On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, LGA’s John Geraci and Janine Danielson presented a webinar on “The Importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) in the Accounting Profession” to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The presentation included defining DE&I and its importance in the accounting industry, making the business case for DE&I, and how LGA is implementing DE&I initiatives at the firm.
John Geraci, LGA Managing Partner, shared with the attendees that he had signed the CEO Action Pledge to commit LGA to DE&I initiatives. The pledge, signed by over 2,000 CEOs, commits companies to DE&I education, best practices and to create and implement strategic DE&I plans.
When asked why he signed the pledge, Geraci shared, “I signed the CEO Action Pledge to demonstrate my commitment to being a catalyst for change in the CPA profession around DE&I initiatives. We have struggled as an industry to change our teams’ complexion and build more inclusive organizations. In a profession that values consistency and status quo, many firm leaders have difficulty reimagining our firms’ makeup and flipping the script on our mindset, processes, and approaches. While studies suggest more diverse organizations have increased performance and profits, I am more motivated by doing what’s right. At LGA, we want to bring together great people with varied backgrounds who complement one another while also challenging each other’s thinking and default assumptions about anything and everything. From this, we all grow, and our clients are the beneficiaries of that growth!”
Janine Danielson, LGA Partner and Director of Outsourced Management Accounting, leads the recruiting efforts at LGA with a focus on DE&I. Danielson shared with attendees, “At LGA, we are continuing to work on embracing all the three elements of DE&I to produce a thriving workplace that results in enhanced employee engagement and retention. Recent data shows that the public accounting industry continues to work on this to create a more diverse workforce, whether it is strictly gender-related or to engage under-represented students to learn more about careers in accounting. Also, we are having conversations with potential candidates regarding our focus on DE&I, especially as they look more closely at our website and social media to see what we are doing in this area.”
When asked about LGA’s commitment to DE&I while recruiting, Danielson said, “The LGA 5-year strategic plan has included many key elements to be sure that we continue to do our part. Our prior recruiting plan was to participate at the college career fairs once a year. As a result of our DE&I initiative, our recruiting plan is reviewed and updated each year as needed. We want to be sure that we are developing and deepening relationships to reach those students that we typically would not meet at career fairs. It is now less about the career fairs and more about building thoughtful relationships with professors and administrators and supporting clubs and organizations. For example, this past year, we have given presentations to the National Association of Black Accountants, Asian American Student Club, Advancement for Diversity in Business in addition to Beta Alpha Psi and other Accounting Clubs.”
LGA remains committed to DE&I initiatives at the firm and promoting DE&I growth and education in the accounting industry.
About the Speakers
John D. Geraci, CPA
John Geraci joined LGA, LLP in 2009 and is responsible for the direction of the firm, its growth, both organic and through M&A, and its move toward providing more consulting and advisory services. Under his leadership, LGA has risen in the ranks of the Boston Business Journal’s Largest Accounting Firms from 45th in 2013 to 24th in 2021, a move of 21 positions in seven short years. John leverages his extensive experience to advise clients with the financial, operational, and cultural aspects of running a successful business and provides coaching and leadership training and consulting.
Janine M. Danielson, CPA
Partner, Managing Director of Outsourced Accounting
Janine is a Partner at LGA with over 30 years of experience advising a diverse range of clients and is the Managing Director of the Outsourced Management Accounting (OMA) practice. She provides clients with outsourced accounting solutions to augment every function of their accounting team utilizing a highly customizable and practical approach. Whether it’s serving as a client’s entire back-office or taking on a specific role as part of the client’s accounting and finance team, Janine and her team enable business owners and managers to concentrate on the day-to-day aspects of running and growing a successful business.