By Sharla Hooper
Award honors women changemakers in the accounting and bookkeeping industry
University of Phoenix celebrates the recognition of its alumna Bridget Kaigler, CPA, CGMA, CMA, MBA, as one of the Top 50 Women in Accounting for 2021, a global award supported by Ignition, the world’s first client engagement and commerce platform for the professional services industry. Kaigler, who began her accounting career path at the University by completing a bachelor’s in 2005 and then her Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2007, was selected as a Top 50 Women in Accounting from a field of more than 1,000 nominations submitted from across the globe. Eight different countries are represented by the Top 50 Women in Accounting, award; Kaigler is one of 16 leaders from the U.S.
“My accounting degree helped launch the beginning of a series of accomplishments and milestones that led to this recognition,” states Kaigler. “This award is special because it honors both my own accomplishments as well as my commitment to advancing the diversity of the industry. We know that organizations with diverse talent are better performing. We all have unique contributions and experiences, and I want to help individuals and organizations understand how our talents and true selves can bring cohesion to a team and success to an organization.”
Kaigler is the founder of Bringing Leadership Back, LLC, a leadership consulting firm, and Senior Director of Tax and Regulatory Reporting at Amedisys, Inc. At Amedisys, Kaigler was appointed co-chair of a company-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion council. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the AICPA Foundation, a nonprofit committed to supporting and growing the next generation of CPAs, and on the Board of Directors of the Society of Louisiana CPAs. In 2022, she was appointed to also serve as a trustee for AICPA Benevolent Fund.
“We were so inspired by Bridget’s efforts which are truly advancing diversity and inclusion in her network,” said Francesca Deery, Vice President of People and Culture at Ignition and on this year’s judging panel. “Bridget has been recognized for actively encouraging the next generation of women leaders and joins a growing community of women in this program who are paving the way for a more equitable future for women into senior roles."
Active in the Baton Rouge community, Kaigler has served in various volunteer roles, including President for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge. Kaigler has assisted with special projects with other non-profits in the Baton Rouge area such as Junior Achievement of Greater Baton Rouge and faith-based ministry groups. She is a 2018 Great Futures Honoree for Boys & Girls Club of Metro Louisiana. In 2020, she was honored by CareerMastered Magazine for outstanding leadership, an example of excellence for aspiring leaders.
In 2021, Kaigler was honored by the professional association, Society of Louisiana CPAs, with the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor for public service leadership, impact, involvement, and innovation of a Louisiana CPA. She was honored months later as a Baton Rouge Volunteer Activist Award Nominee by The Emerge Center, an organization empowering children with autism and individuals with communication challenges to achieve independence through innovative and family-centered therapies.
Kaigler earned her bachelor’s and MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2005 and 2007 and chose the University at the time because it offered her the flexibility of online schooling while working and raising a young child. She still sees that experience as the beginning of her career path, when a practitioner instructor helped her identify a path forward: “In my junior year, one of my instructors suggested that I consider becoming a CPA because of my strengths in accounting coursework. I sat for the CPA exam and upon receiving my CPA, was hired. After that, opportunities and doors began opening for me.”
University of Phoenix MBA programs continue to feature practitioner perspective and courses are taught by faculty with an average of 28 years of industry experience. In addition to the traditional MBA program that Kaigler completed, University of Phoenix now also offers the competency-based Master of Business Administration (MBA-CB) degree program, intended to fast-track students who demonstrate on-the-job skills.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.