DEFINITION of Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA)

Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA) is a national organization of female accountants and finance professionals in America that aims to further the interests of women in these fields. Formerly the American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA), the group changed its identity in 2013 to the present-day name to branch out from the accountant-only occupation. Even though certified public accountants (CPAs) and accountants who work for corporations represent the core membership of AFWA, a growing number of professional women who work in other financial disciplines are joining the organization.

Understanding Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA)

Founded in 1938 and based in Lexington, Kentucky, AFWA has a mission to "enable women in all accounting and finance fields to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their profession." There are currently over 70 chapters nationwide. Among the many benefits for alliance members are conferences and educational events, networking opportunities, mentorships, and various career resources.

The Change from ASWA to AFWA

The leadership of ASWA believed that the organization was becoming too narrow. Thus, in 2013 the group morphed into AFWA to encompass more women in an expanded boundary of accounting and finance. The statement from the Executive Director: "By contemporizing and broadening the appeal of the organization through a name change, the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance is confident it will attract a new generation of women accounting and finance professionals who are in a position to define a new way of thinking in the companies for which they work. By belonging to the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance, these women will be equipped with the resources and guidance they need to advance and become leaders within their respective fields." One important goal that AFWA is working towards is a greater percentage of women in upper management and other key leadership roles at accounting firms, financial institutions, and finance departments at corporations.