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Jan 19, 2023

Orume Hays, CPA, CGMA


Orumé Hays, CPA, CGMA, didn’t exactly follow a traditional path to owning an accounting practice. From Africa to the Big Apple, she blazed a trail all her own.

Raised in Nigeria, Hays moved to Miami with a college degree in sociology and anthropology and a budding career in modeling and acting. Her pursuit of Hollywood stardom peaked with a couple of appearances in the 1996 movie “The Birdcage”. She then discovered a new passion.

Trading in the silver screen for spreadsheets, Hays embarked on a new journey as an accountant. Pursuing education and experience, she built her accounting career and then launched her own firm in New York City. Today, Hays CPA provides tax and client advisory services (CAS) to small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. And Hays has emerged as a star in her chosen profession.

So how does someone go from modeling and acting to being named among the 25 most powerful women in accounting? What lessons has Hays learned owning an accounting firm as an immigrant, black woman in the United States?

Hays answers those questions in the latest installment of the Small Firm Philosophy podcast, produced by the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section in partnership with the Journal of Accountancy podcast. The chair of the PCPS Executive Committee and also an adjunct college professor, Hays also offers insights into the pipeline and other challenges confronting small firms.  

Resources mentioned


Things you will learn in this podcast

  • How and why Hays transitioned from modeling and acting to accounting
  • The key and ongoing role of education in Hays’ life and career
  • What Hays sees as the top issues facing small accounting firms.
  • What she has learned about college students during her years as an adjunct accounting professor
  • What CPAs can do to help bolster the recruitment of students into accounting careers