Beta Alpha Psi is an international scholastic and professional organization for Financial Information Professionals. The primary objective of the organization is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility.
Beta Alpha Psi was founded in 1919. By 2004 there were nearly 255 chapters on college and university campuses with over 200,000 members initiated since the organization’s formation.
Membership in Beta Alpha Psi includes those persons of good moral character who have achieved scholastic and/or professional excellence in the field of accounting, finance, or information systems, who have been initiated according to the ritual, and who remain in good standing.
Minimum scholastic requirements for undergraduate membership are set forth in the international by-laws. Graduate student initiates must have been accepted and matriculated into a masters degree level program. Individual chapters may establish higher admission criteria. Specific chapter requirements are delineated in the chapter by-laws.
Beta Alpha Psi is governed by a constitution and bylaws. The governing body is the Board of Directors. The Board consists of thirteen financial information professionals or professors of Accounting, Finance or Information Systems, the chairman of the International Advisory Forum, and two alumni representatives. The alumni representatives are chosen from recent graduates.
An international advisory forum is comprised of prominent professionals who are active in public accounting, industry, or government. The members serve three-year terms. The Forum provides the Board of Directors external advice and assistance in both regular operations and special projects of the fraternity.
The international chapter is comprised of all Faculty Advisors, student presidents, and past and present officers of Beta Alpha Psi. This body holds an annual meeting and banquet in August and provides advice and assistance to the Board of Directors.
A local chapter is comprised of student and faculty members at each school. Student officers guide the chapter’s operations and activities, supervised by the Faculty Advisors.
Beta Alpha Psi is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Beta Alpha Psi and its local chapters are deductible.
Beta Alpha Psi gains a portion of its annual budget from a charter maintenance fee and a one-time initiation fee. Although there is other minor revenue from royalties and interest on investments, the bulk of the receipts come from contributions from industry and public accounting.
In 1982, the Associates Program was initiated. Through the Associates, industrial and public accounting firms contribute to Beta Alpha Psi activities.
The Board establishes a program for chapter activities to serve as a guide and an incentive for chapter competition. The goal of chapter activities is to involve all members fully in chapter affairs. Successful chapter operation requires participation by every member in attending meetings, serving on committees, participating in activities, and striving for academic excellence.
All chapters are evaluated annually on their service to members, campus, community, and profession. Superior chapters are recognized each year at the fraternity’s national meeting.
Chapter activities are divided into categories according to: plan of activities and budget, initiations, professional programs, involvement in campus and professional activities, community service, and annual year-end report. Activities include speeches and panel discussions by students, faculty and professionals; field trips; business meetings; and a wide variety of professional, social, and service activities.
Employers of accounting students are totally familiar with Beta Alpha Psi and its activities. It is understood that Beta Alpha Psi represents excellence and that its activities are designed to supplement a student’s education.
The activities of student members include:
- attendance at chapter meetings, socials, and recruiting events,
- participation in a national student seminar or graduate case seminar,
- attendance at regional meetings, and
- attendance and participation at the annual meeting.
The emblem of the Beta Alpha Psi organization denotes the promise of careers for financial information professionals. The rising sun signifies these professional positions as rising ever higher among economic activities. The crossed keys symbolize knowledge as a means of opening the doors of the financial world. The letters Beta, Alpha, and Psi denote scholarship, social responsibility, and practicality, respectively.