Financial Planning

CPAs care: Spreading the financial literacy message

DSC01519On Aug. 12, the MACPA's New / Young Professional's Network (NYPN) made a difference in the lives of nearly 100 college scholarship recipients at a financial literacy seminar for the Maryland Central Scholarship Bureau.

What made it even more special was the involvement of MACPA past chair Larry Kamanitz (pictured with hat), who put the two groups together. Larry had just received the Maryland Public Service Award at the MACPA Summit on June 29.

Pictured at right are Larry Kamanitz (past MACPA and CSB chair), Molly Shock (CSB chair), Bill Kinney (NYPN chair), Jan Wagner (CSB executive director, Tricia Griffis (NYPN member), Roberta Goldman (CSB program director), and Chris Critzman (MACPA).

The three-hour program was put together with the help of MACPA's Chris Crtizman, who organized the MACPA volunteers, MACPA NYPN Chair Bill Kinney of SB & Company and Tricia Griffis of Reznick Group. The students were mesmerized by the presentations and had lots of questions. Bill and Tricia gave out solid financial literacy tips, shared their personal stories and talk about how exciting a career as a CPA can be.

Here are some of my favorite takeaways:

  • From Bill: You should prioritize your finances as follows: 1) Needs (Do you really need this?) 2) Pay yourself by saving something now. 3) Take care of wants last (they will come with time).
  • From Tricia: Prioritize your time while in college. Your college transcript will follow you a long time after you finish college, so make sure you are focusing on your grades and learning. Balance your classes and studying with the time you are having fun. College has a lot of distractions; keep sight of why you are there.
  • From Tricia and Bill: You are the CFO (chief financial officer) of your life and you need to pay attention to your finances.

On the CPA career:

  • From Bill: CPAs are problem-solvers. I spend a lot of time reading and understanding financial contracts and explaining what they mean to businesses (in financial terms).
  • From Tricia: The CPA career is a very social career. You are out with clients, networking for business development, and volunteering in the community, speaking, etc. It is much more than numbers.

Here is Tricia talking about the need for financial literacy, and several clips from particpants here, here and here.

Check out our video Financial Literacy Tips for CPAs from MACPA leaders.

This is just one of the many charitable activities our NYPN group has participated in. They have done bowl-a-thons and golf tournaments to raise money for charities and relief efforts, and have gained valuable leadership and networking skills in the process.

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