrounds because it shows you have the competencies of a CPA mixed in with a uniquely diverse perspective. You’re already a dual-threat just starting out in your career.
How has your membership with NABA influenced your professional career?
Joining NABA may have been one of the smartest decisions I made in college. I learned about NABA from my cousin who was a consultant. She mentioned that she had heard about it from her accounting friends and it was a great organization for minority accounting and finance students to meet mentors, network, and secure internships and jobs. Since becoming involved with NABA, all three things have happened! I attended my first NABA regional conference as a student and secured my full-time job with Deloitte at this conference. I also cultivated relationships with different stakeholders in NABA, both as a mentee and a mentor. Through my NABA network, I know that I can visit any state or city and there will always be a fellow NABA member to welcome me. This was quite helpful when I moved to Chicago for work since I didn’t know anyone else. NABA has been invaluable to my career progression and professional development. I just love the motto of “Lifting as we climb.” This is something I try to exhibit in all aspects of my life.
Take advantage of NABA’s professional benefits at the 2019 NABA Convention in Las Vegas. Attendees who visit Becker Accounting at Booth #502 will have the opportunity to win a Becker Bundle with Unlimited Access!