We explore an understudied impact of race in public accounting careers: differences in perceptions of the skills necessary to succeed. Based on data collected from surveys of approximately 1,400 public accountants, we find that although the skills perceived as necessary to succeed are the same for all accountants (i.e., technical and interpersonal, practice development, social interactions, and academic achievement), practice development and social interactions are perceived as significantly more important to Black accountants. These perceptions are likely impacted by the underrepresentation of Black accountants in their firms and at their clients, which may result in fewer opportunities to acquire or improve these skills. Technical skills can be learned without the direct assistance of others, but learning practice development skills and social interactions require the support of others. Recommendations collected from the study’s participants to help advance the practice development and social interaction skills of Black accountants are included.

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