Trade Associations and Resources
Accounting Professional Associations
Professional membership associations often provide the support and resources modern accountants need to thrive in today's temperamental market. Besides acting as member advocates, these associations - many serving specific disciplines - can offer continuing education and credentialing opportunities, financial programs, employment services and a number of other benefits. In addition to state organizations, there are national associations for every type of accounting professional and every specialty within the profession. Here are links to and descriptions for some of the best:
Founded in 1887, the AICPA represents the CPA profession nationally regarding rule-making and standard-setting, and serves as an advocate before legislative bodies, public interest groups and other professional organizations. The AICPA develops standards for audits of private companies and other services by CPAs; provides educational guidance materials to its members; develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination; and monitors and enforces compliance with the profession’s technical and ethical standards.
The AICPA’s founding established accountancy as a profession distinguished by rigorous educational requirements, high professional standards, a strict code of professional ethics, a licensing status and a commitment to serving the public interest.
The Institute of Internal Auditors
Established in 1941, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is an international professional association with global headquarters in Lake Mary, Florida, USA. The IIA is the internal audit profession's global voice, recognized authority, acknowledged leader, chief advocate, and principal educator. Generally, members work in internal auditing, risk management, governance, internal control, information technology audit, education, and security.
Members enjoy benefits offered by the North American Service Center including local, national, and global professional networking; world-class training; certification; standards and guidance; research; executive development; career opportunities; and more. Internal auditors throughout North America enjoy free members-only webinars and national conferences such as the General Audit Management Conference, the Governance, Risk, and Control (GRC) Conference, and the All Star Conference. The IIA’s Audit Executive Center provides chief audit executives relevant and timely thought leadership and connections to peers for benchmarking and sharing best practices.
IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) is the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business. Founded in 1919, we are one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. We are committed to empowering our 85,000+ members—and those throughout the rest of the profession—to strengthen on-the-job skills, better manage companies, and accelerate careers. We invite our members to discover the myriad possibilities within the profession and build an actionable future in management accounting.
AGA is the member organization for government financial management professionals. Through training and events, professional certification, publications and ongoing education, AGA helps members build their skills and advance their careers. AGA is committed to increasing government accountability and transparency and has been instrumental in assisting with the development of accounting and auditing standards and in generating new concepts for the effective organization and administration of government financial management.
Known by its acronym, PASBA , this association represents CPAs, public accountants and enrolled agents who service small businesses. Its focus is on the accountant as a business owner, with resources to help build its members' accounting practices. National meetings focus on marketing and management. In addition to practice manuals and downloadable forms, PASBA offers practice improvement consulting and a mentor program.
Practical information is not always easy to come by, but a solid resource list goes a long way in helping accounting professionals stay on top of their field. This section offers valuable links to resources on government regulation, licensing, certification, continuing education, breaking news, marketing and more:
Established in 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is the independent, private-sector, not-for-profit organization based in Norwalk, Connecticut, that establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations that follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
The FASB is recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission as the designated accounting standard setter for public companies. FASB standards are recognized as authoritative by many other organizations, including state Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The FASB develops and issues financial accounting standards through a transparent and inclusive process intended to promote financial reporting that provides useful information to investors and others who use financial reports.
Founded in 1908, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) has served as an association dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of the country’s 55 state boards of accountancy for more than 100 years. As a driving force within the accounting profession, NASBA accomplishes its mission by creating a forum for accounting regulators and practitioners to address issues relevant to the viability of the accounting profession. NASBA takes pride in offering its member boards a rich portfolio of products and services, all designed to effectively aid boards in their goal to protect the public.
The PCAOB was established by Congress in to oversee the audits of public companies pursuant to the Sarbanes/Oxley Act in 2002. The Website contains all registration information and downloadable forms for public accounting firms who are required to register. Standards established by the Board for auditing, attestation, quality control and ethics are also available for download here.
This site is full of news, insights, tips and tools for the accounting professional, with resources for accounting departments in small and large companies, private or public. Read informative articles and blogs on practice management and current trends or download policy templates to help systematize your office.
The online version of the popular publication, this site is free after registration. With access to web seminars, white papers and CPE credits, it is a time-saving solution for the busy professional.
ADP now has services for accounting professionals that are geared toward small businesses. Tools and resources include electronic payroll and data services, the Learning Library from CCH, free online payroll calculators and legislative updates of interest to the accounting profession.