5 Influential Black Accountants Everyone Should Know

Last Updated on April 11, 2023

Decorative image of five influential black accountants and HBCU graduates: Kendra Dancy, CPA, Christopher Johnson, CPA, CISA, CDPP, Gerri Lazarre, CPA, ACA, MSTAX, Julian Davis, CPA, CFP and Charisa Price, CPA.

The accounting industry in the US hasn't always been the most diverse, but Black accountants are changing that! They're smashing through barriers and making history. In fact, they're inspiring the next generation of Black accountants to follow in their footsteps.

Get ready to meet five trailblazing Black accountants who've made huge strides in the industry. They’re role models who'll inspire you and teach you all about what it takes to succeed in accounting. And if you're interested in becoming an accountant yourself, Accounting+ has your back with its resources. It's packed with information and support for students just like you.

1. Kendra Dancy, CPA

Head shot image of Kendra Dancy, CPA

Kendra Dancy is no stranger to entrepreneurship. From selling candy bars and CDs in middle school to now proudly operating as a leading CPA, CFO, and trusted financial expert, Kendra Dancy, has always been about the bag. As a Chocolate City native, Kendra grew up learning from her mother about the power of the Black dollar and the importance of supporting your community. What makes Kendra stand out, however, is how she parlayed her passion into a career using the Blk Report. An entrepreneur in her own right, Kedra started the Blk Report to help Black female entrepreneurs understand their bottom line and run profitable businesses.

Her purpose is bigger than just being a CPA. In her own words, Because our community is greatly underserved when it comes to ownership and managing our finances. Many of us lack resources, capital, know-how, or even the infrastructure needed to scale and grow.” That did not sit right with Kendra, and so, like the talented entrepreneur she is, she found a solution. Now, because of the financial advice she provides, she has the privilege of witnessing the pride, generational wealth, and positive impact stemming from the many Black businesses she serves.  Be sure to check out her work, and who knows, maybe you can be another business leading the way and sharing the knowledge.

2. Christopher Johnson, CPA, CISA, CDPP

Head shot image Christopher Johnson, CPA, CISA, CDPP

Meet Christopher Johnson, an accomplished Black accountant who is making waves in the accounting industry with his commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. As a co-founder of Johnson Risk Advisory and CPA Diversity, Christopher brings a unique perspective to the field. He is not only a Certified Public Accountant but also a data security and risk management expert who worked at a Big 4 firm early in his career before establishing his own firm.

Christopher's passion for helping underrepresented communities get into the accounting field comes from his own journey to success. Although he passed the 4-part accounting exam, he chose to obtain several IT certifications before completing the requirements to become a licensed CPA. He pursued his interests in data protection and developed a unique skill set that has served him well since gaining the required accounting work experience and eventually being licensed.

Christopher's YouTube channel, CPA Diversity, showcases the diversity of the accounting field and the various career paths available to CPAs. His goal is to encourage more underrepresented populations, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and others, to become CPAs by providing content that demonstrates the diverse backgrounds in the accounting and CPA profession in addition to the diverse opportunities available to CPAs in our global economy.

Through his work with Johnson Risk Advisory and CPA Diversity, Christopher is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the accounting industry. By launching his own firm, he is setting an example for future generations and creating a space where underrepresented voices can thrive. Christopher's commitment to breaking down barriers in the accounting industry is making a significant impact and creating a brighter future for upcoming generations. We need more people like Christopher in the industry, trailblazers who aren't afraid to take risks, push boundaries, and make a difference.

3. Gerri Lazarre, CPA, ACA, MSTAX

Head shot image Gerri Lazarre, CPA, ACA, MSTAX

Meet Gerri Lazarre, a licensed, certified public accountant in four states – the District of Columbia, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia – as well as a chartered accountant in Nigeria. Gerri's diverse set of credentials is a testament to her expertise and dedication to the field of accounting.

As a Shareholder and Tax Professional at TriMerge Consulting Group, P.A., Gerri brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Her expertise includes accounting, audit and assurance, taxation, public sector financial management, budgeting, and consulting, making her a true powerhouse in the accounting world.

Gerri's impact extends beyond borders, and she has a passion for helping small businesses and nonprofits. Gerri has partnered with the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce to host its Next Level Business workshop series, where she shares her knowledge and tax tips to help local business owners maximize their savings.

Additionally, Gerri is a Board Member and Committee Chair at Sankore Investments, an investment and advisory firm based in Lagos, Nigeria, providing wealth and fund management services to individuals and institutions. Gerri's work in Nigeria showcases her commitment to promoting financial literacy and supporting economic growth in underserved communities.

Gerri's journey shows that accountants can make a difference by utilizing their knowledge and expertise to impact communities locally and globally. She inspires the accounting community to aim high and work towards promoting financial literacy and economic growth in underserved communities.

4. Julian Davis, CPA, CFP

Head shot image Julian, Davis, CPA, CFP

Julian Davis is an accounting trailblazer using his skills to make a positive difference in the world. As a past leader in Ernst & Young's flagship education corporate responsibility initiative, Julian is dedicated to bringing financial education to underserved communities in Atlanta. At Homrich Berg, he's a director who helps people manage their finances and plan for their futures.

But Julian's contributions to the accounting world don't stop there. He's also a Certified Financial Planner professional and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), with membership in various professional organizations. His academic credentials are just as impressive – he earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Morehouse College and his Master's in Accounting from the University of Virginia.

Julian's commitment to making a positive difference goes beyond his professional and academic achievements. He volunteers for various financial planning events and participates in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Atlanta. His dedication to giving back to the community inspires many in the accounting industry.

Julian's story is a shining example of how accounting can be a force for good in the world. As an alum of Morehouse College, he's leading the way for the next generation of accountants, inspiring them to use their skills to impact the world positively.

5. Charisa Price, CPA

Head shot image Charisa Price, CPA

Charisa Price is an accounting superstar, whose expertise is not limited to the United States. She has traveled to India to work with C-level leadership within the finance and manufacturing sector. This experience allowed her to travel and connect with businesses worldwide, proving that accounting isn't just about crunching numbers – it's about making connections and building relationships across borders. 

As the Director of Finance at Novelis, Charisa's experience in general and technical accounting, auditing, financial reporting, and capital budget management makes her a true expert. But Charisa's passion for diversity and inclusion in the finance industry sets her apart. She's a vocal advocate for a diverse and inclusive workforce and is not afraid to speak up and make a difference.

Charisa's experience and passion inspire young accountants who want to use their skills to make a positive impact. As an alum of Clark Atlanta University, she's leading the way for the next generation of accountants, showing them that accounting is more than just a desk job – it's a gateway to new experiences, connections, and opportunities to change the world for the better.

Join the Movement and Make Your Mark in Accounting

Undoubtedly, these five Black accountants are paving the way for the next generation. They have achieved success in their respective fields and continue to make a positive impact in the industry. Their accomplishments demonstrate that diversity and inclusion are essential for progress and innovation. 

To learn more about the accounting field and how to make an impact, visit the Accounting+ website.

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