Being a member of a professional organization gives you the opportunity to enhance your career through networking opportunities and educational programs. You’re also likely to have a lot of fun. But what you get out of it is directly correlated to how much you put in.
Joining a professional finance organization provides you with tremendous career benefits, but your involvement dictates how much you'll get out of it.
Locally, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) helps finance professionals enhance their careers and education.
Nationally, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) helps its members understand national issues as well as developing professional standards and certifications. And it's not uncommon for finance professionals to be members of both.
"I don't see them as being in competition," says Linda Wedul, the MNCPA's director of member relations and marketing. "Members can bring information from the national group and share it with the local group."
Enhance Your Finance Career
Membership helps accountants become better finance professionals.
"Over the course of their careers, people have seven or eight jobs," observes Wedul. "The MNCPA gives them a home for their career."
MNCPA member Melanie Mogg, CPA MBA, started her career working in government. From there she moved to the private sector and then onto work as a professor. Now she teaches seminars around the country. Each career change and growth opportunity she attributes to membership in the MNCPA.
Networking comes in many guises, including social events.
"In the course of an event, they're learning about each other and can ask questions," observes Wedul.
There's also a philanthropic benefit. The MNCPA offers community outreach programs. For instance, the group provides free tax service during tax time, and its young professionals group volunteers with its "Feed My Starving Children" program.
Education is an important component of the MNCPA. CPAs are required to take 120 hours of continuing education every three years to maintain their CPA certification. The MNCPA provides dozens of courses that can help toward that goal.
"It's not just the classroom," adds Wedul. "There are also opportunities by serving on a committee or through networking."
But it isn't enough simply to join the group.
"Those who benefit the most are the ones who participate," adds Wedul.