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Which Professional Accounting Association is Right for You?

Joining a professional association is a great way to network and enhance your career by participating in some of the specific programs and partnerships for its members. Networking is important, as it gives you the opportunity to meet and mingle with your peers, discuss challenges and victories as well as meet the leaders and visionaries in your career field.

Some areas of accounting require that you take continuing professional education (CPE) classes to further your career, and many accounting associations offer discounts on the CPE class prices to their members.

Other important reasons to join an accounting organizations is to stay current about accounting trends and laws, and to make connections with peers in other parts of the country (or world) who could help you when dealing with accounting issues in their region.

There are many different organizations to consider, and you might want to look at joining more than one. Here are 10 professional associations for accountants that you should consider:

American Institute of CPAs

The AICPA is the world’s largest accounting association, with more than 412,000 members in 144 countries. In addition to developing and grading the Uniform CPA Examination, the AICPA sets the profession’s ethical standards, and auditing standards for all levels of the U.S. government and private and nonprofit companies. This association also offers specialty credentials for CPAs in fields such as business valuation, forensic accounting, personal financial planning, and information management and technology assurance.

American Accounting Association

The AAA was formed in 1916 and boasts the largest community of thought leaders for accounting in the academia space. Through researching, teaching and networking, this organization shapes the future of accounting.

National Society of Accountants

This is the only organization designed for both tax and accounting professionals.

Institute of Management Accountants

With a membership of over 80,000 accounting professional worldwide, IMA provides access to tools to help you advance in your career as well as international peer networking.

Beta Alpha Psi (Student Organization)

Founded in 1919, with over 300,000 members and with more than 300 chapters on college campuses, Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization for financial students and professionals in the business information field. Its main focus is recognizing and encouraging scholastic and professional excellence.

American Association of Finance & Accounting

This is an alliance of executive search firms who recruit and place finance and accounting professionals.
Founded in 1978, it now has more than 35 offices.

Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance

Founded in 1938, AFWA’s goal is to increase opportunities for women and promote professional growth in all areas of accounting and finance to succeed and network. This helps women tap into a successful network of influential professionals who understand the position of being a woman in this industry.

Institute of Internal Auditors

Formed in 1941, this international association is for internal auditors who work in risk management, internal auditing, internal control, governance and information technology audit, education and security.

National Association of Black Accountants

Representing more than 200,000 people of color, this nonprofit association provides education, resources and meaningful career connections to both professional and student members in the fields of finance, consulting, high-tech and other business professions.

Association for Financial Professionals

In addition to representing finance executives worldwide, this association also established and administers the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials. For corporate finance professionals, its AFP Annual Conference is the largest networking event in the world.