Can Graduate Students Join Professional Accounting Organizations?

If you are an accounting graduate student who wants to begin advancing your professional career, an important question has probably crossed your mind: “Can graduate students join professional accounting organizations?” By reading the information found below, you can learn the answer to this and several other questions that pertain to the field of accounting.

Professional Accounting Organizations-A Brief Overview

A professional accounting organization is a type of organization that employs staff and recruits or accepts members for the purpose of helping people develop careers, conduct meaningful research that can benefit society, or accomplish some other outlined goal. There are a variety of accounting organizations throughout the world, and some of them include the National Society of Accountants, American Institute of CPAs, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and the American Accounting Association.

Joining A Professional Accounting Organization

In order to determine whether you can join a professional accounting organization as a graduate student, you can simply determine what the membership requirements are for the specific organization you want to join. For example, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) requires that prospective members hold a valid Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license and pass the International Qualification Examination (IQEX) or the Uniform CPA exam. Thus if you have not yet taken the CPA exam, you should review the state requirements to do so. In the state of Georgia, applicants must have completed 150 hours of coursework to attain certification, yet do not have to have completed 150 hours to take the exam. Thirty of the semester hours taken must be in accounting subjects (above elementary level work) and 24 of the hours must pertain to business subjects.

Another accounting organization with its own distinct membership requirements is the American Accounting Association. This organization extends membership to undergraduate students, two-year college members, master’s students, and doctoral students. Yet another organization that you might consider joining is the National Society of Accountants. To become an associate member, you must be an owner, partner, or employee of an accounting or tax firm. You could also be employed by the government, a financial institution, private sector business or non-profit entity. Thus, while full-time graduate students cannot join this organization, it is possible to join if you are working and pursuing a degree at the same time.  In this case, an online accounting degree can be a good option.

Other Considerations

If you are a graduate-level student who is thinking about joining a professional accounting organization, you are probably doing so for the purpose of enhancing your skillset, networking, or making yourself a more marketable job candidate. Joining a professional accounting organization is just one way to accomplish your vocational objectives. One of the best options available is to complete an accounting internship. In addition to giving you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in your chosen field, completing an internship affords you the opportunity to network with other people in the accounting field, thereby increasing the likelihood that you will attain a job you like following graduation.

If you are pursuing a career in the field of accounting, you should know that joining a professional accounting organization can help you accomplish your vocational objectives. Now that you have an answer to the question “Can graduate students join professional accounting organizations?” you can make an informed decision regarding which organization to join in order to advance your career.

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