What Is the Accountants' Index?

The Accountants’ Index is a collection of articles, books, and other materials of interest to accounting professionals. The Index is released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which publishes new material on a quarterly and annual basis.

The purpose of the Accountants' Index is to keep accounting professionals abreast of important changes in the field, both federally and at the state level.

Understanding the Accountants' Index

Founded in 1887, AICPA is a national professional organization of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the United States. With over 431,000 members worldwide, AICPA plays a significant role in both setting and disseminating the standards used by accounting professionals in both private industry and governmental organizations. 

In the United States, AICPA’s role includes overseeing the ethical standards of the accounting provision as well as the auditing standards used by private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. Given its role as a thought leader in the accounting industry, it makes sense that the AICPA would contribute new knowledge and best practices through the Accountants’ Index.

Although it is still colloquially known as the Accountants’ Index, since 1992, the Index has technically been named the Accounting and Tax Index. In addition to the new name, this change included a redesign of the index and the introduction of online search functionality. In previous editions, the Index was published in print, but as with many publications it has since shifted to an online format.

Real World Example of the Accountants' Index

The topics covered in the Accountants’ index include auditing, tax accounting, financial accounting and managerial accounting. Subtopics are refined to reflect current trends and movements throughout the accounting profession. These range from such vast areas as public policy to more narrow interests such as the effects of changes in a state's personal income tax.

In this sense, the Accountants’ Index is similar to other publications such as Edelman's Trust Barometer, Bloomberg's Misery Index, and Morningstar's Economic Moat. Each of these is the culmination of their expert's original research and analysis.