In April 1930, a group of Jewish accounting students at Detroit Institute of Technology started a fraternity for both professional and social reasons. In 1939, the fraternity received its charter and Zeta Alpha Rho began.
To increase its membership, the fraternity changed its name to The Accountants’ Guild and opened its membership to Jewish accountants whether certified or not. In 1940, seeing that most of its members were Certified Public Accountants, membership was restricted to Certified Public Accountants. Those current members who were not certified were allowed to remain as members of the Guild.
Originally the Guild held an annual All Day Seminar in December of each year.
In 1975, monthly meetings were added to foster a more active organization.
To enhance the professional purpose for which the Guild began, an annual all day seminar was sponsored each year during December. Eventually, moving in response to the continuing professional education requirements for license renewal, a second all day session was scheduled shortly after the end of each tax season. In 1975, seeking to foster a more active organization, the Guild added regularly scheduled monthly meetings. This emphasis on professional development enhanced the groups’ viability and increased its stature in the accounting community. As the significance of the Guild grew, the decision was made to seek tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. This status was received in 1977. During that year the group also added its first non-Jewish members.
Because of the Guild’s close knit membership, a Benevolent Fund had long been maintained. This fund provided temporary financial assistance to members experiencing personal emergencies and to members needing assistance with their practice. This spirit continues to exist today through the Assistance to Practitioners Committee, which provides a bridge between those members seeking assistance and those members able to provide the help needed.