In Recognition of Black History Month
Buchbinder is proud to recognize the many influences and achievements of Black accountants to our profession throughout history, as well as the Black-led or owned organizations and businesses that have helped to shape our broader economy and the American business culture. We recognize that the achievements of Black business pioneers did not come lightly, and that their perseverance laid a foundation for the opportunities we continue to build today. We are thankful for the model they serve.
This year, we honor the contributions of John Cromwell, who was a Washington D.C. native, and the first Black Certified Public Accountant in the United States. Mr. Cromwell graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1906 and earned his Master’s in 1907. At that time, CPA firms would not consider a Black applicant for employment, so the experience requirement to obtain the CPA was unattainable to him. In 1921, New Hampshire passed legislation that allowed the CPA license to be obtained without the experience of working under a CPA, and Mr. Cromwell took this opportunity immediately, traveling to New Hampshire where he passed the exam and earned his license. Mr. Cromwell returned to Washington D.C., where he practiced accounting until he retired in 1956, serving primarily the Black community and Black businesses. From 1930-33, Mr. Cromwell also served as the Comptroller of Howard University. His personal and professional achievements remain an inspirational and empowering story for all who face adversity.
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