There are lots of good reasons to consider joining a professional accounting organization or association.
- Education, training, and certifications. Many associations provide assistance with fulfilling your mandatory CPE (continuing professional education) requirements.
- Access to valuable networking opportunities.
- Get expert answers to difficult questions.
- Stay current with the latest industry news, such as new laws, technology, and marketing trends.
There are many accounting organizations and associations to choose from. Here are some of our recommendations.
Institute of Finance & Management
The IOFM, founded in 1982, is dedicated to helping accounting professionals improve their performance and further their careers. They offer a variety of certification programs to help you meet requirements and enhance your skills, such as:
- Accounts Payable Certification
- 1099 Certification
- Procure-to-Pay Certification
- Order-to-Cash Certification
- Solution Consultant Certification
- Accounts Receivable Certification
- Excel Specialist in Accounting Certification
- Accounts Receivable Certification
The IOFM also has worldwide events and many community resources that you can access online or in person.
CFO Leadership Council
The CFO Leadership Council empowers senior financial executives to reach their full potential in their careers. They have chapters in many cities throughout the United States. Membership offers many benefits:
- Access to events such as national conferences and local networking events dedicated to issues such as cybersecurity, leadership, technology trends, cryptocurrency, and many other topics.
- Discounts on exclusive education programs.
- Members-only problem-solving forums.
- Peer-to-peer discussions with senior finance executives.
American Accounting Association
The AAA, founded in 1916, provides resources to help members advance. For example, they provide guidance to members seeking advanced degrees in accounting. They also have meetings and other events throughout the country. Their goals include:
- Informing and influencing policy.
- Career advancement and education.
- Promoting effective learning.
- Increasing diversity and inclusivity in the accounting industry.
American Institute of CPAs
The AICPA provides many useful resources for accounting professionals as well as people who want to enter this field.
- CPA Home Exam
- CPA Licensure
- Information on scholarships
- Specialty credentials such as Personal Financial Specialist, Accredited in Business Valuation, and many others.
- News and information through podcasts, blog posts, and their own publication, Journal of Accountancy.
- Networking opportunities
National Society of Accountants
The NSA is another longstanding organization dedicated to the success of accounting professionals. They specialize in serving the needs of small accounting firms, independent contractors, and other tax professionals who often don’t have access to consultants or a large staff. Benefits include:
- Discounts on business marketing tools.
- Members can access free help from the Tax Help Desk.
- Earn credentials
- Self-study Continuing Education —EA Exam Review Course, ABA Prep Course, ATA Prep Course, more.
- Free listing on Find a Pro Directory.
National Tax Association
The NTA, founded in 1907, is a group of leading scholars and professionals working to evolve the field of public finance in both theory and practice. While it’s an educational institution that doesn’t promote any particular policies, it researches areas such as spending, borrowing, and taxation. Membership benefits include:
- A subscription to the National Tax Journal, the leading journal in its field.
- Admission to the Annual Conference on Taxation.
- Spring Symposium Conference
- Access to the annual University of Chicago publication, Tax Policy and the Economy.
Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance
AFWA exists to help women in the accounting and finance fields to reach their full potential. They offer
- Events such as monthly online chapter meetings.
- Career assistance, including a job board and career development resources.
- Continuing educational presentations in areas as diverse as painting, yoga, and golf.
- Provides scholarships to women pursuing careers in finance and accounting.
- Listing in the AFWA professional directory.
Beta Alpha PSI
Beta Alpha PSI is an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals, founded in 1919. They have over 300 chapters at colleges and universities, all AACSB and EQUIS accredited. The organization has several goals:
- Professional Development —Support mentoring, credentialing, employment, and lifelong learning.
- Responsible Practices — Commitment to ethics and responsible environmental and social practices.
- Academic Excellence —Recognize, motivate, and celebrate academic achievement.
- Advocacy for the education, practice, credentialing, and partnering of financial professions.
Institute of Internal Auditors
The IIA offers auditors educational and career resources to help them gain skills, further their careers, and make new connections. Offers certifications such as Internal Auditor, Risk Management Assurance, Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership, and Internal Audit Practitioner. Membership benefits include:
- Access to Specialty Audit Center resources, such as a knowledge library, webinars, and special rates for the Financial Services Exchange.
- Local chapter membership lets you network with fellow members in your area.
- Internal Auditor magazine.
- Save on bookstore products, publications, certifications, qualifications, training, and events such as conferences.
National Association of Black Accountants
NABA works to bridge the opportunity gap for black accountants and finance professionals. It helps further the careers of its members with technical training, leadership, career and networking guidance. Members have access to:
- Local and national events.
- Encourages and assists minority students entering the accounting profession.
- Members-only LinkedIn group.
- Subscription to the newsletter and Spectrum Magazine.
- Volunteer committees where members can acquire and practice their skills.
Association For Financial Professionals
AFP offers finance and treasury professionals certifications, events, training, and other resources for education and career growth.
- Certifications —They offer two valuable certifications: Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and Financial Planning & Analysis Professional (FPAC).
- Members-only training includes webinars, minicourses and conferences.
- Virtual roundtables where you connect with other members and exchange ideas.
- AFP members-only tools include country profiles, glossary of technical terms, scenario planning templates, financial modeling tools, and many others.
- Career Hub has resources such as a job board, resume services, career coaches, skill-building tools, and more.
American Payroll Association
APA is the leading resource for payroll education and career development. Among their resources:
- Access to the latest compliance news and updates.
- Online directory lets you network with 20,000 payroll professionals.
- Discounts on training classes, conferences, webinars, and publications.
- Courses and Seminars— Payroll Education, Global Payroll, In-House Education, Compliance Education.
- Certification —Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC), Certified Payroll Professional (CPP).
- Study tools and certification exam preparation.
- Access to an exclusive ListServ, where you can get answers to tough questions.
Accountant Lawyer Alliance
ALA is dedicated to encouraging cooperation between accountants and legal professionals. They offer resources and information that is useful to professionals in both fields. Features and member benefits include:
- Certifications — Certified Financial Litigator Credential (CFL), Divorce Financial Paralegal Credential (CFL),
- Certification Retention —Track all of your CPE/CLE credits in one place.
- Educational and networking events.
- Listing in the ALA Speakers Bureau.
- Earn unlimited CPE/CLE credits with ALA’s live seminars and webinars.
- Access the latest information on management and entrepreneurship.
The Right Organizations and Associations Can Boost Your Career
Professional accounting and finance associations are helpful in a number of ways. They make it easier to obtain essential certifications, they provide valuable networking opportunities, and they keep you up to date on the latest industry news and trends. With so many quality organizations to choose from, you won’t have time to join them all. The most useful ones to you depend on where you currently are in your career and your goals for the future.
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