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Black CPA and financial services group become Diverse Organization of Firms

Association launches new brand and website to make firms easier to find

OW Staff Writer | 11/17/2020, 6:30 a.m.
The DOF's goal is to increase public awareness of the existence of Black-owned CPA firms...

A 35-year-old association composed of Black-owned certified public accountant (CPA) and financial services firms unveiled its new name, brand and searchable website in a virtual press conference recently.

The Diverse Organization of Firms' (DOF) goal is to increase public awareness of the existence of Black-owned CPA and financial services firms that provide a myriad of accounting, auditing, tax, consulting and financial services to corporations, small businesses, government agencies and individuals, as well as employment opportunities to thousands across the country.

"For businesses, government agencies and individuals wanting to work with Black-owned accounting and financial services firms, it is essential to be able to identify them in various regions of the United States," said Odysseus Lanier, CPA, DOF chairman. "Our new website (http://www.dofinc.org) makes it easy to locate our firms not only by city and state, but also by service and practice area, professional and firm certification, and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes."

"Our website also makes it easy for members to collaborate to pursue and secure business opportunities, including mentoring emerging firms who lack the experience to win significant contracts," said Lanier, who is consulting/management advisory partner with McConnell & Jones, LLP, in Houston, Texas, the second-largest Black-owned accounting firm in the United States.

DOF, formerly the Division of Firms, has a mission to empower, educate and advocate for the accounting profession to ensure innovation, mentorship, relevancy and continued value. A key organization accomplishment, working with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, was work to increase the U.S. Small Business Administration's small business revenue size standards in the accounting sector.

"This increased business opportunities for Black-owned accounting firms by allowing them to compete for federal contracts as 'small businesses' rather than in full and open competition with accounting firms designated by the SBA as large businesses," Lanier said.

"Doing business with Black-owned accounting and financial services firms provides America's corporations facing changing demographics the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage," said Lanier added.

Acknowledging a dearth of opportunities afforded to Black-owned firms – particularly in the service sectors – Lanier said, "It is important to include our firms in strategic procurement initiatives to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace."