What Was the American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA)?

The American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA) was a trade group of CPAs in America, which served women in the profession. The AWSCPA was founded to promote the interests of female CPAs in America through various programs and publications. The organization served as a source of news and information, education, and networking opportunities for female CPAs in America.

In 2017, AWSCPA joined the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and ceased to exist as its own entity, operating as a division under the American Institute of CPAs.

Key Takeaways

  • The American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA) was a trade group of certified public accountants in America with the goal of serving and advancing women in the profession.
  • The group promoted women's interest in the profession through programs, publications, education, and networking opportunities.
  • AWSCPA was founded in 1933 and ceased operations in 2017 when it was absorbed into the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Understanding the American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants

Founded by nine women CPAs in 1933, the AWSCPA was created to further advance women in the profession. The two women that spurred the initiative were Anna G. Francis and Grace Schwartz Keats. The organization was divided into local chapters that held meetings on a regular basis. The AWSCPA also had a number of affiliates and offshoots, such as the American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) with which it maintained close relationships. The ASWA changed its name to the Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA).

Dissolution of the American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants

In 2017, the AWSCPA decided to join AICPA, handing over all intellectual property and the name. At the time, AWSCPA membership was low, with only 1,000 members, down from a peak in the 80s of greater than 5,200 members.

The president of AWSCPA at the time, Cynthia Cox, believed it was not "cost-effective to operate a small, mostly volunteer organization." The organization believed it would best benefit by joining AICPA and its members would be best served through a larger organization.

AICPA created a special task force, the Women's Initiative Executive Committee, that would continue to further the role of women in the profession. The task force would be led by previous members of AWSCPA.

The board of AWSCPA made the announcement to its members through a letter citing the reasons and benefits of its decision as well as the terms of joining AICPA, which included discounted introductory membership dues.