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How One Next-Gen CPA Dreams Big: Part 2

Jeff Badu - CopyWe spoke with Jeff Badu shortly after he launched his own firm, Badu Tax Services, LLC. Jeff has a bold, intrepid, entrepreneurial spirit and is passionate about helping people and giving back to society. He recently started Badu Investments and is preparing to take the PFS exam this summer so he can broaden the range of services he offers to his clients, who are primarily millennials. In this second part of the interview, we continue to explore Jeff’s journey.

AICPA: We learned a great deal about what drives you in the first part of our conversation. You spoke about your passion to help people and your entrepreneurial spirit. And you’re planning to take the PFS exam this summer. What is motivating you?

Jeff Badu: As a CPA, I get to help people solve some of their most challenging financial problems. I am very passionate about helping people in general, and with their financial future in particular. I work mainly with millennials, like me, and use different strategies to help reduce their income tax liability and maximize retirement and other savings. I find that people tend to prefer working with someone they can relate to, and my clients come to me because we identify with each other.

I have been interested in taxes since I was in middle school. It seems natural to me that tax compliance and planning are key ways to help people plan for their future. It’s very important to me to increase people’s understanding of the significance of making wise financial choices, which I try to do with my radio show, website and social media presence. Being able to increase my own expertise and offer a range of services so that I can be seen as the go-to trusted adviser is what’s prompting me to take the PFS exam this summer.

AICPA: What will it mean to you to become a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)?

Jeff Badu: The best way for me to help people is to take a comprehensive look at their financial information to help them make wise financial choices. Becoming a CPA/PFS will help set me apart from other financial professionals and bring more value to my clients. Taxes are an integral part of the work that CPA financial planners do, and I want to incorporate my knowledge of taxes into all aspects of the personal financial planning process. I will also be able to offer my clients other services such as investment and education planning, and even estate planning. Millennials may not consider it important now, but it is, and I want to help them understand it’s important to plan for every aspect of one’s finances.

I also believe strongly that credentials matter. I became a CPA because I wanted the added credibility of those three letters after my name. That’s also why I joined the AICPA – it’s a well-respected and trusted organization. I feel the same way about the PFS credential. Not only will it broaden my knowledge on a wide range of financial planning services, but becoming a CPA/PFS also adds respectability and a level of trustworthiness that will only add to my reputation and practice. I plan to immerse myself in the new Body of Knowledge information and take a deep dive into the AICPA PFP section and its many resources.

AICPA: You are clearly passionate about helping your clients achieve their financial goals and develop a sound basis for their future. What’s your biggest takeaway? What are your other passions?

Jeff Badu: You’re right, my primary passion is helping people and working with them for a solid financial future. I knew that about myself at a very early age. It is also important to me to give back to my community, so I volunteer my time to numerous organizations including the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the Ghana National Council in Chicago. My biggest takeaway and best advice is to follow your dreams and your passions. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. I would also say to leverage your networks and seek out good mentors.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading books (especially financial/wealth-building books), watching movies, writing poetry, playing basketball and relaxing. I'm a huge sports fan, and ever since I came to America I've been a Cubs fan. I've met some of the players in the past, including Sammy Sosa, and to watch them win the World Series this year was remarkable! It's truly amazing to be a part of history and to know that one of your favorite teams has won the championship. On the flip side, my favorite team is actually the Boston Celtics. This team has such a strong spirit, and they work hard day in and day out. I can relate to both of these teams: Anytime I'm called upon to solve a client's needs, I put my all out there. Whether it's customer service or helping a client with his or her tax return, I go above and beyond. I have a real passion for excellence. 

 

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