Dr. Kecia Williams Smith, CPA, Ph.D., a prominent figure in the world of academia and accounting, has been named as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 2022 by The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and CPA Practice Advisor. Her dedication to her field and her remarkable achievements have earned her this prestigious recognition.
Early Life and Education
Dr. Smith’s journey to becoming one of the most influential women in accounting began in her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina. She was born and raised in this vibrant city, and her roots run deep within the community. Her exceptional journey to academic and professional success has made her a source of inspiration for aspiring accountants and women in the field.
She completed her Bachelor of Science in Accounting with the highest honors, summa cum laude, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina A&T). Her outstanding academic performance at this esteemed institution laid the foundation for her future success.
Determined to further her education and delve deeper into the world of accounting, Dr. Smith pursued a Ph.D. in accounting at Texas A&M University. This decision marked the beginning of her academic journey, which would later culminate in her becoming a respected educator, researcher, and leader in the accounting profession.
Dr. Kecia Williams Smith is an Assistant Accounting Professor in the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics at North Carolina A&T, where she has made significant contributions to both the institution and the field of accounting. Her journey at North Carolina A&T began in 2019 when she was entrusted with the leadership of the Master of Accountancy (MACC) program.
Under her guidance, the MACC program has thrived, providing students with a top-notch education and equipping them with the skills necessary to excel in the ever-evolving world of accounting. Dr. Smith’s commitment to academic excellence and her dedication to the success of her students have made her a beloved figure within the North Carolina A&T community.
In addition to her role as MACC Director, Dr. Smith serves as the Director of the Center for Accounting Diversity. Her involvement in this initiative underscores her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity within the accounting profession. She recognizes the importance of ensuring that opportunities within the field are accessible to individuals from all backgrounds, and her work in this area is both commendable and impactful.
Dr. Smith’s contributions to the field of accounting extend beyond the classroom. She is a prolific researcher with a diverse array of research interests. Her studies encompass a wide range of topics, including:
- Readability and Tone of Expanded Audit Reports: Dr. Smith has conducted research into the readability and tone of expanded audit reports in the United Kingdom. Her work sheds light on how these reports are perceived and utilized by stakeholders.
- SEC Speeches and Market Response: She has explored the impact of speeches delivered by officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on market responses. Understanding how these speeches influence market dynamics is crucial for investors and regulators alike.
- Determinants and Audit Quality Consequences of Small Audit Firm Mergers: Dr. Smith’s research delves into the determinants and consequences of mergers involving small audit firms. This area of study has implications for the quality and reliability of audit services.
- Enforcement of Global Audit Firms: She has examined the enforcement activities of global audit firms by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Her research contributes to our understanding of regulatory oversight in the accounting profession.
- Consumer Preferences in Auditor Judgment: Dr. Smith has conducted explicit research on consumer preferences in auditor judgment. Understanding how consumers perceive and evaluate auditor decisions is critical for maintaining trust in financial reporting.
Her diverse research interests encompass audit regulation, audit quality, regulatory communications, auditor judgment and decision-making, and accounting diversity. Through her research, Dr. Smith seeks to address pressing issues within the accounting profession and contribute valuable insights to the academic community and industry practitioners.
Dr. Smith’s professional journey has been marked by a commitment to excellence and a dedication to advancing the field of accounting. Before embarking on her academic career, she gained valuable experience in the corporate world. Notably, she served as a Senior Manager at Deloitte, where she led engagement teams within the technology, media, and telecommunications practice.
Her experience at Deloitte provided her with firsthand exposure to the complexities of auditing in dynamic industries. She honed her skills as a professional accountant and developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the corporate sphere.
Additionally, Dr. Smith’s career path led her to a pivotal role at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). As an Associate Director, she played a crucial role in establishing and leading the inspection training office, which served a substantial team of over 400 inspection staff. Her contributions at the PCAOB underscore her commitment to upholding auditing standards and ensuring the integrity of financial reporting.
Education and Certification
Dr. Kecia Williams Smith’s educational journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence. She holds a Ph.D. in accounting from Texas A&M University, a distinction that reflects her dedication to advancing her expertise in the field.
In addition to her doctoral degree, she possesses a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from North Carolina A&T, where her exceptional academic performance earned her summa cum laude honors. Her educational achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring accountants, particularly women, who aspire to excel in the profession.
Dr. Smith’s commitment to ongoing professional development is evident in her attainment of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace Certification from the University of South Florida Muma School of Business Office of Corporate Education and Professional Development. This certification highlights her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, a cause she champions both within and outside academia.
Furthermore, Dr. Smith is an active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in both North Carolina and Georgia. Her CPA designation underscores her expertise and commitment to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards in accounting practice.
Recognition and Impact
Dr. Kecia Williams Smith’s recognition as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 2022 by the AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor is a testament to her outstanding contributions to the accounting profession. Her impact extends far beyond her academic role, as she actively shapes the future of accounting through her research, leadership, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The accounting profession has undergone significant transformations in recent years, with an increasing number of women assuming leadership roles. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 62% of all accountants and auditors are women. While there is still progress to be made, women now hold a third of management committee roles, a notable increase from a decade ago.
The 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting Awards were established a decade ago to celebrate the growing presence of women in influential positions within accounting firms and overseeing the profession. These awards recognize women who have made substantial impacts on the profession.
Independent judges review each nomination, selecting honorees based on specific criteria. These criteria include being a catalyst for innovation and excellence, contributing to the success of their organizations and the accounting profession, providing guidance and leadership to foster professional growth, and representing the profession through civic and community outreach.
Dr. Smith’s inclusion in this prestigious group of accomplished women underscores her status as a trailblazer in the accounting profession. Her dedication to research, education, and diversity has left an indelible mark on the field of accounting and serves as an inspiration to aspiring accountants, particularly women, who seek to make a meaningful impact in the industry.
In conclusion, Dr. Kecia Williams Smith’s recognition as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 2022 is a testament to her outstanding contributions to the field. Her academic achievements, research endeavors, professional experience, and commitment to diversity and inclusion have positioned her as a prominent figure in the world of accounting.
As an Assistant Accounting Professor and the Director of the MACC program at North Carolina A&T, Dr. Smith continues to shape the future of the profession by educating and inspiring the next generation of accountants. Her research addresses critical issues within the field, and her dedication to diversity underscores her commitment to making the accounting profession accessible to individuals from all backgrounds.
Dr. Smith’s journey from a summa cum laude graduate at North Carolina A&T to a respected academic and CPA serves as a source of inspiration for individuals aspiring to excel in the accounting profession. Her recognition as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting is a well-deserved honor that highlights her significant impact on the profession and her dedication to its advancement.