The AICPA and its members continue to be at the forefront of the financial literacy movement with free programs, resources and thousands of CPAs across all 50 states volunteering to help Americans with their financial understanding.
Today, the perfect job is about more than the money. Americans want employers to show them the benefits. New original research conducted by The Harris Poll for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) found that Americans value having a job with benefits more than one with a higher salary. Neal Stern, CPA and member of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, spoke to AICPA Insights about the survey results and shared what you should keep in mind with respect to your own workplace benefits.
According to the survey, Americans are four times as likely to choose a job with benefits over an identical job that offered 30 percent more salary but no benefits. What’s your reaction to this?
Neal Stern: I find it encouraging that so many Americans recognize the value workplace benefits bring to an overall financial plan. Some benefits, like health insurance, protect you from exposure to tremendous expenses that could seriously derail your financial wellness. These benefits often come at a lower cost than what it would take to buy the coverage on your own. This is largely because of employer subsidies and possibly more favorable pricing through a group, which leaves you more breathing room in your monthly budget. Looking beyond the financial benefit of a broad benefits package, it’s hard to over-estimate the value of peace of mind you get from being free of the worry of catastrophic expenses from an accident or illness.
Continue reading "Americans want employers to show them the benefits" »
For the fifth quarter in a row, the typical American’s personal financial satisfaction reached an all-time high, according to the AICPA’s Personal Financial Satisfaction Index (PFSi). A record number of job openings, along with the stock market’s bullish performance though Q3 (Oct 1) - despite volatility - boosted Americans’ financial positions. With all these positive records, you may be wondering what it means for you.
Continue reading "Americans’ financial satisfaction reaches new high—can you feel it?" »
At this time of year, there’s plenty of “spookiness” to go around – the new Halloween movie, haunted houses, people incessantly arguing about politics on Facebook (just to name a few). Luckily, starting a small business doesn’t have to be something that makes your hair stand on end.
To calm potential entrepreneurs’ fears of starting a small business, I wanted to learn about some of the most popular myths – and hopefully put them to rest. Amy Wang, CPA and senior manager of the Tax Advocacy & Policy team at the AICPA and Margaret McNab, founder and co-organizer of the Freelance League of North Carolina, joined me on #CPApowered’s new podcast, The Small Biz Brunch, to discuss just that.
Myth #1: Side Hustles Aren’t Taxable
Continue reading "3 spooky small business myths, busted" »
When I first saw the word smishing, I assumed it was some new lingo the kids came up with to further stump us adults. But then again, this is coming from someone who didn’t know what ‘on fleek’ was until it was no longer cool to use. (It’s okay if you still don’t know what that means.)
Jokes aside, smishing is a very serious matter – and since October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to discuss it.
What is smishing?
According to Experian, a credit reporting bureau in the U.S., smishing is yet another tool used by cybercriminals to obtain personal information and steal identities. You’ve probably heard of ‘phishing,’ which is an attempt to get people to provide sensitive information via email, like credit card numbers or passwords. Smishing is a mashup of SMS (short message service) and phishing.
Continue reading "Smishing – what you need to know" »
It’s a familiar cycle. Disasters like Hurricanes Florence and Michael strike, and the airwaves are inundated with news of people displaced and homes destroyed. And shortly afterwards, you’ll see friends and colleagues ‘sharing’ on social media that they’ve contributed money towards relief efforts on crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe and encouraging others to give what they can.
For many people, their sense of compassion kicks in and they are compelled to do what they can to help – which often means making a financial donation. In fact, charitable giving in the United States soared to a record $410.02 billion in 2017 according to Charity Navigator.
But CPAs who specialize in financial fraud detection and prevention warn that you should think twice before clicking that DONATE NOW button. Fraudsters often take advantage of people’s good will and look to rip them off as they try to help those in need.
Continue reading "Help disaster survivors -- not scam artists" »