In New York the fields of accounting and consulting offer unlimited opportunities for talented professionals to play important roles in the deals, transactions and business developments that shape finance, entertainment, technology, real estate and other major industries. The 77 women on the Crain’s Notable Women in Accounting and Consulting list are at the heart of the action, advising their clients on critical financial matters—and often having an impact that extends far beyond the city’s borders.
This year’s honorees were identified through Crain’s internal research and nominations by major firms in the metropolitan area. They were selected based on their career accomplishments in accounting or consulting, their mentorship of others and their involvement in nonprofits and community organizations.
Why has Crain’s focused a report on notable women in accounting—and not simply notable accounting professionals? Someday women might be well represented at major firms’ top tiers, but that day has not yet come. Although more than half the workforce in accounting is female, only about 22% of firms’ partners are women, according to the American Institute of CPAs. The stories of women who have made it to the top rungs of the field hold many lessons for those who are looking to scale obstacles—and leaders who are looking to speed their company’s progress.
Fortunately many leading firms are committed to attracting, sponsoring and promoting talented women. A number of the honorees on this list have launched or championed such efforts.
Read on for the stories of how women have ascended to visible positions, where they no doubt will inspire the next generation.
Jane Ryan, a CPA with experience in public accounting and a certified fraud examiner, started her firm more than 25 years ago to assist agencies that serve special education students and nonprofit agencies. J.E. Ryan & Associates provides consulting and financial services, mainly in fraud prevention, government audit representation, compliance, cost reporting and training and budgeting for nonprofit and for-profit agencies. More than 1,000 participants have taken part in her Compliance Solutions Network, a targeted webinar offering low-cost training to agencies. She previously worked as director of nonprofit consulting services for Deloitte & Touche. Ryan is vice president of the Long Island Association of Fraud Examiners. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from SUNY Binghamton.