Podcast: Kimberly Ellison-Taylor’s reign as profession’s top volunteer ends, but her work is just beginning

Most executives have busy, fast-paced schedules. It goes with the territory.

Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, lives it, breathes it, and loves it.

The Baltimore native and past chair of the American Institute of CPAs recently wrapped up nearly two whirlwind years as the profession’s most visible and influential volunteer. She served as chair of the American Institute of CPAs from October 2016 through January 2018, and also served as chair of the newly formed Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (known in the profession as simply the Association) from July 2017 through May 2018. She will continue to serve on the Association’s Board of Directors through May 2019.

Born in inner-city Baltimore, Kimberly discovered the profession at an early age and devoted herself to it. She has since risen to the very top of the profession, but there are two key things you need to know about Kimberly:

First, she has never forgotten her roots. She is a Marylander through and through, and she is the biggest fan of state CPA societies the world will ever know.

Second, from our profession’s standpoint, she has seen it all.

She’s talked with thousands of folks in this profession throughout the world over the past couple of years and has developed a unique perspective on where the profession is now and what’s waiting for us in the future.

In this conversation, we cover:

  • What the American Institute of CPAs and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants are — and how they’re different.
  • How Kimberly’s perspective on the industry has changed after her board positions.
  • Who has impacted Kimberly over the past few years.
  • Why state societies are so relevant today.
  • The biggest challenges and opportunities facing the profession today.
  • How our industry can better appeal to women and people of color.

Kimberly’s rise to the top
It’s hard to overstate the impact Kimberly has had on this profession, so let’s learn a little bit more about her rise to the top.

Kimberly has held leadership positions at some of the nation’s most prominent organizations, including NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Motorola, KPMG, and most recently as Oracle’s global accounting strategy director.

Kimberly is also one of the most active CPA volunteers in the country. A former chair of the MACPA’s board of directors, she was the first Marylander, fifth woman, and first person of color to serve as chair of the American Institute of CPAs’ Board of Directors.

And if that wasn’t enough, Kimberly followed that up by chairing the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

So we want to pay tribute to all of the hard work Kimberly has done on our behalf over the past few years, and acknowledge her unique position in leading this profession into a largely unknown and sometimes frightening future that is full of opportunities for those who want to grab the reins and go.

You can learn even more about the impact Kimberly has had on this profession by watching the video below.



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