Celebrating the foresight and great accomplishments of our founders and the many women who have succeeded them in the AWSCPA.
How the Society was Organized
The American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA) began in 1933 as a group of nine women CPAs united in facing the challenges affecting women in the profession at that time. Over the years, the organization has grown. Membership increased dramatically in 1982 when the membership amended the Society's bylaws to allow affiliated local groups.
The AWSCPA Expands
Since the concentration of women CPAs in any one local area was not high enough in AWSCPA's early years to support local groups, and because there were more than 17,000 women accountants in the United States, the American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) was founded in 1938 by AWSCPA to foster member communications. The formation of ASWA was seen as a way to provide a local support network for both women CPAs and women accountants who might not be CPAs.
The AWSCPA and ASWA established a joint national office in New York City in 1947, allowing for shared office space and costs. In 1974, AWSCPA established its own national office in Columbus, Ohio, with a member as the office manager. When the office manager retired in 1980, and because the organization was incorporated in the state of Illinois, Chicago was selected as the site for the administrative office.
A bequest made by the first president of AWSCPA in 1966 was used to establish the AWSCPA Educational Foundation. In 1974, it was renamed the Educational Foundation of AWSCPA-ASWA to reflect the participation of both societies in Foundation activities. In 1996 the Foundation was renamed again to the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting. The change was made to broaden the Foundation's focus and donation base. The primary purpose of the Foundation is for the advancement of women in the field of accounting.
Through the years, the AWSCPA has celebrated the accomplishments of women CPAs with the following awards:
- CPA of the Year
- Woman of Courage
- Lead by Example
- Innovation Award
- Public Service
- Educator of the Year
- and more