September 24, 2023


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N.C. A&T Alumna Pope Named Among Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting | Business

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 18, 2020) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumna Kelly Richmond Pope, Ph.D., has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 2020 by The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and CPA Practice Advisor.

Pope received her B.S. in accounting from N.C. A&T in 1996 before earning her Master of Accountancy in 1997 and doctoral degree in accounting in 2001 from Virginia Tech. She is an associate professor in the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems at DePaul University in Chicago, where she teaches managerial and forensic accounting. Her research focuses on organizational misconduct, ethics, fraud and compliance systems designed to confront these issues.

Her research led her in 2017 to direct and produce the award-winning documentary “All the Queen’s Horses,” which explored the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history and screened on Netflix. It premiered as the No. 1 on-demand documentary on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and DirecTV when it debuted on those platforms in April 2018. She also delivered a TED Talk, “How whistle-blowers shape history,” in 2018.

A Certified Public Accountant in North Carolina, Pope is the founder of Helios Digital Learning Inc., an education media company that offers a suite of educational, consulting and training products and services designed to help organizations understand, identify and prevent fraud. In 2019, she launched her second start-up venture, Red Flag Mania, an immersive investigative experience that teaches students and corporate learners how to spot fraud.

Pope is a globally recognized expert in fraud and forensic accounting, having advised the governments of Malaysia and Great Britain as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She served as commencement speaker for A&T’s fall 2019 graduates.

“It is a tremendous honor to have our alumna, Kelly Pope, recognized as one of the 25 most powerful women in accounting,” said Kevin James, Ph.D., dean of the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics. “Her contributions to the profession have been significant and make her an inspiration to the many Aggies in accounting who follow behind her.”

Kelly Pope

Kelly Pope

Citing research by Catalyst, CPA Practice Advisor reported that about 62{de3fc13d4eb210e6ea91a63b91641ad51ecf4a1f1306988bf846a537e7024eeb} of all accountants and auditors are women yet only 24{de3fc13d4eb210e6ea91a63b91641ad51ecf4a1f1306988bf846a537e7024eeb} of partner roles at U.S. accounting firms and 21 percent of partner roles at Big Four firms are held by women.

The 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting awards were created nine years ago by CPA Practice Advisor and are administered jointly by the AICPA to celebrate the increasing presence of women at the highest positions in accounting firms and organizations that oversee the profession, as well as and to recognize those who have had the most impact.

Each nomination is reviewed by independent judges who select award recipients based these criteria: being a driving force for innovation and excellence, contributing to the success of her organization and the accounting profession, providing guidance and leadership to contribute to the growth of the profession and representing the profession through civic and community outreach. This year’s winners were featured in the November edition of CPA Practice Advisor. 

About North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is the nation’s largest historically Black university, as well as its top ranked (Money magazine, Best Colleges). It is a land-grant, doctoral university, classified as “high research” by the Carnegie Foundation and a constituent member of the University of North Carolina System. A&T is known for its leadership in producing graduates in engineering, agriculture and other STEM fields. The university was founded in 1891 and is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.