What is the AICPA?

The AICPA is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. This is the national professional organization of CPAs within he United States; it has over 418,000 members working in business, industry, public practice, government, education, and as international associates. This is the organization responsible for setting the ethical standards for all CPAs, including auditing standards within and for private companies, non-profit organizations, and government. The AICPA is over 130 years old, making it one of the oldest professional organizations in America.


Per the AICPA’s website, the organization’s mission is to, “power the success of global business, CPAs, CGMAs, and specialty credentials by providing the most relevant knowledge, resources, and advocacy, and protecting the evolving public interest.” The organization sets professional and technical standards for CPAs, partnering with other CPA organizations to prioritize skill development.


So, why do you need to know about the AICPA? This organization is responsible for developing and grading the Uniform CPA Examination. They are also responsible for offering credentialing programs in certain subject areas—similar to the state board certifications provided to attorneys. The AICPA offers the following credentials:


  • Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
  • Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF)
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)
  • Certified in Entity and Intangible Valuations (CEIV)


In essence, the AICPA is responsible for providing and maintaining your certification status. This is the organization you should consult if you want to expand your services and abilities as a CPA; in achieving these credentials, you can begin to build a more specialized educational and professional portfolio. Furthermore, becoming a member of the AICPA provides CPAs with an essential professional and support network.