Trade Associations and Resources
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:
AICPA and its predecessors have served the accounting profession since 1887 as the national professional organization of CPAs. In addition to its advocacy and standard-setting roles, the AICPA also develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination. Member benefits include networking; continuing education; insurance and retirement programs; discounts for services; an online library, and The CPA Career Center, which is available for job seekers and recruiters alike. AICPA's Trusted Business Advisor, provided by its marketing subsidiary, CPA2Biz, provides accounting solutions for small and mid-sized firms, including practice development and client assessment tools.
IIA is the primary international membership organization for internal auditors, and issues standards and guidance to help auditors implement best practices. IIA provides onsite and online training, certifications and awards, and publications including online periodicals. Networking is available through chapters and an online networking tool, Member Exchange.
With more than 60,000 members, IMA , formerly known as the National Association of Accountants, identifies itself an association for accountants and financial professionals who work inside businesses and organizations. In addition to offering a Certified Management Accountant program, IMA promotes networking, professional development, best practices and career services through its proprietary online community, LinkUp IMA , and its 200 local chapters around the world.
Describing itself as the only professional membership organization across all levels of federal, state and local government, AGA focuses on professional development, with many networking and CPE opportunities for its members. The organization also offers training and examination towards certification as a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).
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.
- Accounting Resources
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:
The FASB is an independent authority that establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for the private sector, under authority delegated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Board has established a Small Business Advisory Group to receive more active input from the small business community in the development of financial reporting and accounting standards. Meetings are held twice a year and are open to the public. The FASB's Accounting Standards Codification is available from this site in a professional online version. Updates, as well as research reports and discussion papers can also be accessed here.
Although state regulators retain the right to license and oversee accounting professionals, the NASBA works to enhance the effectiveness of state boards and provides invaluable tools for the accounting professional, or soon to be professional. In addition to a directory of all state board Websites, NASBA provides CPA exam and licensing information and downloadable registration forms, as well as application preparation services through CredentialNet. Continuing professional education (CPE) tools are available through its Learning Market, and quality education providers can be recognized on its National Registry.
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.