Schellman CEO Avani Desai Named to 2023 Most Powerful Women in Accounting List
Honor from AICPA & CIMA and CPA Practice Advisor Magazine recognizes outstanding women leaders who make their mark on the accounting profession inside and outside their workplaces
TAMPA, Fla.—June 7, 2023—Schellman, a leading provider of cybersecurity assessment services, announced today that its CEO, Avani Desai, has been named one of the 2023 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by AICPA & CIMA and CPA Practice Advisor Magazine. Created by CPA Practice Advisor, the award is jointly administered with the AICPA & CIMA to promote and support the success of women leaders as part of its broader mission of sustaining the profession.
Desai was honored alongside 24 fellow winners at AICPA & CIMA’s ENGAGE conference held this week in Las Vegas, where she also spoke on a panel on What are Power Skills and Why are they Important for Women. All 25 award recipients were nominated by their peers and were selected by a group of independent judges who used the following criteria:
- Her active role in innovation and excellence within her own organization, with that role carrying over to the accounting profession at large
- She is one of the top leaders in the accounting profession or in an organization that serves the accounting profession, and her leadership has had a demonstrable effect on the accomplishments of the organization during the past year
- She is a mentor, a sponsor, and/or a role model, and someone who stands out in her ability to encourage and help those around her to thrive and flourish
- She contributes to the future of the profession, is influential, and has a positive impact on the accounting profession as a whole. She is visible within the profession, through writing, speaking, educating, and any other ways of extending herself beyond her own organization
- She represents the accounting profession outside of her day-to-day job through participation in her community and outside organizations
In awarding her, the judges recognized what those at Schellman and others already know—Desai's exceptional leadership was on full display in 2022 as she deftly steered the firm through a period of remarkable growth and innovation. With her guidance, Schellman successfully enhanced its core services, introduced new service lines in the digital and crypto realms, and significantly bolstered its global presence. Furthermore, Desai's unwavering commitment to her team yielded an impressive employee retention rate of 90%.
The impact of Desai's leadership and Schellman's employee-centric approach became even more evident in 2023 when the company secured an impressive #8 ranking on Glassdoor's highly esteemed Best Places to Work list. This outstanding achievement stands as a testament to Desai's unwavering dedication to fostering a supportive environment that prioritizes the well-being and professional growth of Schellman's workforce, thereby cultivating a truly best-in-class workplace culture.
Desai’s care for others extends beyond Schellman as well. Passionate about philanthropy, Desai sits on boards of several organizations, including the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, Philanos, and the Central Florida Foundation, where she serves as Audit Committee Chairwoman. She is also co-chair of 100 Women Strong, a female-only, VC-based giving circle that uses data analytics and big data to solve community-based problems specific to women and children.
As part of her greater enthusiasm for supporting and advancing women in the workplace, she also participates in the Executive Women’s Forum’s mentorship program that works to increase the number of women in the accounting profession who reach the management level.
Regarding this latest honor, Desai passionately declares, "The future of the accounting profession lies in creating a space that not only recognizes and appreciates the vital contributions of women but also ensures they have equal opportunities to thrive and make a significant impact. I am deeply honored to be counted among this exceptional group of women who are driving our profession forward, championing diversity, and making remarkable strides toward inclusivity."
To learn more about the innovation Desai is driving at Schellman, visit schellman.com.
Schellman is a leading provider of attestation and compliance services. We are the only company in the world that is a CPA firm, a globally licensed PCI Qualified Security Assessor, an ISO Certification Body, HITRUST CSF Assessor, a FedRAMP 3PAO, and most recently, an APEC Accountability Agent. Renowned for expertise tempered by practical experience, Schellman's professionals provide superior client service balanced by steadfast independence. Our approach builds successful, long-term relationships and allows our clients to achieve multiple compliance objectives through a single third-party assessor.