Financial Literacy 

    How CPAs have stepped up and stepped in to assist with a nationwide problem 

    Financial illiteracy is a huge problem in the U.S. Americans spend $1.22 for every $1.00 earned. In response, the AICPA, with the support of the state CPA societies, developed the award-winning 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy program.

    What is 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy?

    360 Degrees of Financial Literacy is a multi-faceted effort, spearheaded by the AICPA, with the support of state CPA societies. The program encourages CPAs to take a broad leadership role in volunteering to educate the American public, from school children to retirees, on financial topics that apply specifically to their particular stage of life. Throughout the country thousands of CPAs are volunteering in their own communities to improve the nation’s financial literacy. For more information, email

    360 Degrees of Financial Literacy Consumer Web site

    At the AICPA's financial literacy Web site, consumers can find information to help them make sound financial decisions at every stage of their lives, from childhood to retirement. A new section of the Web site, Ask the Money Dr., helps consumers access financial advice from CPAs.

    CPA Financial Literacy Resource Center

    CPAs and the state CPA societies can find information to use in educating consumers at a new online resource center. It features a free CPE course and toolkits created by the AICPA and the California Society of CPAs that are tailored to each life stage and include a PowerPoint presentation and fact sheets.

    Financial Literacy Volunteer Database

    By registering, CPAs can make their interests known to volunteer on either the state or national level and also keep apprised of the latest developments in the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy effort. Registered CPAs receive a newsletter, invitations to financial literacy conference calls and access to resources to use in volunteer efforts.

    CPA Mobilization Kits

    All the tools a CPA needs to engage in community discussions are included in these kits. Created by the AICPA and the California Society of CPAs, each kit focuses on a particular life event and includes a PowerPoint presentation with notes and fact sheets of pertinent issues.

    National Public Service Advertisement Campaign with the Ad Council

    The AICPA and the Ad Council have signed an agreement to launch a national public service advertisement campaign on financial literacy. The effort will target 24 – 35 year olds and focus on helping Americans positively change money management habits. The PSAs will lead consumers to the AICPA's financial literacy resources and Web site.

    Weekly Reader

    AICPA teamed with Weekly Reader Research to create a free educational program, Budget Buzz: Be Smart about Saving, to provide basics of financial literacy to 4th grade students and their teachers. The program materials included a poster and two hands-on activities designed to help students understand financial concepts in a fun, interactive way. The program was distributed with a February issue of the Weekly Reader Grade 4 magazine and reached 665,000 students.

    Certificate for Volunteer Financial Literacy Service

    To qualify for the certificate, a CPA must be either a member of the AICPA and a state CPA society and have five volunteer financial literacy occurrences (e.g., present a speech at a local community group, hold a brown bag luncheon session at a firm, author an article in local newspaper, etc.) or perform seven or more hours of volunteer service leading or presenting financial literacy programs or serving as a leader of an AICPA or state society committee/group/task force whose main focus is on financial literacy.

    Consumer Resources

    CPA Resources

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