AICPA Hits New Membership High of 400,000

The American Institute of CPAs announced on Wednesday that it recently hit the 400,000 member mark, a milestone the organization says underscores the continuing value and vitality of the organization and the accounting profession as well.

The 400,000th member of the AICPA is Jennifer Highsmith, a 27-year-old senior audit associate from Florida. She will be recognized at an event in October.

The AICPA is the world’s largest member organization representing the profession and has seen solid growth in recent years, despite a volatile economic climate.  Membership has increased almost 13 percent in the past decade and 25 percent since 1994.

“We’ve come a long way since the early days of the 20th century, when the AICPA had just a little more than a thousand members,” said Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, the AICPA’s president and CEO. “I’m particularly proud of the growth we’ve seen in the past seven years, a challenging period for many professional organizations because of the economic downturn. Hitting the 400,000-member mark is a testament to the multifaceted services offered by the AICPA and its commitment to the public interest, and it’s also a reflection of the high regard in which the CPA credential is held in today’s complex world.” 

The AICPA provides continuing education, a rigorous framework of ethical standards, technical guidance on accounting and audit matters, advocacy on issues important to the profession and the public interest, and a host of other key professional resources for members.

“While membership growth is an important measure of the AICPA’s health and strength, it’s only part of the equation,” Melancon said. “We have a steadfast commitment to member engagement and satisfaction, too.” 

“I joined for multiple reasons,” Highsmith said. “The AICPA is a great profession-wide organization to be part of, with a lot of volunteer opportunities. Once you have your license and a job as a CPA, it’s kind of the cherry on top.”

Highsmith works in the Jacksonville, Fla., office of Johnson Lambert, a top regional public accounting firm. She decided to pursue accounting because of her aptitude with numbers and because her mother – who did some accounting work before going into teaching – convinced her it would be a rewarding career. Highsmith will receive a certificate noting her status as the 400,000th member and has been invited to the AICPA’s Fall Council meeting in Boston for recognition.