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Celebrate Memorial Day by Giving Back

Memorial-dayMany service men and women encounter challenges upon returning from active duty, including finding employment. Starting a business is an attractive option, but like many entrepreneurs, veterans need support. The good news is that CPAs are in a great position to offer help.

Thanks to the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative, U.S. veterans have the opportunity to gain free help from experts. Through AICPA’s partnership with SCORE, an organization that provides mentoring and training to entrepreneurs, this program connects veterans with CPAs across the country. CPA volunteers provide up to five hours of free financial advice to veterans on starting and growing a business.

To get started, each participating veteran selects a CPA from the AICPA CPA Volunteer Directory and contacts them directly. AICPA members can then determine how to provide tailored assistance by accessing the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative Toolkit. This toolkit includes a customizable guide for veteran clients, a sample press release and web sticker for CPAs to promote their volunteerism in their local communities.

Honorary AICPA member Laimon W. Godel, Jr. CPA, CGMA, is a United States Marine Corps veteran who volunteers through the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative. Laimon explains, “I understand the challenges faced by veterans upon being released from active duty. I was once in their shoes and starting a business is not easy. I have met with a few Marines who left active duty, started their own business, and after stumbling on their way without professional help, found out about the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative. They wished that they had taken advantage of the program before getting so far down the road. Veterans should know that CPAs are standing by, ready to provide free financial advice.”

Make a difference on this Memorial Day by joining the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative. Visit the AICPA Veteran Fast Launch Initiative webpage for more information on the AICPA and SCORE joint program and spread the word to veterans about this valuable resource.

Lindsey Ferguson, CPA, Technical Manager, PCPS/ Firm Services, American Institute of CPAs. With a small firm public accounting background, Lindsey now leads the AICPA Trusted Business Advisor Workshop and related resources, Veteran Fast Launch Initiative, Emerging Partner Training and Summit and PCPS communications.

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