From XU Magazine, 
Issue 27

Women in accounting - Top 50 2020

The 2020 Top 50 Women in Accounting Awards celebrates inspirational women in accounting who are driving advocacy, creating change, and fostering new opportunities for women of all backgrounds.

The awards

The ‘Top 50 Women in Accounting Awards’ were first launched on International Women’s Day ixqn 2018 as a way to honour and recognise the incredible women who make a difference every day in our industry.

Over the last four years, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to meet tons of brilliant women in accounting community. Earlier this year, we decided to celebrate their achievements by asking our community to choose their top 50 women in accounting for 2020. 

Our anonymised scoring system was primarily focused on the following three factors:

  • 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.

A global response

We already knew that the accounting industry is filled with fantastic women who are all doing their bit to create a better future for us all. 

However, we still didn’t expect our awards campaign to have such a wide-ranging, global response. It was incredibly motivating to see that no matter the country or continent, one thing’s for sure: women are at the forefront of everything that the accounting industry is doing well. 

This year’s campaign drew in 1,260 nominations from all corners of the globe, with our Top 50 list an accurate reflection of the diversity on display throughout our industry. On March 15th, we announced the Top 50 Women in Accounting, featuring women from Canada to South Africa,  Australia to Uganda, the Cayman Islands to the United States, and everywhere in between.

Some of our fantastic winners

Not only are our winners all first-class accountants and bookkeepers, but they also show an ongoing commitment to making the industry — and the world more generally — fairer, more equal, and more diverse.  

We unfortunately can’t delve into each winner in detail, though simply check out the full list for more information. However, here are three winners that exemplified our awards criteria: promoting diversity and inclusion, creating opportunities for future generations, and having a long-lasting impact on society. 


Baseema “Beeh” Nance

Bee, based in Houston, U.S., has been an accounting professor at the University of Phoenix since 2014. In addition to teaching accounting and working to bring other women of color into the field, Bee also works for a non-profit organization, Generation Teach, that aims to end racial injustice and inequity in education once and for all.

Bee is an inspiration to all of us here at the Practice Ignition community, showing how women in accounting can use their skills, knowledge, and passion to give something back to the community. Keep doing what you’re doing, Bee!

Vanessa Bamford

Director of Vision Beyond Business, Vanessa is passionate about working with businesses and organizations that are driven by purpose (as opposed to just profit). She empowers purpose-driven businesses with the knowledge they need to run thriving, financially stable businesses that have a positive impact on society more generally.

When asked about her company’s goals for this year, Vanessa stated: “In Feb 2021, we launched our ‘Know your numbers’ membership pilot program, which we have been working on since mid 2020. The program will provide small businesses in Australia with the opportunity to understand their business numbers simply, in an affordable way, within a supportive and uplifting community of like-minded businesses. Our ultimate goal is to help them improve their financial literacy and, in turn, keep them accountable going forward.”

Juliet Acom Koluo

Juliet is another shining example of women in accounting going one step further. She’s not simply looking to serve her clients. Instead, she’s looking to serve the right kind of clients — those that will have the right sort of impact on society if given the chance to flourish. 

Juliet’s company, Pollicy, provides free basic bookkeeping training for semi-illiterate and illiterate communities running small-scale businesses in the rural Teso region of Uganda. But their work’s impact goes beyond simply helping these businesses have a profitable quarter. As Juliet states, “By providing free basic bookkeeping training for the underprivileged, we are creating equal opportunities in education and economic empowerment.”

It’s easy to consider the primary impact of your work: helping your clients. But Juliet’s work shows the power of also thinking about the secondary and tertiary impacts. How will serving your clients help the community at large become more educated and prosperous? In turn, what sort of impact will this have on future generations?

Shining lights in dark times

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. Whether they’re providing education programs, free resources to support small business, community-led initiatives, or seeking to raise up the next generation of leaders, the Top 50 Women in Accounting are actively and passionately driving this industry forward.

Check out this link if you want to read more stories from our Top 50 Women in Accounting. Let’s all continue to shine a light on women across the globe who continue to show up, step up and lead the charge.

If we do, we can create a better, more equal society going forward.

Why leave it there?

To view this year’s Top 50 Women in Accounting

Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates as they happen
We hate spam too. We NEVER sell our mailing list.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.