Nigerian Agbeyegbe-Hays Makes Forbes List of America’s Top 200 CPAs

Posted on May 2, 2024

Nigerian-American Orume Agbeyegbe-Hays, Founder and CEO of the New York-based Hays CPA, is making waves in the accounting profession in the United States.

Her recognition on Forbes’ inaugural “America’s Top 200 CPAs” list underscores her drive for excellence, innovation, and inclusion.

This achievement follows her 2022 and 2023 awards as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by the AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor Magazine, as well as her recognition as a 2023 Top 50 Women in Accounting by Ignition.

Agbeyegbe-Hays is serving her third year as chairperson of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Private Companies Practice Section’s Executive Committee—the first black female CPA to do so.

She also served as a vice president, director-at-large, and executive committee member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) and as president of NYSSCPA’s Manhattan/Bronx Chapter. She currently serves as Chair of NYSSCPA Relations with the IRS Committee.

In a reflective moment shared on LinkedIn, Agbeyegbe-Hays acknowledged the pivotal role her mother played in her journey.

She said, “Reflecting on this achievement, I can’t help but think of my journey, rooted in the dedication of my mother, who, despite humble beginnings in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, prioritized education for her children. Her unwavering belief in the power of learning has been the driving force behind my success, turning her investment into dividends that continue to enrich my life.

“From operating a minority-owned accounting firm and serving a diverse group of amazing clients to mentoring the next generation of accountants, my work in our profession has been personally, professionally, and deeply rewarding. Every day, I’m fueled by the opportunity to make a meaningful impact and pave the way for others.”

Agbeyegbe-Hays’ impact extends into academia as well. She is an adjunct lecturer at the College of Staten Island (CSI) and a Graduate Advisor in the Accounting Department at Hunter College (CUNY).

Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Anthropology from the University of Benin, Nigeria, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from CSI, City University of New York (CUNY), and a Master of Science in Taxation from the D’Amore McKim School of Business, Northeastern University, Massachusetts.

Being included in Forbes’ inaugural America’s Top 200 CPAs list is both a privilege and an honor for Agbeyegbe-Hays.

She expressed gratitude for the recognition, noting the rigorous selection process conducted by Forbes editorial staff.

Nominees were evaluated based on various criteria, including expertise, innovation, thought leadership, experience, and contributions to the community and profession.

For Agbeyegbe-Hays, this acknowledgment is a testament to her professional commitment to excellence and service. “It is made possible by the hard work and dedication of my team, the support of my mentors, and inspiration from fellow professionals.”

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