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Susan Legaspi, CPA, CFF, ACFE

Susan's Story

2011 Alumni Achievement Award Recipient

Susan R. Legaspi, CPA, CFF, ACFE, of Los Angeles, California, graduated from Excelsior College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in General Business degree. She’s currently a partner with Zuehls, Legaspi & Company (ZLCO), a multi-disciplinary accounting and consulting firm.

Ms. Legaspi came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1984. Earning her Excelsior degree helped her get her foot on the “first rung of her career ladder,” one she has steadily climbed ever since. “My degree qualified me to take the California CPA exams and, consequently, obtain my CPA license,” she explains. “The College opened new doors and provided me with opportunities that continue to enrich both my professional career and personal life.”

She has overcome discrimination, both as a woman and as a minority, rising to the level of one of the very few female minority managers of one of the world’s largest accounting firms, KPMG. In addition to her CPA, she is also Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA), and an Associate Certified Forensic Examiner (ACFE) with more than 15 years experience working with nonprofit organizations and government entities.

Legaspi is frequently invited to speak on developments in the nonprofit sector, give technical training sessions, and provide motivational and inspirational talks to various groups. “I migrated to this country more than 25 years ago,” she recalls. “I made it my personal mission that I would assist young professionals to be the best they could be, that they would be role models with the right credentials, high ethical values, integrity, hard work, a love for learning, and most importantly, the desire to share their success.”

The author and co-author of more than 30 articles, Legaspi sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations and actively assists Filipino associations and immigrants by providing financial consulting and mentoring assistance. As the first chairman of the National Executive Board of the International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA), she is responsible for establishing formal mentoring and leadership programs. She is also a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CALCPA), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Her volunteer work has been recognized with several awards, including Asian Enterprise magazine’s 2008 Asian Entrepreneur of the Year Award—Service Category, and the 2010 Career Achievement Award from the Women’s International Film and Television Showcase (WIFTS) for her tremendous work with the Filipino community in the United States.


Excelsior gave me the confidence I needed to survive in today's business world as both an immigrant and a woman in a traditionally man's world.