Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion

Building connections: Accounting organizations to support a diverse profession

accounting organizations focused on diversity and culture

Everything’s better when you can just be you. Living and working without fear of judgment of your ideas and appearance gives you the space to contribute to your team more meaningfully and perform at your fullest potential. This is especially true for professionals who are underrepresented both in their workplace and in the profession, and who navigate challenges that are unique to their identities. 

Whether you’re just starting your accounting career or you are a seasoned veteran, joining professional accounting organizations that support your cultural identity can offer connections and resources that align your values with your professional goals. 

Benefits of joining an accounting organization that supports underrepresented groups 

When your company doesn’t have the resources to pave that path for you to level up, look for external opportunities to get you there. For aspiring managers and leaders, mentoring members in your accounting professional organization is a legitimate way to gain coaching and leadership experience. 

Accounting professional organizations will often facilitate matching mentors with mentees, which takes the pressure and awkwardness out of approaching a potential mentor on your own. This one-on-one career counseling gives you a leg-up on career mobility as well: in a study of 1,000 employees, mentees were five times more likely to be promoted1 than those without mentors. 

Safe support 

Workplaces have come a long way in improving inclusivity, but there are still gaps. Becoming a member of an accounting organization can give you that greater sense of belonging that you’re missing, particularly if your current company doesn’t have an employee resource group (ERG) dedicated to prioritizing your cultural identity. Belonging to a community that understands your motivations and challenges gives you a safe space to talk freely about your uniquely shared experiences. 


Developing new relationships outside of your industry or company opens your mind to new approaches and ideas that can inspire you at work. Connecting with others in the field helps you keep a pulse on industry trends and job opportunities as well. This can lead to a new career path, public speaking engagements, and opportunities to lead workshops or project-based work. 

Students also benefit from joining accounting organizations. Accounting firms commonly partner with accounting organizations that serve underrepresented populations to build a pipeline of emerging talent from the membership pool. This is also a great chance to learn about scholarships and internships to bolster your college resume. 


Approximately 75 percent of Gen Z and millennial workers2 have thought about leaving their jobs due to a lack of growth opportunities in their roles. The accounting organizations we’ve listed below can offer you the opportunity to “scratch” your learning and development “itch” before you jump ship. Many could use the extra hands to tackle projects and lead committees that support their strategic goals. They commonly offer CPE classes that count toward your CPA requirements as well. Getting experience outside of your role shows initiative to your manager, which can improve your chance of being called up for the next role or project. 

Finding authentic connection through accounting organizations 

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of joining accounting organizations that serve specific diverse groups, we wanted to share some of the leading groups. Each of the accounting professional organizations below includes programs that foster connection through mentorship, community engagement and networking, and might inspire you to pursue membership. 

NABA (National Association of Black Accountants) 

NABA is one of the premier professional accounting organizations, serving over 200,000 Black accountants across more than 150 chapters nationwide. Founded in 1969, they aim to “engage, empower and educate Black Business Leaders and institutions by providing a platform to enhance skills and elevate voices.” 

In addition to providing opportunities for those already in the profession, their student programs focus on educating and creating interest in the accounting field for high school students. They also offer internship opportunities for college students who are on the accounting track at their institution. 

Accountant members can make meaningful connections and grow their expertise through their education, community building and professional development initiatives. A few of their key programs include: 

  • CPA Bound: prepares young accountants for the CPA Exam 
  • Women of NABA Network: professional and personal development for Black women 
  • Diverse Organization of Firms: provides access to Black-led professional services 
  • Financial Executives International: network for executives and leaders 

ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) 

As the first national Latino professional organization in the U.S., ALPFA is passionate about empowering and developing Latinos into “leaders of character.” While their initiatives are Latino-forward, you don’t need to be of Latino descent to become one of their over 116,000 members. 

ALPFA’s programming provides opportunities for students and working members to enhance their skills and experience with DivERGe, their ERG training program and Lean In, their women- for- women- mentorship initiative. 

CASCPA (Chinese American Society of Certified Public Accountants) 

CASCPA’s 200+ members include accounting, legal and finance professionals. Founded in 1985, the organization serves Chinese-American CPAs on the East Coast, with an emphasis on nurturing a community that enables continuous learning. 

Members stay on top of industry trends through CPE webinars and symposiums, while networking events and volunteer work are chances for everyone to meet and bond. 

ISFFA (International Society of Filipinos in Finance & Accounting) 

Across its four regional chapters, the ISFFA demonstrates its values through programs that develop, support and engage its Filipino members in all stages of their careers. They also hold regular meet-ups, conferences, fundraisers and galas to strengthen relationships and promote knowledge sharing. 

NSBCPA (National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants) 

The NSBCPA is an up-and-coming organization founded in 2020 with a simple and clear mission: increase the number of Black CPAs. 

Honoring the first 100 Black CPAs in history is what inspires and motivates NSBCPA to increase Black CPA representation in the field. They’re also committed to advocating for more equitable and inclusive public policies and government and regulatory laws that affect Black accountants' ability to succeed in the profession. 

AFWA (Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance) 

For 86 years, AFWA has been dedicated to enabling women in finance and accounting to “achieve their personal, professional and economic potential.” This has meant creating programs that lay the foundation for women students and early career starters to thrive no matter what professional challenges and decisions they may face down the road. 

AFWA welcomes you whether you’re a part-time or full-time student or accounting professional. They also invite like-minded companies to join as members or partners to further advance their mission. 

Leading for change 

Think of professional diversity organizations as a career sounding board that helps you navigate the overlap of your cultural, personal and professional identities. Being able to speak of and to these shared experiences is the start of applying this insight to an increased sense of belonging at work. When you engage in communities like the ones mentioned above, you realize the potential of your power is greatest when you feel seen, supported and have a wider range of opportunities within reach. 

Driving diversity in your workplace 

In addition to joining organizations and learning about opportunities to improve and facilitate DEI in your workplace, Becker also offers CPE certificates to help you achieve these goals, including Leading Change for a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace and Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace


  1. What Are the Benefits of Having a Workplace Mentor? (washingtonpost.com) 
  2. Taking Advantage Of Professional Associations In Every Career Stage (forbes.com)

Now Leaving Becker.com

You are leaving the Becker.com website. Once you click “continue,” you will be brought to a third-party website. Please be aware, the privacy policy may differ on the third-party website. Adtalem Global Education is not responsible for the security, contents and accuracy of any information provided on the third-party website. Note that the website may still be a third-party website even the format is similar to the Becker.com website.