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Vault 2021 Rankings: These Accounting Firms Supposedly Care the Most About Diversity


One of the more interesting categories under the “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” portion of Vault’s accounting rankings each year is diversity. Pretty much all large-to-midsize accounting firms these days tout their diversity initiatives. But which firms actually walk the talk?

Knocking KPMG out of the No. 1 spot in Vault’s 2021 overall diversity ranking is Tampa-based Schellman & Co., a CPA firm that specializes in compliance and attestation services. In fact, Schellman swept all four diversity categories—overall, diversity for minorities, diversity for women, and LGBTQ diversity.

Now it’s entirely possible that Schellman is Vault’s No. 1 accounting firm for diversity because a majority, if not all, of its 226 employees stuffed the ballot box, so to speak. In a survey, Vault asked accountants to rate their firm’s commitment to diversity with respect to women, minorities, and LGBT individuals. Vault then used a formula that weights the average score in all three categories equally.

Firm leaders may have highly suggested that employees show the firm some love and give Schellman some nice, juicy high scores. And that they did, as Schellman’s overall diversity score was 9.278 out of 10, which is the highest score in the 15 years Vault has compiled diversity rankings in accounting.

We’re not sayin’, we’re just sayin’.

But Schellman does seem to take diversity and inclusion seriously. For example, Orlando Business Journal named Schellman an Outstanding Diverse Organization in the medium company category, which includes companies with 100-499 employees, in its 2019 Diversity in Business Awards.

Here’s why:

The Orlando office is led by company President Avani Desai, who implemented a diversity and inclusion program to identify, recruit, retain and grow women and minorities in the field of information security. By 2020, there will be 2 million jobs open and only 2% of those will be filled by women and minorities in the U.S. The company’s SchellmanPRIDE and SchellmanCARES team worked on a charter, hosted a webinar and set up meetings to educate employees on equality. And Desai was among the biggest supporters of the initiatives. “I am lucky to work with over 200 people who view equality and inclusion as a necessity, and I plan to continue to personally help some of our employees become further leaders of diversity.”

Here are the top three firms in overall diversity, diversity for women, diversity for minorities, and LGBT diversity, and we included where some other notable firms wound up in the rankings (previous year ranking in parenthesis):

Overall diversity

1. Schellman & Co. (NR)
2. PwC (2)
3. BPM (NR)
4. KPMG (1)
5. Plante Moran (15)
9. Moss Adams (13)
10. Deloitte (8)
13. BDO USA (4)
14. Baker Tilly (18)
17. CohnReznick (16)
19. CBIZ MHM (20)
22. RSM US (21)

Diversity for minorities

1. Schellman & Co. (NR)
2. PwC (1)
3. BPM (NR)
4. KPMG (2)
7. Plante Moran (15)
8. Deloitte (8)
9. Moss Adams (12)
12. BDO USA (4)
14. Baker Tilly (17)
18. CohnReznick (14)
19. CBIZ MHM (20)
22. RSM US (18)

Diversity for women

1. Schellman & Co. (NR)
2. Brown Smith Wallace (5)
3. Frank, Rimerman + Co. (3)
4. Plante Moran (15)
6. PwC (2)
7. KPMG (1)
12. Moss Adams (11)
13. Deloitte (12)
14. BDO USA (8)
16. Baker Tilly (18)
18. CBIZ MHM (21)
21. CohnReznick (22)

LGBTQ diversity

1. Schellman & Co. (NR)
2. PwC (2)
3. KPMG (1)
4. Plante Moran (12)
5. Moss Adams (13)
7. Deloitte (6)
9. BDO USA (4)
15. CohnReznick (16)
16. Baker Tilly (18)
18. CBIZ MHM (19)
20. RSM US (17)

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