The AICPA provides information, tools, advocacy and guidance for CPAs who specialize in providing estate, tax, retirement, risk management and investment planning advice.
Uncertainty is a common theme these days. People worry about the future and face many personal finance questions. The AICPA Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Trends survey found that 80% of CPA financial planners said their clients had a higher stress level about their financial plan than normal. The CPAs surveyed reported that they spoke with their clients early in the COVID-19 pandemic and often. As a CPA financial planner, you play a key role in reassuring clients and easing their concerns. In this blog post, CPA financial planners and CPAs with the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS™) credential detail the top tips they are implementing with their clients now.
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As news of the COVID-19 pandemic’s spread intensified early this year, the effect on the U.S. economy and American’s financial situations was unknown. We conducted the AICPA PFP Trends Survey in May to explore how CPA financial planners worked with clients during these uncertain times. The U.S. had experienced tens of millions of job losses, extreme stock market volatility and trillions of dollars in emergency federal programs to mitigate the economic fallout for businesses and individuals. The survey results provide an informative snapshot of how AICPA members on the financial frontlines helped their clients calmly navigate this extraordinary situation.
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The coronavirus pandemic has encouraged people with existing estate plans to consider reviewing and modifying them, and people without plans to develop them. Regardless of your client’s situation, there are worthwhile conversations about estate planning to be had.
As a CPA, you have a strong relationship with your clients and a comprehensive understanding of their finances. Because of this, you provide great value, and when partnered with an attorney, you form a solid team. You bring your expertise on the financial structure and they bring their knowledge of the legal system.
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There are a lot of unknowns related to the COVID-19 crisis. Your clients may be feeling stressed and even uncertain about their financial future, and are likely asking questions:
- When will things stabilize?
- When will the market volatility be behind us?
- How will my retirement goals be impacted by everything going on?
Although no one has all the answers, as a CPA financial planner, you have a strong relationship with your clients, vast knowledge of tax and planning strategies and you offer objective advice that is in your clients’ best interest.
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Financial abuse and fraud that targets elderly clients can do more than devastate their savings and ruin their credit. The AICPA’s recent Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Trends Survey found that falling victim to fraud is much more likely to have an emotional impact on the elderly than a financial one.
Of the many types of fraud or elder abuse CPA financial planners have seen perpetrated on their older clients over the past five years, phone and internet scams top the list. The next most common issue is the inability to say “no” to relatives and identity theft.
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