What Types of Professional Organizations and Associations Should One Join While Obtaining an Online Accounting Degree?

Joining professional organizations and associations for accounting careers are almost as important for advancement as choosing to participate in a competitive internship opportunity. These organizations offer ways for accounting professionals to acquire the latest information about topics related to their field. The more established accounting associations provide its members with workshops, seminars and conferences that qualify as formal training in many cases. Here are some of the most popular accounting professional organizations and associations.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

From 1887 to the present, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers accounting professionals a comprehensive, one stop shop for accounting educational materials, webinars, and other study aids for accountants studying for their CPA certification exams. The organization’s treasure trove of learning materials combined with its sponsored career events help accountants meet their goals for professional development and continuous education. Besides its extensive study resources for CPA exam certification, AICPA focuses its interests on audit quality, forensic accounting, ethics and networking. While nearly half of its members are CPAs, others are aspiring public accountants or they work in other accounting functions within industry and government.

The American Accounting Association

The American Accounting Association (AAA) was founded in 1916 and encourages the furtherance of the profession through continued education, research and applied practices. Within the AAA, accountants have the opportunity to go beyond traditional networking meet and greet events by having the results of their professional research published through AAA. The group also has a vibrant student member program that allows AAA to provide valuable input into the professional lives of future accountants. Another great feature of AAA and many other professional organizations and associations is its career center. While CPA professionals are in great demand, even they could use a little help from a well-connected, contact rich career center in this economy.

Accounting and Financial Women Alliance

The Accounting and Financial Women Alliance (AFWA) experienced a recent name change from American Society of Women Accountants that expands their mission based on changing market views. The new name signifies the organization’s commitment to supporting women in varying financial careers while giving a nod to international business women as well. The AFWA desires to equip women in accounting and finance professions to not just excel in their work places but to change the way their companies put accounting and finance principles into practice. Through its empowered, knowledgeable members, AFWA seeks to be a transforming agent within the field of accounting and finance.

Successful accountants learn early that joining accounting professional organizations provide a much needed boost to their short and long-term career goals. Benefits that meet members’ short term career goals include the many resources concerning accounting practices and theory that are readily available to members to help them conduct their work more efficiently as well as meet the continuing education requirements for their public accounting certifications. An example of how joining an accounting professional organization contributes to the long-term goals of accounting professionals is best demonstrated by the rich mix of networking contacts encountered by members over the years who help successful accountants navigate their careers to greener pastures even during rough economic times. These accountants often join student led professional organizations and associations for accounting during their time as undergraduate accounting students.