Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Institute Supports CPA Financial Literacy Volunteers

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Institute Supports CPA Financial Literacy Volunteers

Article excerpt

When the AICPA launched its 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy campaign at a May 17, 2004, news conference with U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, it promised to deliver a wealth of assistance to CPAs volunteering to help Americans better understand and manage their finances ( htm). Those resources, described below, are now available. They include an online information and support center, a free CPE course, program literature, a database for volunteers and a Web site where both CPAs and consumers can find practical advice on personal finance.


Many resources are designed to help consumers learn more about personal finance, but 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy stands out from the others by giving CPAs an effective way to help individuals focus on the specific personal finance issues affecting them most. The program explores--and provides general guidance on--the fiscal challenges in each of 11 stages in life: growing up; attending college; pursuing a career; serving in the military; being in a long-term personal relationship; raising a family; buying and maintaining a home; starting and running a business; enduring life crises, such as a medical emergency, divorce or unemployment; simultaneously caring for children and aging parents; and planning for and living in retirement.

The order and specificity this structure brings to CPAs' volunteer financial education efforts will enable them to confidently volunteer for the campaign, knowing they'll be asked to contribute only in the areas they know best.


Through its Grassroots Mobilization Team, which collaborates with state societies to get CPAs across the nation involved in community-based financial education, the AICPA is encouraging thousands of CPAs to join the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy campaign and help teach the American public--from school children to retirees--how to better recognize and respond to financial issues. To maximize the effectiveness of their volunteer efforts, CPAs can use the following campaign resources:

* The CPA Financial Literacy Resource Center (www., an online clearinghouse for information and resources, including reference materials, news and links to the Web sites of other organizations, such as

* State CPA society financial literacy programs, resources (www. …

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