Although some contend that it is rather difficult to find some semblance of success in the highly competitive, male-dominated white collar world of accounting, Carol A. McCrae is one woman who has beaten the steep odds. It took her some time to earn her stripes, but she eventually hit her stride.
“I was always interested in numbers as a youth,” she reflected. “And it just grew from there.”
After graduating from New York University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting, she began plying her freshly acquired skills that same year at a Big Four accounting firm in Lower Manhattan, as an audit manager. She earned a Master of Science in taxation from Long Island University shortly thereafter. Nine years after going out into the accounting workforce and gaining much valuable experience and contacts, she ventured out on her own.
With businesses booming in Downtown Brooklyn just before the opening of the popular Barclays Center sports arena in 2012, McCrae decided the area would be fertile ground where she could provide her services, handling their week-to-week financial activities. Established in 2007, C.A. McCrae, CPA, LLC has been a staple in the rapidly growing community.
McCrae had the foresight to open her firm at 196 Flatbush Ave., before ground was broken across the street for the new sports complex, and thus she has been very instrumental in assisting other growing Black businesses nearby.
“I chose Park Slope because the neighborhood was rich with small businesses, and with my experience, I wanted to bring to the small-business owners the same services and attention that are afforded the larger businesses that I once served, at a price that they can easily afford,” she explained. “And the location was very central, being near the Atlantic Terminal, with the vast transportation available.”
As a New York State certified public accountant with nearly two decades of valuable experience —including audits of Fortune 500 companies, as well as medium to large private and public companies—she is confident in her firm’s ability to handle the day-to-day financial needs of any company, so that the owners can focus on running them.
“‘We handle the finances, you handle your business’ is our motto,” McCrae said. “Our goal is to allow small-business owners the peace of mind to focus on what they do best, which is the operation of their businesses, while we ensure that they remain compliant with the taxing authorities and other regulatory bodies.”
As a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, National Society of Tax Professionals, National Association of Black Accountants, the National Society of Accountants and on the board of the Leadership Committee of Women Impacting Public Policy, McCrae is very qualified to conduct the duties required and has the credentials to prove it.
Even as gentrification has steadily set in, changing the face of the city for some time now, she’s one sole-proprietor who has persevered and stayed the course, setting an example for many other local African-American entrepreneurs.
In addition to accounting, McCrae serves as chair of The Ariane Thomas-Lutchmedial Traumatic Brain Injury Foundation, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to providing assistance to children dealing with life-long and devastating effects of traumatic brain injury. She has also served as the treasurer of Manhattan Business Networking International Chapter 52 from June 2014 until the chapter disbanded in January 2015.
“We are a values-based firm which strives to provide the community with personal and practical accounting and tax preparation assistance in a natural and stress-free environment,” reads the mission statement at camccraecpa.com. “We offer a broad range of services for business owners, individuals and government entities. We are experienced and we’re friendly.”