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Focus on outstanding women in business

Outstanding Women in Business 2018: McCall grew her accounting firm 50%

October 29, 2018
Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA, co-managing partner of AAFCPAs in Westborough

In 2011, Carla McCall became the co-managing partner of AAFCPAs, the ninth largest certified public accounting firm in New England. By 2016, she had been named chairwoman of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs, the state's premier professional association consisting of more than 12,000 accountants.

McCall has always been an avid supporter of female leadership. She recognizes the difficulty in balancing one's career with a family, but urges businesses to view women's issues as a critical component of the workplace.

As founder of the Women's Opportunity Network, McCall encourages her colleagues to discuss the numerous challenges faced by women in the workplace. Under McCall's co-leadership, the AAFCPAs has grown organically by 50 percent. The number of women in leadership positions at AAFCPAs has vaulted accordingly to 47 percent, up from 25 percent in 2011.

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In an industry facing disruption by artificial intelligence, McCall recognizes her own worth as well as her tremendous capacity for growth. She is a lifelong student of the accounting trade and her love of learning is contagious.

In 2018, McCall launched AAFCPAs' Innovation Lab, which recently ran a Changemaker Challenge to cultivate innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets among AAFCPAs' young professionals. Team members are encouraged to question the status quo while developing creative solutions to everyday problems.

McCall has received a number of accolades for year roles at AAFCPAs and in the industry, including the 2017 Forty Women over 40 to Watch list, the 2016 ATHENA Leadership Award, the Boston Business Journal's 2013 Women Up Leadership Award, the MSCPA's 2013 Women to Watch Leadership Award, and WBJ's 2005 40 Under Forty award. Additionally, McCall received the inaugural Harry C. Bentley Award for Alumni Achievement from Bentley University in 2017.

Sue Gorman, Executive Director for Academic Affairs of MCPHS University Worcester/Manchester, has known McCall for many years through their shared time at Bentley University.

"When they made Carla, they broke the mold because there is nobody like her. She is smart, tenacious, driven and – along with these attributes – has a big heart. She is the kind of person who will always do the right thing when nobody is looking, and has built an incredible, successful organization whereby she can, and does, make a huge impact on Central Massachusetts area businesses and organizations," Gorman said.

McCall does more than just recruit women to the accounting field, she retains them. She encourages young professional women to ask for what they want. She recognizes the value in building a steadfast network and serves as a mentor for others in her field.

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McCall serves on the the governing council for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and as current treasurer and board member of SheGives Boston. She is past chairwoman of the board for the MSCPAs and a former board member for The Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation in Hartford, Conn.

Read more about the 2018 Outstanding Women in Business:

Kate Sharry, president of Group Benefits Strategies

Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA, co-managing partner of AAFCPAs

Laurie Masiello, president of Masy Bioservices

Jennifer Luisa, vice president of marketing and communications at The Hanover Insurance Group

Marianne Lancaster, president of Lancaster Packaging Inc.

Sandra Brock, PE, vice president and chief engineer at Nitsch Engineering

Read about this year's judges

Read about the nine previous years of Outstanding Women in Business award winners:

2017 alumnae

2016 alumnae

2015 alumnae

2014 alumnae

2013 alumnae

2012 alumnae

2011 alumnae

2010 alumnae

2009 alumnae

Check out a column from this year's Innovative Business Leader of the Year on the importance of women business leaders in the Central Mass. community

Successful women shape our community