63 posts categorized "Personal Financial Planning" Feed

In the News: Clients Increasingly Turn to CPAs for Financial Planning

Financial planning consultation

While economic uncertainty persists and conflicting economic indicators make predicting the progress of the recovery tough, stocks have been on the rise since late 2011. With the Dow crossing the 13,000 threshold earlier this week, many investors may be considering a return to the market. Before making any important financial decision, it’s essential to develop a plan that addresses the specific situation and ensures alignment with one’s goals for the future. As a number of recent news articles below demonstrate, individuals are increasingly turning to their CPA for help making investment decisions and planning their financial future, and the AICPA is ensuring that CPAs have the tools they need to best advise their clients.

Investment News reports that, as a result of increased demand from their clients, more CPAs than ever before are offering financial planning services. CPAs, who are trusted advisors to their clients, may have an advantage on other investment professionals. “We're in a natural position of trust with clients to expand into financial planning,” said Lyle Benson, CPA/PFS, of the executive committee of the AICPA's Personal Financial Planning section. The economic conditions in the U.S. have only added to the perception that CPAs are one of the best options for financial planning, and the AICPA is ensuring that members who wish to expand their financial planning services have the resources they need. “With the uncertain times, our members are seeing a lot more demand from clients for financial planning services,” said Andrea Millar, CPA/PFS, senior technical manager of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning section. “In recent years, we've expanded our efforts to help them add that to their practices.”

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Tax Time is the Right Time for Financial Planning

If you’re like any of the CPAs I know, you’re probably fishing receipts from shoeboxes right about now, brewing coffee like it’s a second job and greeting the sun most days from your office chair.

It is, after all, that most taxing of seasons: tax season.

But in those long hours and rigorous reviews you’re also getting fresh insight into the lives of your clients – insight into their incomes, spending habits, investments and life events. That’s why tax season is a great gateway to financial planning. And why CPAs are uniquely positioned to excel as financial planners.

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In the News: Accounting Graduates Earn 20% More than Average

multi ethnic graduation studentsThe National Association of Colleges and Employers recently released the findings of their latest Job Outlook survey, which contained good news for current accounting students as well as recent accounting graduates. According to the survey, accounting majors who graduated in 2011 earned an average starting salary of $50,500, up 3.7 percent from the previous year and roughly 20 percent more than the average starting salary of all graduates. This increase isn’t an anomaly, according to Andrea Koncz of NACE, who told FINS.com that "entry-level accounting and finance jobs tend to see steady growth from year to year."

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Financial Planning Conference Attracted Diverse Crowd (Part 3)

Personal Financial Specialist 25th anniversary

The third and final part of this series covering the 2012 AICPA Advanced PFP Conference. Our on the ground bloggers:

Jean-Luc Bourdon, CPA/PFS, Principal, BrightPath Wealth Planning LLC. Jean-Luc is a regular contributor to CPA Insider and currently serves on the AICPA’s PFS Credential Committee.

Theodore Sarenski, CPA/PFS, President/CEO, Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, LLC. Ted is an appointed member of the AICPA Virtual Grassroots Panel, Social Security Task Force and Planner Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. Ted serves as Chair of the AICPA Elder Planning Task Force and is a liaison to the AICPA PFP Executive Committee.

From the beginning, several other attendees posted notable take-aways on Twitter. Take a look at what experts, including Michael Kitces, Mitch Freeman, Bill Winterberg and Carolyn McClanahan, had to say at the bottom of this post.

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Financial Planning Conference Provides Wealth of Knowledge (Part 2)

Personal Financial Specialist 25th anniversary

Part 2 covering day two of the 2012 AICPA Advanced PFP Conference. Our on the ground bloggers:

Jean-Luc Bourdon, CPA/PFS, Principal, BrightPath Wealth Planning LLC. Jean-Luc is a regular contributor to CPA Insider and currently serves on the AICPA’s PFS Credential Committee.

Theodore Sarenski, CPA/PFS, President/CEO, Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, LLC. Ted is an appointed member of the AICPA Virtual Grassroots Panel, Social Security Task Force and Planner Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. Ted serves as Chair of the AICPA Elder Planning Task Force and is a liaison to the AICPA PFP Executive Committee.

From the beginning, several other attendees posted notable take-aways on Twitter. Take a look at what experts, including Michael Kitces, Mitch Freeman, Bill Winterberg and Carolyn McClanahan, had to say at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading "Financial Planning Conference Provides Wealth of Knowledge (Part 2)" »

Financial Planning Conference Offers Path to New Career (Part 1)

Personal Financial Specialist 25th anniversaryThe 2012 AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference concluded Wednesday at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas. The conference, held annually, brings together experts from four diverse financial planning areas: Investment Management, Wealth Management, Practice Management and Retirement/Elder Planning. This year we asked two attendees to share their thoughts and experiences from the financial planning conference. See what they had to say.

Our on the ground bloggers:

Jean-Luc Bourdon, CPA/PFS, Principal, BrightPath Wealth Planning LLC. Jean-Luc is a regular contributor to CPA Insider and currently serves on the AICPA’s PFS Credential Committee.

Theodore Sarenski, CPA/PFS, President/CEO, Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, LLC. Ted is an appointed member of the AICPA Virtual Grassroots Panel, Social Security Task Force and Planner Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. Ted serves as Chair of the AICPA Elder Planning Task Force and is a liaison to the AICPA PFP Executive Committee.

Continue reading "Financial Planning Conference Offers Path to New Career (Part 1)" »

In the News: Easy Steps to Save $1,000

Mackey McNeillDo you happen to be one of the many people who has resolved to make saving money a priority this year? Do you also find yourself in the category of those who feel they cannot even save $25 a week?  If so, Mackey McNeill, CPA/PFS, a former member of the AICPA’s National Financial Literacy Commission, has offered some actionable tips to help you painlessly save $1,000 this year in an article appearing on depositaccounts.com.

McNeill suggests finding your largest discretionary expense and challenging yourself to spend 5% less. For example, if you spend $400 a month at the grocery store, make it your goal to reduce that figure to $380. The 5% challenge works because it doesn’t feel like a huge sacrifice, but $20 over the course of a month translates to a cool $240 a year (full disclosure: I was a math minor).

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Cost Basis Reporting Rules

In this audio stream, Michael Kitces covers the new cost basis reporting rules enacted under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

Note that the new tracking rules will require any financial intermediaries (i.e., generally all brokers and custodians, as well as certain other types of financial institutions) that currently issue Form 1099-B to report using an updated version, which tracks not only the gross proceeds from sales of securities, but the cost basis, acquisition date, amount of gain/loss, and character of the gain/loss (i.e., short-term or long-term). Actual reporting on cost basis will be phased in over time, with equities in 2011, mutual funds and dividend reinvestment plans in 2012, and bonds and other securities in 2013.

Michael Kitces on Cost Basis Reporting Rules

If you prefer, you can read the entire transcript after the jump or download this and other audio webcasts from the Personal Financial Planning Section on AICPA.org.

Michael Kitces, Director of Research, Pinnacle Advisory Group. Michael is the publisher of the e-newsletter The Kitces Report and the blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website kitces.com, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning.

 

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Bob Keebler on Refining the Roth Strategy

In this audio stream, Bob Keebler covers the new thinking as it relates to Roth planning given market volatility. Key considerations include:

  • Opportunistic conversions (i.e., optimizing Roth segregation strategies, which focus on the volatility of the stock market)
  • Hedging against increased tax rates
  • Tactical planning (i.e., net operating losses)
  • The annual Roth conversion strategy

Important to note is that conversions to Roth 401(k)s cannot be recharacterized.

Bob Keebler on Refining the Roth Strategy - 12/9/2011

If you prefer, you can read the entire transcript after the jump or download this and other audio webcasts from the Personal Financial Planning Section on AICPA.org.

Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, DEP, Partner, Keebler & Associates, LLP. Bob is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Estate Planners award from the National Association of Estate Planning counsels. From 2003 to 2006, Bob was named by CPA Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential practitioners in the United States. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of CCH's magazine, Journal of Retirement Planning and a member of CCH's Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board. His practice includes family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, retirement distribution planning, and estate administration.  

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New Estate Planning Guidance for Decedents Who Passed in 2010

Notice 2011-66 provides guidance for executors of estates of decedents who died in 2010 regarding the time and manner of choosing to opt out of the estate tax have the carryover basis rules apply. Revenue Procedure 2011-41 provides safe harbor guidance regarding property acquired from estates of decedents who died in 2010. This audio stream provides an overview of the guidance and strategies to assist advisers and clients in making decisions.

New Estate Planning Guidance for Decedents Who Passed in 2010

If you prefer, you can read the entire transcript after the jump or download this and other audio webcasts from the Personal Financial Planning Section on AICPA.org.

Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, DEP, Partner, Keebler & Associates, LLP. Bob is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Estate Planners award from the National Association of Estate Planning counsels. From 2003 to 2006, Bob was named by CPA Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential practitioners in the United States. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of CCH's magazine, Journal of Retirement Planning and a member of CCH's Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board. His practice includes family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, retirement distribution planning, and estate administration. 

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Impact of the Debt Ceiling Fallout

Crashing through the debt ceiling spending taxesHave your clients been asking you tough questions about the current U.S. fiscal situation in this time of uncertainty? "Should I change my asset allocation? Should I put money in gold? Should I get out of the stock market as a whole?"  This audio stream provides an overview of where the U.S. is right now from a market, economic and fiscal standpoint and also suggests various tax-motivated strategies that you might want to pursue with your clients. Note: This was recorded prior to Standard & Poor’s lowering of the U.S. credit rating.

Debt Ceiling Fallout

If you prefer, you can read the entire transcript after the jump or download this and other audio webcasts from the Personal Financial Planning Section on AICPA.org.

Michael Goodman, CPA/PFS, President, Wealthstream Advisors Inc. Michael is highly active in the financial community and serves on the Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee and as the 2009 PFP Conference Chair. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Communication from State University of New York, as well as a Certificate in Finance & Management Information Systems. Michael co-founded and serves on the board of directors of Commerce Plaza Inc., a non-profit program which teaches financial skills to children at the elementary school level.

Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, DEP, Partner, Keebler & Associates, LLP. Bob is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Estate Planners award from the National Association of Estate Planning counsels. From 2003 to 2006, Bob was named by CPA Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential practitioners in the United States. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of CCH's magazine, Journal of Retirement Planning and a member of CCH's Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board. His practice includes family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, retirement distribution planning, and estate administration. 

 

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An Overview of Estate Tax Portability Provisions

Estate tax returnThe IRS on Sept. 29 issued Notice 2011-82 to alert executors of 2011 estates of the need to file a Form 706 to make the election to transfer a decedent’s unused $5 million estate and gift tax exclusion to the surviving spouse. In particular, for the executor of a 2011 estate to make a portability (i.e., deceased spouse unused exclusion amount) election, the executor is required to file a timely Form 706 for the decedent's estate, even if the estate is not otherwise obligated to file a Form 706. If a timely return is not filed, any excess exclusion amount is lost forever and is unavailable at the death of the surviving spouse. To avoid falling into this trap, practitioners should discuss with their clients the benefit of filing the federal estate tax return for the first spouse, even if no tax is due. Over the next few weeks and months, it is very important to file extensions (Form 4768) or Form 706 for early 2011 deaths within the nine-month deadline (starting Oct. 3, 2011).

2011 Deaths and Form 706 and Portability

If you prefer, you can read the entire transcript after the jump or download this and other audio webcasts from the Personal Financial Planning Section on AICPA.org.

Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, DEP, Partner, Keebler & Associates, LLP. Bob is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Estate Planners award from the National Association of Estate Planning counsels. From 2003 to 2006, Bob was named by CPA Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential practitioners in the United States. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of CCH's magazine, Journal of Retirement Planning and a member of CCH's Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board. His practice includes family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, retirement distribution planning, and estate administration. 

Continue reading "An Overview of Estate Tax Portability Provisions" »

Critical Issues to Consider: Estate Planning Filings

Estate planningThe final Form 706 and instructions were issued early September by the Internal Revenue Service for decedents who died in 2010. For most people who died in 2010, the form and estate tax payment were due Sept. 19. The AICPA requested a 90-day postponement of the due date, and on Sept. 12 the IRS announced filing and penalty relief for 2010 estates. In light of recent estate tax developments, listen to Bob Keebler’s thoughts on critical issues to think through for 2010 and 2011 estate planning and filings. 

Recent Estate Tax Developments

If you prefer, you can read the entire transcript after the jump or download this and other audio webcasts from the Personal Financial Planning Section on AICPA.org.

Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, DEP, Partner, Keebler & Associates, LLP. Bob is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Estate Planners award from the National Association of Estate Planning counsels. From 2003 to 2006, Bob was named by CPA Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential practitioners in the United States. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of CCH's magazine, Journal of Retirement Planning and a member of CCH's Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board. His practice includes family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, retirement distribution planning, and estate administration. 

Continue reading "Critical Issues to Consider: Estate Planning Filings" »

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