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Today, we announce the Top 50 Women in Accounting for 2020, and celebrate women across the globe.

10 mins 10 Feb 2023 by Brooke Kayira
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We’re so excited to announce Ignition's Top 50 #WomeninAccounting for 2020 - celebrating all the amazing women who are driving advocacy, change and creating opportunities in the Accounting and Bookkeeping industry!

2020 was a year like no other. However, despite the obvious challenges, one thing rings true: women around the globe are continuing to show up, step up and lead the charge. Through education programs, free resources to support small business, community-led initiatives and seeking to raise up the next generation of leaders, the top 50 women in accounting are actively and passionately driving this industry forward.

Those included in the list came from all corners of the globe and ranked among the highest on our anonymised scoring system which took into account;

  • Dedication to promoting inclusivity and diversity in the workplace and beyond

  • Investment in the next generation and the future leaders of accounting

  • Advocacy of the accounting industry and support of the wider community

In reflecting on the quality of this year's nominations and submissions, our judging panel has expressed how inspiring and humbling it was to hear how each nominee is making her mark in the world of accounting. We first launched the 'Women in Accounting' awards on International Women's Day in 2018, and continue to be inspired by your stories every day.

On behalf of the Ignition team, I'd like to thank each of our Top 50 (and all nominees) for the impact they're having in our global accounting community and beyond. We see you and we honor you.

Without further adieu, please join me in celebrating the 2020 Top 50 Women in Accounting, and remember to keep the conversation going on social using the hashtag #WomenInAccounting.

From the judging panel

Madeline Pratt - Fearless Foundry & Womxn Talk Money
"Reflecting on the incredible volume of submissions this year, one things was crystal clear: women around the globe are stepping up in the accounting industry in incredible ways. From creating mentorship programs, to offering free resources to support small businesses, to crafting educational content to elevate the next generation of leaders; women are going to incredible lengths to drive this industry forward. I am in awe of their efforts, and applaud every woman that was nominated for using her passion to power progress in the world of accounting."
Rebecca Mihalic - businessDEPOT & Ignition
"Shining a light on these incredible women not only acknowledges their journey and contributions to our community, but it also creates an opportunity to provide people something to look up to. Not all heroes wear capes, and this year these women are all my heroes, they have both humbled and inspired me to give back and support not just other women, but my whole community whenever I can. Thank you for everything that you do."
Ria-Jaine Lincoln - Ria-Jaine & Co Ltd
"Reading the stories of the nominees from around the globe was so inspiring. I felt connected to an amazing community of women that truly are leading the way. I am humbled by the passion and drive from women in all corners of the world that embrace and champion diversity and inclusion whilst also contributing to the next generation. Just amazing!"
Guy Pearson - Ignition
"I am amazed at the depth of some of these amazing women's devotion to the future of the profession, raising diversity and inclusion in both their organisation and their community. Particularly their focus on helping those around them in the past year, with no strings attached advice to those who need it most. I couldn't be prouder to be putting these women up in lights and thank you to all those who entered. Lastly, the focus on education for those who do not have the means struck a special chord. Hats off to you ladies. Thank you."
Emma Crawford Falekaono - Ignition
"After a tough year for many around the globe, it has been both encouraging and inspiring to read through the high volume of submissions of successful women challenging the status quo. Thank you to all those nominated for the industry-changing work and initiatives you are driving forward. When everyone is included, everyone wins."
Jennie Moore - Moore Details Inc
"My heart is full knowing that so many women in accounting are challenging for change and pursuing diversity. Each entry brought a sense of pride to me knowing that the future will hold more opportunities for my daughters. Thank you to my industry peers who Press for Progress."
Juliet Acom Koluo
Pollicy - Uganda
"I provide free basic bookkeeping training for semi-illiterate and illiterate communities involved in small scale businesses in the rural Teso region of Uganda."

Rukhsana Adam
Mirandus Accountants - United Kingdom

"I am always happy to invest my time and experience with staff, understanding that experience in previous roles, industries and sectors is a benefit, not a detriment, to the wider accounting industry."


Tosha Anderson
The Charity CFO, LLC - United States

"As a women-run business, we are champions of diversity and offer a place for individuals to shine and to work hard."


Juliet Aurora
AIS Solutions - Canada

"As a visible minority, I was often judged by the colour of my skin, or the fact that I was female. As a result of my own personal experiences, diversity has always been an important topic for me."


Vanessa Bamford
Vision Beyond Business - Australia

"With our empathetic approach to leadership and our wellness focus for our team and ourselves, putting the health and wellbeing of our team first has always been our core focus, and crucial to the success of our business."


Martha Banner
Grant Thornton LLP - Canada
"Part of being a leader and championing inclusivity and diversity is to sit back and listen more by recognizing others who’s voices are better heard than my own."

Tashia Batstone
CPA Canada - Canada

"I am a fierce advocate for the accounting profession and our role to act in the public interest. I am passionate about the future of the profession and work tirelessly on the development of education that will support the lifelong journey of CPAs."


Kyelie Baxter
IQ Accountants - Australia
"Digital technology is reshaping the global economy so I genuinely believe the best skills that the next generation of leaders can have is resilience and enthusiasm."

Joanne Bell
Bells Accountants - United Kingdom

"At Bells, we regularly engage with the local community and offer as much free advice and resource as we can."


Isabella Bertani
Bertani - Canada

"I have tried in everything that I do, to be a mentor, role model, leader and vocal advocate for young people within my profession. I strive that my contributions result in meaningful change.


Nestene Botha
Explore ProTech Entrepreneurial Haven - South Africa

"I’m on a mission to save the global economy - one small business at a time and I’m a proud member of the accounting profession."


Katie Bryan
Propeller Advisory - Australia
"I strongly believe that an empowered diverse workforce cultivates a motivated, creative team of problem solvers and team players."

Toni Cameron
TL;DR: Accounting - United States
"One of my initial goals since starting TL;DR was to help women leave time-consuming public accounting roles to transition into a role that allowed them to spend more time with their families."

Jaime Campbell
Tier One Services, LLC - United States

"Jaime has developed a disruptive accounting firm model which centers equity first and promotes joy, self-determination, and financial opportunity."


Nayo Carter-Gray
1st Step Accounting - United States
"As a black woman, it's important to me that I represent myself in a manner that makes my culture proud. It's also important to me to provide service to small business owners that I can learn from that come from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures."

Sabrina Cook
Sabrina P. Cook, CPA PLLC - United States
"An environment of diversity is mandatory for our profession to grow and thrive in the future."

Di Crawford-Errington
Ontrack Bookkeeping Ltd - New Zealand

"I have a huge passion for empowering and supporting others, sharing knowledge and inspiring others so all business owners are enabled to be the best the best version of a successful business owner they can be."


Sharon Critchlow
Discover Your Bounce - United Kingdom
"As an ACCA Council member, I supported the research “Leading Inclusion” which is a thought leadership piece on the profession with regards to inclusion, diversity and equity."

Candice CzeremuszkinCandice Czeremuszkin
Moore Cayman/ MHA MacIntyre Hudson LLP - Cayman Islands
"In the Cayman Islands, female partners are less than 20% of the overall licensed practitioners on the island and so believe it is important to lead by example"

Melissa Diaz
Rebel Rock Accounting - United States

"Our entire executive team is composed 100% of women. This only happens when owners such as myself care deeply about making diversity a necessary ingredient for growth."


Erin Eberly
Katz, Sapper & Miller - United States

"Erin is a hands-on leader within this group, actively guiding younger team members as they learn and grow in their career, strategically connecting them with others in her own technology industry network, and encouraging them to get involved in local industry associations."


Manisha Elhance
Vienna Tax & Accounting - United States

"With rapid technological advancements, resulting in more robust self-service software solutions and reduced face time with clients, it is more important than ever before for finance professionals to demonstrate the significant value they bring to their clients."


Stella Ezeogu
HMRC/ Accountstar - United Kingdom

"I’m very transparent about my career journey, as I feel that the younger generation need to not only understand but also be prepared for the challenges they will possibly encounter in this profession."


Sara Goepel
Karbon - Australia

"It is incredibly important to us at Karbon that employees and customers of all backgrounds feel valued, welcomed, integrated and included in the workforce instead of isolated."


Jan Haugo
High Rock Accounting - United States

"I have always been an advocate for education. Primarily learning at the early stages of one's career helps identify what the future looks like and helps envision paths to achieve that future."


Allison Hawkins
Hawkins & Co. Accounting - Canada

"Having adopted cloud accounting 7 years ago and seen the impact on my career, I feel it’s my responsibility to give back to the profession. I’m still in public practice today because cloud technology has allowed me to build closer relationships with clients that we both value."


Kate Johnson
Heritage Business Services LLC - United States

"I promote diversity of and pride in nontraditional accounting career paths. That is what I’m proud to be known for."


Zoe Lacey-Cooper
Accountex - United Kingdom
"It is really been important to me to support, nurture and provide opportunities where I can."

Zanele Madlingozi
Emerald of Hope Foundation - South Africa

"The purpose of my Non-profit organisation is to tutor scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds such as Mathematics, Accounting and Physical Science. I believe this will help raise our next generation of leaders as 'Education is the Key to Success' - Nelson Mandela."


Jessica McClain
Brand USA - United States

"I enjoy giving back and helping the future generation of leaders. I enjoy sharing career advice and providing mentorship to others in the accounting profession as a mentor."


Nancy McClelland
The Dancing Accountant - United States

"Our firm is focused on a hyper-local population of small businesses in my Chicago neighborhood, so most inclusivity efforts are focused here in the community. I speak Spanish, which enables me to share vital accounting information with an often-underserved population."


Ru McKinnon
Link Advisors - Australia

"At Link we actively promote inclusivity and diversity. Of the 20 team members, 11 are female, 8 are born overseas (Mexico, Columbia, Malaysia, China, Cambodia)."


Bee Nance
Professor Nance's Accounting Academy - United States

"I am a black, Muslim, woman CPA. A triple threat by some, and the ultimate minority by others. I actively promote inclusivity and diversity every day by showing up in spaces that I will never fully fit into."


Christine Nicholson
Nicholson Hall Consulting Ltd - United Kingdom

"As a Chartered Management Accountant, I am constantly seeing the opportunity to encourage more women into the industry and especially into leadership roles."


Bridget Noonan
Clearline CPA - Canada

"The evolution of accounting firms is not about the automation of a few processes is it holistic restructuring of all the legacy processes we have carried forward for decades from student training all the way through to client service delivery."


Sharon Perrin
IMPACT Accounting Partners - United States

"Giving back to the community is one of the essential values that I created Impact Accounting Partners on. I work with Non-Profit organizations from several states, ensuring that they can afford accounting services that will help the Non-Profit achieve its mission."


Esther Phahla
Esther N. Phahla, CPA - United States

"As a black woman and business owner I understand the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. Diversity in the workplace brings diverse viewpoints and perspectives to the company."


Pamela Phillips
de Jong Phillips Ltd - United Kingdom

"I think it’s important to embrace that we are all on a learning journey, whether we are fresh out of our studies or have been in the world of work for many years. Leaders come in all shapes and ages!"


Sharon Pocock
Kinder Pocock - United Kingdom
"One of our core values is "be curious" as we are always on the lookout for better and more efficient ways of doing things, both for us and our clients."

Caroline Proulx
Elevate by Welch LLP - Canada

"The profession is becoming more diverse, thanks to the increased number of female students and graduates. However, we have yet to see a greater representation of women in senior accounting positions."


Logamal Ramiah
Masimong Group Holdings - South Africa

"As a senior leader in many organisations, I actively promote economic empowerment by hiring previously disadvantaged candidates and giving less experienced candidates a chance to grow their experience and be part of a winning finance team"


Charlene Rhinehart
CEO Unlimited LLC - United States

"Less than 1% of CPAs are Black. I joined the National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants and became the Media Chair so that I can play an active role in helping the organization to move the needle."


Leslie Rodriguez
Expensify - United States

"We as women have an advantage in that we’re allowed to create safe spaces for others to feel heard and by virtue of sharing experiences, can begin to promote internal change."


Nicole Rousseau
PKF Ignite - South Africa

"I believe we are a community so there is a lot of information sharing happening and I am always willing to share where we have made mistakes so that other firms and partners can learn from it."


Catherine Smith
Wholistic Financial Solutions - Australia

"Australia is a very diverse nation and the only way to provide a great customer experience is to utilize our diverse staff backgrounds to determine how to portray ourselves to the community."


Tzippy Subotzky
Howard Joel and Company - South Africa

"I run a training office at my firm where we employ accountants in training and assist them to achieve all competencies to become accounting and business leaders."


Michelle Vilms
Vilms Consulting LLC - United States

"Our team has formalized our outreach to promote inclusivity and diversity in the business community by becoming advisors for Small Business Strong, a nonprofit organization created to help women and minority owned small businesses in Massachusetts navigate the devastating impact of Covid-19."


Meka West
Penny Smart Girl, LLC - United States

"Our business works on building a diverse/inclusive space by hiring, partnering with women, stay at home moms, and marginalized, students that often feel unseen, unheard in the workplace."


Zoe Whitman
The 6 Figure Bookkeeper - United Kingdom

"I believe there is a generation of potential leaders who have been missed because they've been busy looking after their families so I'm coaching bookkeepers and helping them build confidence so they can be the next leaders."


Lorilyn Wilson
DueNorth PDX - United States

"We are technologically savvy, we are paperless, we are virtual AND, most importantly, we are trusted business advisors. As such - we are ready to partner and walk in step with businesses in their growth. When people see personality, authenticity and knowledge, choosing to work with a modern accountant is a no-brainer."


Meet the author

Brooke Kayira

Global Community and Referrals Manager  Ignition

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Published 10 Feb 2023 Last updated 28 Feb 2023