Missouri Society of Accountants can trace its beginnings back to 1964. Encouraged by National Society of Public Accountants’ district governor Hank Gunnels, of Kansas City, Missouri, the organization was formed. In the beginning, the organization was incorporated as Independent Accountants Society of Missouri. The organization changed its name to Missouri Society of Accountants (MSA) in 1998.
From its conception on June 11, 1964 the organization has focused on contributing to all members of the accounting and bookkeeping profession in Missouri. In 2001, the organization was instrumental in having wording included in state legislation, which allows for non-CPAs to call themselves accountants. Missouri Statute 326.292 section 5.2 States:
Only persons or firms holding a valid license or permit issued under section 326.280 or 326.289 shall assume or use any title or designation that includes the words accountant or accounting in connection with any other language, including the language of a report, that implies that the person or firm holds a license or permit or has special competence as an accountant or auditor; provided, however, that this subsection shall not prohibit any officer, partner, principal, member, manager or employee of any firm or organization from affixing such person's own signature to any statement in reference to the financial affairs of the firm or organization with any wording designating the position, title or office that the person holds therein nor prohibit any act of a public official or employee in the performance of the person's duties as such. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the singular use of "accountant" or "accounting" for non-attest purposes.
In addition, recognition is given to Enrolled Agents (EA) as seen in section 4 of the same statute states:
Only persons holding a valid license or permit issued under section 326.280 or 326.289, or persons qualifying for the privilege to practice under section 326.283, and firms exempt from the permit requirement under subsection 1 of section 326.289, shall assume or use the title certified accountant, chartered accountant, enrolled accountant, licensed accountant, registered accountant, accredited accountant or any other title or designation likely to be confused with the titles certified public accountant or public accountant, or use any of the abbreviations CA, LA, RA, AA or similar abbreviation likely to be confused with the abbreviation CPA or PA. The title enrolled agent or EA shall only be used by individuals so designated by the Internal Revenue Service. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use or issuance of a title for non-attest services provided that the organization and the title issued by the organization existed prior to August 28, 2001.
Since this benchmark event the organization has focused on support and education for its members. The organization provides Continuing Education classes throughout the year to help the members meet their certification requirements. In the face of the 2020 pandemic, the organization started offering these CPE seminars through live webinars.
MSA fosters the idea of accountants for Main Street not Wall Street. Through this motto the organization helps the small accounting firms through networking, mentorship and continuing education. Throughout the organization’s history, MSA has been a member guided organization that promotes high standards for all accountants.