Growing your professional connections within the accounting sector can seem daunting at first glance, but there are many professional associations that provide great opportunities for accounting professionals to exchange ideas, get answers to their questions or continue their professional development. Here’s a look at seven of the top trade associations for accountants.
International Federation of Accountants
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is a worldwide presence in the accounting world. The association represents more than 2.84 million accountants in a wide range of practices, representing members from more than 130 nations. Members can access resources and information from the IFAC from the local level to national issues, and member organizations must adhere to the IFAC’s bylaws and constitution. Learn more about becoming a member on the IFAC’s website.
National Society of Accountants
Incorporated during World War II, the National Society of Public Accountants – now simply the National Society of Accountants – has represented accounting professionals in the U.S. since 1945. The agency is a major proponent in the Enrolled Agent program for tax professionals, working with the Treasury Department to first implement the position’s official recognition in 1951. Today the NSA offers more than a pseudo-governmental agency acronym. Its more than 19 million individual and business members have access to ongoing education programs, webinars and events around the nation, plus members-only publications and reference materials. The agency awards many different accolades each year in recognition of members’ efforts, and awarded this year’s recipients at the 70th annual convention held in August in Vancouver. Become a member by completing a membership application, available on the NSA’s website.
American Institute of CPAs
The American institute of CPAs has served accounting professionals since 1887, and now boasts more than 412,000 members from 144 countries. The agency sets professional standards of ethics and auditing for its members to adhere to, and also develops the Uniform CPA Exam, the certification exam for public accounting professionals. There are six membership tiers, covering active professionals to students to non-CPA members, and members have extensive access to the AICPA’s professional guidance and development programs as well as a wealth of publications and information. The group advocates for accounting interests at all levels of government, as well. Learn more about joining the AICPA on the institute’s website.
American Accounting Association
Not an agency for auto drivers, the American Accounting Association was founded in 1916, some 14 years after the vehicular AAA. Offering members extensive access to research and continuing education programs, the accounting AAA is the largest community of accounting experts in academia. The group frequently publishes the research of members and helps to support accounting professionals with a focus on teaching and networking of members. Find out how to join the AAA on the association’s website.
Professional Accounting Society of America
A great option for those accountants early in their careers, the Professional Accounting Society of America has a strict focus on helping entry-level and mid-level professionals at firms around the country. The society works diligently for the unique needs of younger and mid-career accountants, and offers its members online access to articles, publishing opportunities, discounts on products and services and much more. PASA is also unique in that it is the only no-cost professional association of accounting professionals. Register with the site to access the society’s membership application online.
National Association of Black Accountants
One of two focused associations on our lists, the National Association of Black Accountants is the premier association for African-American accounting and finance professionals. The group was formed in 1969, and has grown by leaps and bounds since the first official chapter was founded a year later in 1970. More than 200 chapters now exist, both at the professional and student level, representing more than 8,000 members. NABA members also get access to numerous educational resources and professional development opportunities, as well as networking through national and regional events held throughout the year. Learn more about joining NABA by visiting the association’s website.
Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance
The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance, previously the American Society of Women Accountants, has worked on behalf of women in accounting fields since its foundation in 1938. Providing members with ongoing educational classes, professional mentorships and leadership development opportunities, the AFWA has helped women in accounting work to establish themselves and advance their careers in accounting firms large and small alike. Members hold regional conferences each spring and an annual national conference each fall, with meetings often providing continuing professional education credits for attendees. The alliance will hold its next national conference in Pittsburgh in late October, so there are still opportunities to join and attend this year’s event. For more information on membership, visit the AFWA membership page online.
If you’re looking for a highly qualified accounting expert or if you are an accountant looking for your next career move, CSS can help. We work regularly with firms of all sizes to help them find their next team members and can help individual jobseekers find their next opportunity. Contact CSS today and find out more about how their network can help you.