American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

What is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is a non-profit professional organization representing certified public accountants (CPA) in the United States. The organization is integral to rule-making and standard-setting in the CPA profession and serves as an advocate for legislative bodies and public interest groups.

History of the AICPA

Although the AICPA obtained its current appellation in 1957, the organization traces its history back through several iterations, beginning when the American Association of Public Accountants (AAPA) opened in 1887.

Subsequent iterations included the Institute of Public Accountants in 1916 and the American Institute of Accountants in 1917. The American Society of Public Accountants, created in 1921, was later merged into the American Institute of Accountants in 1936, at which time, the Institute chose to restrict future membership to CPAs.

More recently, in 2012, the AICPA partnered with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to create the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation. The two organizations then went on to create the Global Management Accounting Principles (GMAPs) in 2014, in order to formalize best practices in the field of management accounting.

In 2017, the two organizations formed a third international association, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which seeks to strengthen the accounting profession by combining the skills and knowledge of both public and management accountants. Despite all these developments, the AICPA and the CIMA still continue to provide all of their previous benefits to existing members.

Member of the AICPA

The American Institute of CPAs is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with 431,000+ members in 130 countries. The AICPA provides educational guidance materials; develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination; and monitors and enforces compliance within the profession. There are currently 669,000+ actively licensed CPAs around the globe.

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