Professional organizations provide great opportunities for networking as well as information and resources that are very vital for career advancement. Whether you have been in the accounting industry for 30 years or you just graduated from college, there are numerous professional organizations that cater for accountants. While some of these organizations require annual membership fees, others are absolutely free to join. In either case, they offer lots of resources and have huge membership. So whether you’re interested in webcasts, mentorship programs, training, or new developments impacting the accounting industry, the following professional accounting organizations would be a great place to start:
1. American Association of Finance and Accounting
Founded in 1978, American Association of Finance and Accounting (AAFA) is a collection of executive level accounting headhunter firms that are focused at attracting talent globally for their nationwide business contacts. Although many accountants join professional organizations for training and career development opportunities, some are disappointed in the process, especially when they find out that the organization they have joined offer limited training and job opportunities to its members. In AAFA, the exact opposite is true: the organization is dedicated to helping accountants and finance experts find lucrative and rewarding positions throughout the country.
2. The Institute of Internal Auditors
As its name suggest, the Institute of Internal Auditors focuses majorly on the auditing aspects of accountancy. The organization boasts of over 180, 000 members globally, a community of professionals dedicated to one course: ensuring that accountancy is done ethically and honestly across the globe. The organization ensures that its members are highly trained and moral experts who merit in the various positions of trusts that they occupy. Some of the services that the institute provides to its members include thought-leadership, continuing education, and awards of a wide range of accounting certification and credentials such as Certified Internal Auditor, and the Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership among others, according to Forbes.
3. Institute of Management Accountants
Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) majorly supports accounting and finance professionals who are responsible for various internal accounting function in their respective organizations. The organization was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in New Jersey with a global presence in Europe, Asian, and Middle East. IMA is reputed globally for provision of training and certification opportunities aimed at strengthening the professional skills of its members and enhancing their career options. For instance, the organization is known to administer the Certified Management Accountant certification that can earned by its over 70,000 members in accounting and finance positions worldwide.
4. Professional Association of Small Business Accountants
Professional Association of Small Business Accountants (PASBA) is one of the top accounting organizations globally that aids Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) who specialize in supporting the accounting needs of small and medium enterprises. The organization provides them with the necessary resources related to the best accounting practices to allow them assist their clients in the most effective way possible. Founded in 1982, the organization always pushes its members to establish their own accountancy firms instead of working as accounting freelancers or independent contractors for small businesses. PASBA members enjoy a wide range of networking opportunities with local, national, and regional conferences, informational resources, and mentorship programs among other benefits.
5. Young CPA Network
Created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the organization caters for aspiring CPAs who want to seek advice and mentorship from their professional peers. The network provides a plethora of learning opportunities in the CPA arena and education on the potential challenges that can be faced in the industry. Through this network, young CPA professionals are presented with opportunities to further develop their interpersonal and career skills as well as their understanding of the accounting profession. The network’s E.D.G.E conference educate its members on how to stand out as an accounting professional and how to make valuable networking connections in the industry.
Related Resource: 5 Characteristics of an Accountant
While there unprecedented number of professional accounting organizations that you can join, it is crucial to consider the benefits that their membership provides upon joining. Endeavor to join organizations that will provide you with networking opportunities, general skill development, continuing education, business development opportunities, and prestige in the industry among other important perks.