Besides an accounting degree and a certified public accountant (CPA) license, membership in a professional accounting association is a major asset for career development, and accounting majors can benefit significantly from a student membership in one of those organizations. Most seasoned professionals understand the value of joining industry associations that typically sponsor continuing education and training opportunities that are led by industry experts. These groups also facilitate many events that offer its members and guests a chance to network with peers and hiring managers. Here are some accounting associations that offer student memberships to accounting majors who want a competitive advantage after graduation.
American Institute of CPAs
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is one of the oldest and largest professional accounting associations in the world. It has over 400,000 members worldwide, and its extensive library of resources, related to various accounting areas of interest, helps to ensure that its membership roster keeps growing year after year. AICPA supports the creation of industry standards in areas like auditing and professional accounting ethics. The organization also places heavy importance on nurturing future CPAs, and they have programs like “This Way to CPA” and student affiliate memberships that offer full and part time accounting students access to resources that they need to meet the requirements for CPA licensure. All of their student programs are free.
American Accounting Association
The AAA is one of the largest professional accounting groups associated with academia. Their main focus is providing accounting resources related to improving accounting education in the nation’s colleges and universities through diverse and comprehensive research. One of their innovative offerings is a digital “Commons” area that allows members to post and retrieve white papers, instructor courses and other publications on 16 accounting specialty areas like managerial, forensic and financial accounting. Students can access all of the AAA resources and participate in the organization’s conferences for a $50 membership fee.
Association of Accountants and Finance Professionals in Business
The Association of Accountants and Finance Professionals in Business is also known as the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). This accounting organization provides its members with the latest research results relating to management accounting through its repository of whitepapers, journals and other publications. The organization has an online learning center that offers life long learners educational resources that will help them to keep current in their professions and meet certain licensing and certification requirements. The IMA also administers the Certified Management Accountant exam. Students can access the learning center, publications and certification preparatory materials when they join the group for a discounted rate of $39 for one year or $78 for two years.
Professional Accounting Society of America
Junior and mid level accounting professionals have a great career and professional development asset available to them in the Professional Accounting Society of America (PASA). PASA offers its members access to industry publications and opportunities for members to publish their research on accounting topics that interest them. The group, which specializes in promoting the job competence and career goals of entry level accountants, also provides networking events and informational workshops for its members. PASA supports accounting majors by allowing students to join the organization and fully access all of its resources. The organization also helps student members to start student led university PASA chapters nationwide to extend awareness of PASA benefits within academia. All PASA memberships are offered at no charge because of the generous support of its sponsors.
Most career counselors believe that it is never too early for aspiring accountants to begin establishing a network that will help them to gain and maintain meaningful employment throughout their careers. As a result, some accounting majors do not wait until after graduation to join professional accounting organizations. A student membership with a widely recognized accounting association offers accounting majors all of the benefits of the organization at a discounted price.