44 Awards You Can Win as an Accounting Professional

While the accounting industry may not have a red-carpet, star-studded awards night like the Grammy Awards or the Oscars, individuals and companies can still achieve recognition of greatness or accomplishment in our profession. And why shouldn’t they be acknowledged for their hard work? After all, we’re the financial backbone of entities throughout the world.

Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the awards and certifications that can be obtained by accounting and tax professionals. Take a look!

  1. Top 50 Best of the Best Firms

Inside Public Accounting—IPA, as it’s often referred to as—first began naming the top 50 Best of the Best Firms in the United States back in 1994. This list exclusively focuses on factors that include performances in specific areas of management, growth, and strategic vision.

Fun fact: Firms that make the “Best of the Best” list are often some of the highest-performing public accounting firms in the country. Firms of all sizes are eligible.

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  1. The Best Firms to Work For

Accounting Today ranks the “Best Firms to Work For,” which focuses on factors that include the best management practices, HR and benefits policies, firm cultures, and retention strategies. Accounting Today also offers significant insight into what actually makes a firm an employer of choice.

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  1. Top 100 Firms

It’s also important to note that Accounting Today ranks the top 100 firms each year, as well, which includes key trends, like firms to watch out for and up-and-coming practices.

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  1. Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting

Each year, Accounting Today releases its roster of thought leaders, change-makers regulators, practitioners, and other leaders who are shaping the profession.

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  1. 40 Under 40

CPA Practice Advisor is a technology and practice management resource for accounting and tax professionals. The company offers a myriad of awards each year, including “40 Under 40.”

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Other awards offered by CPA Practice Advisor include:

  1. 20 Under 40

The accounting industry is a necessity for the success of America’s small businesses. As such, these awards recognize the professionals who are helping lead the industry.

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  1. Most Powerful Women in Accounting Awards

This award promotes inclusiveness and creates more opportunities for women in the industry to attain leadership roles.

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  1. Readers’ Choice Awards

These awards give accounting professionals an opportunity to share what systems they use and believe to be most productive and beneficial.

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  1. Innovation Awards

The Tax and Accounting Technology Innovation Awards honor new technologies that assist accounting firms and their small business clients operate more efficiently.

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  1. Top 50 Women in Accounting

Practice Ignition also does its part to showcase women in the accounting industry with their “Top Women in Accounting” list. The list is composed of—you guessed it—women! These women have all been nominated by colleagues and the sort who find them to be mentors, an inspiration, and have the drive to be the best. The list is planned to be announced annually on International Women’s Day.

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  1. Women in Business

The Stevie® Awards, announced each year, recognizes a wide range of individuals and companies in the business industry, including Women in Business. Other categories include:

  • Custer Service
  • HR Achievement
  • S.-based Organizations
  • Executive of the Year
  • Company of the Year

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  1. Marketing Achievement Award

Association for Accounting Marketing, or AAM, annually gives out awards to recognizes the accomplishments of those who have worked hard to market the accounting industry and prove how marketing and business development are necessary in order to drive a firm’s brand and growth. One of their top awards includes the Marketing Achievement Award. Other awards are:

  1. Marketer of the Year
  2. Volunteer of the Year
  3. Rookie of the Year

Find out more information here:


  1. Top 100

In 2019, TaxBuzz celebrated its 5th annual list of top tax professionals, which included 100 highly-rated independent tax professionals around the country. TaxBuzz works by “matching” taxpayers with highly-rated accountants and tax professionals based on factors that include the type of help needed, geographic location, and other preferences.

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  1. Top Cloud Accounting Experts

CountingWorks recently celebrated its second annual list of top cloud accounting experts. The list showcased 100 accounting providers who operate outstanding cloud-based practices. Originally launched in 2018, CountingWorks provides a marketplace for clients to find both qualified cloud accounting and virtual finance assistance, such as CPAs, virtual CFOs, bookkeepers, and other accounting professionals.

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      1. Outstanding Accounting Educator Award

Each year, the American Accounting Association releases a list of individuals recognized for their hard work and dedication to the industry. The AAA offers a long list of winners for a range of categories, including Outstanding Service Award, Lifetime Service Award, and Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award.

Find out more information here, as well as a complete list of categories:


      1. Certified Fraud Examiner of the Year

This award is presented annually by the Association of Certified Fraud Examines (ACFE) to a CFE who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fraud examination. Other awards presented each year by the ACFE include:

      1. Educator of the Year
      2. Chapter of the Year
      3. Chapter Website of the Year
      4. Achievement in Outreach/Community Service

Find out more information here, as well as easily nominate individuals who qualify:


      1. Top 100 ProAdvisors

Insightful Accountant runs this awards program for accounting professionals who are active in the QuickBooks world. They recently expanded their awards to include domestic and international categories.  They also choose a top ten based on ten categories:

      1. QuickBooks Desktop
      2. QuickBooks Online
      3. Niche Practice
      4. Business Outsourcing
      5. Trainer/Writer
      6. Integrations – Desktop
      7. Up-and-Comer
      8. QBO – Appologist
      9. Social Media
      10. Canada
      11. Best of the Best

Find out more here: https://www.intuitiveaccountant.com/top-100

      1. AICPA Honorary Gold Medal

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national professional organization of Certified Public Accountants in the United States. Each year, they award and single out individuals who have achieved or demonstrated greatness. For example, the AICPA Honorary Gold Medal Award was originally established in 1980 and recognized an individual who is not a CPA and whose work has had a significant impact on the profession.

Other awards offered by the AICPA include:

      1. Public Service Award*
      2. Special Recognition Award
      3. Gold Medal Award of Distinction
      4. Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award
      5. Joint AICPA/AAA Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award
      6. Outstanding CPA in Government Award
      7. AICPA Outstanding Young CPA Award
      8. AICPA Outstanding Discussion Leader Award

Find out more information here:


It’s important to honor the professionals who have not only already achieved greatness in the accounting industry, but also those who continue and strive to make positive and impactful changes. If that’s you or someone you know, consider taking some time to nominate yourself or a colleague.

And if we left out your award, send us a note and we’ll get yours added.

Related: Getting certifications is an honor too.  For a list of 34 professional certifications you can get in accounting, tax, audit, and more, click here: