Practice management

How to work with a grieving client

A growing elderly population means an increasing number of clients losing spouses, and CPAs with strong emotional intelligence will have better relationships with their clients and get more referrals.

Make your practice senior-friendly

By making a few small changes to their offices and communication styles, CPAs can help elderly clients feel more comfortable, well-respected, and secure.

QDROs demand the attention of CPAs

Expertise in qualified domestic relations orders and dividing retirement benefits in divorce can be a valuable accounting and tax specialty.

The new PFP standards

CPAs advising clients in estate, retirement, investment, or risk management planning need to understand the new Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services that was issued in January and goes into effect on July 1, 2014. The following are some key provisions personal financial planning (PFP) practitioners should note:

The accidental investment adviser

CPAs often are solicited for advice regarding potential investments. A CPA should refrain from providing specific investment advice unless he or she has been adequately trained and licensed to serve as an investment adviser.

SEC strengthens broker-dealer audit requirements

The SEC on Wednesday approved rule amendments that strengthen audit requirements for broker-dealers. The amendments are intended to increase protections for investors whose money and securities are turned over to SEC-registered broker-dealers. The final rules are available on the SEC’s website. Under previous rules, broker-dealers are required to file annual

PFP Q&A: Planning for change

With the Baby Boomer generation hitting retirement age, personal financial planning has become an increasingly important service for many accounting firms. But practitioners are dealing with plenty of changes, including the implementation of new tax laws and the landmark rollout of new standards. The JofA assembled a team of industry

Proposed PFP services standards available for public comment

The AICPA released an exposure draft of a Proposed Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services on Tuesday as part of an initiative that’s expected to help boost the profile of CPA personal financial planning (PFP) practitioners. The proposal outlines members’ responsibilities in PFP engagements. These responsibilities include: General

Proposed Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning

This spring, following a two-year drafting process involving practitioners from across the AICPA, the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee issued an exposure draft for public comment on a Proposed Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Practice. The proposed statement addresses the responsibilities of AICPA members when providing personal

Make your community more financially literate

Ninety-four percent of Americans say they have financial concerns of some sort, according to a 2012 Harris Interactive Survey conducted on behalf of the AICPA. These concerns range from the rising cost of gas to lack of emergency savings to retirement planning. Since launching in 2004, the award-winning 360 Degrees

A wealth of opportunity

Much has been written in recent years about wealth management services that call for practitioners, including CPAs, to have personal financial planning certification and to come under investment-adviser or other regulations. Much less attention has been paid to PFP services that don’t require specialization or additional licensing. One of these

Daily money management

As Americans enter old age in rapidly increasing numbers, more accountants will run into situations like the one a Virginia CPA encountered last year. The CPA spent five hours rummaging through the home of a 94-year-old client, trying to find the paperwork needed to complete the man’s 2010 tax return.

Help clients choose the right charities

Many nonprofits operate with tight resources, and some are struggling to survive in the slow economy. Here are ways to determine if the charities your clients support are effectively governed, accountable and fiscally responsible. Check the organization’s tax-exempt status and confirm that it is in good standing. The IRS compiles

Estate Planning Action Steps

CPAs should play a more significant role than they often do in facilitating, implementing and monitoring client estate plans. National Estate Planning Awareness Week, Oct. 17–23, is an ideal time to encourage clients to address planning. To download a sample client letter on estate planning, click here. Here are some


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.