Dear Financial Planning Practitioner:
With the recent tragic events in New York City, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania still reverberating across this country, the AICPA’s Board of Directors, its staff and its members have been deeply affected. Included in the thousands of people affected by this tragedy, we are currently aware of many CPAs who worked in the World Trade Center and the immediate area. Thus, the AICPA wants to help all of the survivors and families of victims get through this crisis with our contributions and our expertise.
As professionals with expertise that can help people in need, we want to mobilize our members to help the survivors and families of victims. To that end, we are looking for members with a demonstrated knowledge of financial planning matters to volunteer their services to help survivors and families of victims with the financial planning issues that they will face in the aftermath of the events of September 11th.
Volunteers will provide those in need with free consultation services to establish direction that will start them on their road to recovery – something we envision will require a commitment of several hours per consultation. These people will need assistance with issues, such as:
- Whether they have enough money to make it through the next few weeks or months.
- How to apply for life insurance policies and benefits.
- Dealing with continuation of benefits.
- How to apply for federal and state benefits, including social security.
- Settling estates.
- Transferring retirement plans to beneficiaries.
- Investing lump sum payments.
- Planning for college.
- Tax planning.
To volunteer, please call the AICPA at 877-CPA-4ALL (877-272-4255) between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM Eastern time as soon as you can. Tell the operator that you want to reach out to help those in need. Alternatively, you may contact the AICPA via e-mail at [email protected]. If contacting us via e-mail, be sure to include the following contact information: name, company name, complete address, phone, fax, e-mail, areas of expertise, and the region of the country that you are able to assist in. Your name will be added to a list of practitioners donating their expertise. As people or families in need call for assistance, they will be matched with a volunteering financial planning professional.
CPA2Biz is assisting the AICPA in this effort. A dedicated resource center is being created at www.cpa2biz.com/recovery, which will provide practitioners with information, articles, and resources related to the issues that arise from this tragedy and that can also be used to assist you in your volunteer efforts. Please visit the site for important information for you, your clients, and your employer.
To the extent you cannot volunteer your services, it would greatly help our effort if you would provide relevant articles or information that we can disseminate to other practitioners as they help their clients through this tragedy. This information should be sent to the Financial Planning Team at [email protected].
We are also accepting donations to help the survivors and families of victims. The AICPA has the AICPA Benevolent Fund that is used to help members and their families when they face financial difficulty caused by serious illness, accident, death or other major misfortunes. However, to expand the scope of our assistance, the AICPA has established a new fund, CPAs in Support of America Fund, Inc., to provide assistance to CPAs, CPA firms and others affected by these events.
To contribute to either fund, please send a check in the name of the fund to: AICPA, Harborside Financial Center, 201 Plaza Three, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881. For information regarding contributions please consult our website, www.aicpa.org, or the CPA2Biz website, www.cpa2biz.com.
Thank you for your consideration, compassion, contributions and quick response to this urgent request.
Kathy G. Eddy, CPA, Chair of the Board
Barry C. Melancon, CPA, President and CEO
PS – To reach as many members as quickly as possible, we are sending this letter via mail, e-mail and fax. Please excuse us if you receive multiple copies of this request. We would rather reach everyone more than once than overlook anyone.