The benefits of joining a professional organization
July 29, 2015

In high school and college, people often join clubs as a means of sharing and developing certain hobbies or interests. This same concept applies to those in the accounting world looking to make inroads in their industry. One such professional organization is the Society of Professional Accountants of Canada, which was founded in 1938 and has since grown to include a few thousand members.

These career-centric groups are more than just a a simple way of networking. They offer benefits that can not only improve your standing in the accounting field but also help to better develop your skills and abilities overall. 

Here are a few reasons to join a professional organization:

Looks good on a resume
Employers want to see what you've done beyond your job history. Joining a professional organization demonstrates just how committed you are to being the best accountant possible. It also shows that you're a self starter, someone who is willing to go above and beyond what's required as an accountant.  

Expand your knowledge base
Joining a professional organization allows you access to other accountants who have varying experience and skill sets. Interacting with your fellow accountants can help you learn about the latest trends and developments or simply bone up on certain facets of the industry. You're effectively gifting yourself with a new information resource you can call on as needed.

Find a new job
Though they're more about communication and support, professional organizations are one way to find new job openings. Your fellow members see your dedication and who you are as a person, and they might be more willing to recommend you if their firms are hiring. On the flip side, you'll be better suited to do your own hiring or recommending, as you'll have a more intimate understanding of certain applicants and their qualifications.

Make new friends
Professional groups are more than just exchanging insights and war stories. Members share at least some of the same life and career arc, including general interests and experience in school. Who better to spend your leisure time with than someone with such similar backgrounds? Those in your professional organization can also serve as a great sounding board, offering advice about things like life-work balance and getting through an especially busy tax season. 

Influence policy decisions
In many ways, professional groups change their industry and the world they occupy. Certain groups will influence public debate on various topics and issues. By extension, government bodies or other industry-shaping organizations may take heed and decide to change certain laws, codes, rulings, etc. Even simply sharing group-wide opinions can have a noticeable effect. 

Sorted benefits
Membership in professional organizations can have a number of more direct benefits, as well. That includes access to special conferences or lecturer events, special rates on insurances - both personal or professional - and discounts on certain goods or services.

Nexus: G-WEBCD2