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AICPA membership cost vs benefits - to renew or not?

AICPA Membership Costs vs BenefitsWondering how many of you are members of the AICPA, and for those that are, can you tell me what benefit you receive?  I can't seem to find the value anymore.

Answers

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

I gave up my membership last year. Like you, I just don't see the value.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

The only benefit I've ever heard of (never having been a member) is the ability to get malpractice insurance.

But that may also be offered by your State CPA Society....

Topic Expert
Bob Stenz
Title: Controller
Company: Silicon Valley start-up
(Controller, Silicon Valley start-up) |

Long-term disability insurance is another popular (if not the primary) benefit. I like getting the Journal of Accountancy and generally find that my employer pays the cost of membership.

Steve Kahn
Title: Controller
Company: Carolina Lumber & Supply Co.
(Controller, Carolina Lumber & Supply Co.) |

Re-upped for this year -- Primary reasons for me: Journal of Accountancy (with updates of goings-on in accounting rules and Excel tidbits), AICPA discounts on computers and some other purchases -- continuing to watch & see if these are worth the price of membership.

Richard Casinelli
Title: CFO
Company: Equity Search, Inc.
(CFO, Equity Search, Inc.) |

The AICPA is too large to care about its members. They have a large pool of money- for what. Its not about us. Its a shame that we have to pay a substantial amount for our membership and the large firms benefit the most, because they pay them for research and other services.There needs to be the question raised across America-- What are these SO CALLED Non profits and universities doing with all this CASH. Our Cash!!! they could provide us with low cost insurance.

Debra Jensen
Title: VP Tax Compliance and Treasury Ops
Company: INSP LLC
(VP Tax Compliance and Treasury Ops, INSP LLC) |

I am a member and always reconsider the renewal. The reason I keep my membership is because of the group term life insurance they offer. Premiums are reasonable and it is a self insured plan that pays me a rebate at the end of the year. I don't have a huge amount of coverage but I got a rebate of approximately $600 last year. This was about 50% of my premiums for me and my spouse. That easily paid for my dues.

Topic Expert
Dana Price
Title: Vice President, M&A
Company: McGraw Hill Education
(Vice President, M&A, McGraw Hill Education) |

Thanks everyone, and Wayne, I hope I never am in need.

Guy de Blank
Title: Fiscal Planning and Analysis
Company: CSRA Inc
(Fiscal Planning and Analysis, CSRA Inc) |

The disability insurance premiums and the life insurance premiums from the AICPA are significantly lower than I can get through my firm, far more than offsetting the cost of the membership. The Journal of Accountancy is an obvious benefit as well.

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

The reduced insurance premiums (life and disability) are the best benefits. Since they refund any unspent monies, it turns out to be the best deal in insurance.

Gary Johnson
Title: IT Audit Project Manager
Company: Colorado PERA
(IT Audit Project Manager, Colorado PERA) |

Not being a CPA, it is interesting to note that no one mentioned that there are any benefits provided by the AICPA for providing accounting guidance, control sets, audit plans, or practice aids for the CPA. Institute of Internal Auditors and ISACA provide those benefits to their members (much of it included in the price of membership), making the daily job significantly easier. I would think that the primary professional association would provide the support of the CPA practitioner in tax, consulting, audit, controllership, etc. Do any of these exist in the CPA world?

Paul Shillam
Title: Controller
Company: Pacific Medical Centers
(Controller, Pacific Medical Centers) |

I have used the AICPA Technical Services to inquire about accounting issues and have been pleased with their expertise. Continuing Education Programs are also a benefit that I have used; conferences, web presentations, and print courses. If you want to get value, use the AICPA resources; don't be a member expecting entitlements. Another way to get value is to volunteer for the many committees that work on various aspects of the programs, conferences, publications, etc. You only get what you are willing to give; it's call reciprocity. This holds true for any membership organization be it a church, professional organization, or industry association. Get involved and the value will be there!

Anonymous
(Consultant) |

I graduated in 2007 and joined but the membership did not connect me with anyone with whom to discuss my knowledge base, training nor aspirations in getting established in the field. In fact, most of the societies I have joined have not been beneficial to my career. With the crash of 2008 the market has changed and I have to blaze my own trail. Why as an entrepreneur would I consider joining any organization unless they directly had what I needed to enhance my business operations. Besides, this and other organizations should have seen this crash coming, same goes for the educational industry to have done something about what I saw for the last 12 -15 years. . I saw this coming, it is why I worked hard to get my degree. It is a challenge to get established and make the money I need to call it success.

Anonymous
(Disab.) |

AICPA Prudential Insurance Review:
The AICPA insurance is presented as very good benefits for CPA’s, i.e., life & disability through Prudential and homeowner/car insurance through Liberty; however, when it comes to actually claiming upon an event, I have found it extremely suspect in which my advice is... beware buyer. Be very suspect, and I will provide the below as an example.
Specifically, as background, I placed top 20 on '98 CPA exam and was living my life comfortably with a fab job until late 2011 in which I took a joyride on a motorcycle and broke my neck. Prior to, life was great. I ran 2 - 5 miles a day, making bank and building a family.
Post neurosurgery, I was granted disability, outfitted with a nice ventilator with oxygen bleed, which I am currently still both on. Additionally I’ve had two heart surgeries to-date, as a result of, due ventricular tachy, SVT, and 'other specified dysrhythmias.' I was lying on the hospital bed immediately prior to my last procedure and received a call from Prudential stating that "your fine and ready for work," and that they were taking me off disability. I was in heart surgery an hour later. They ended up extending disability coverage for 1 week of heart surgery and then terminated again.
Currently, I'm on that damn ventilator with oxygen, shit myself periodically, faint periodically, can’t feel my arms periodically, heart runs between 110 and 240 beats per minute, but hey, per Prudential, I’m ready for work!
In summary, with Prudential, buyer beware. It may seem like a sweet deal, but they just might not be what we thought we were getting. Furthermore, specifically dealing with the purchase of disability insurance in general – if disabled by three docs, and Prudential denies, you are then subject to getting an attorney which will then take 25% of back disability benefits, a monthly maintenance fee, then a 33% cut of Prudential buyout, since they don’t like to pay monthly benefits. Other than that, cheers.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

It looks good on your resume and any promotional brochures you might produce if you're in private practice! :-)

Anonymous
(CPA) |

I'm not sure if I will renew this year or not - even though my company reimburses in full. I know that when I retire from full-time defense industry work the end of 2015 I will need that money for better endeavors, though I plan to keep my license and state membership in force and work part-time. My employer provides me the standard $50K group term life and I purchased additional $150K of the same policy, no questions asked, which is totally portable and I will be able to keep in force after I retire. But AICPA life insurance has numerous health questions and they turn me down. What really are they giving me in return for that big bill! Like a previous comment said, just a bunch of SPAM.

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