The accounting profession and the American Institute of CPAs recently lost one if its leading and most influential members. Stuart Kessler passed away earlier this week.
A senior tax director specializing in estate and financial planning at CohnReznick in New York, NY, Stuart dedicated his career to advancing the role of accountants within the personal financial planning field. He played a major role in launching the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Division more than 30 years ago, and he helped establish personal financial planning as one of the five core services for future CPA practitioners in the CPA Vision initiative in the late 1990s.
He also served in several leadership positions within the profession, including a term as chairman of the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA) Board of Directors from 1997-1998. He also served as chairman of the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee, president of the AICPA Foundation, and on the AICPA’s Governing Council, among other notable roles. He was also a past president of the New York State Society of CPA’s (NYSSCPA) and of its Foundation of Accounting Education. Earlier this year Kessler was honored as the 3rd ever recipient of AICPA’s Stanley H. Breitbard Lifetime Achievement in Personal Financial Planning Award
Moreover, Stuart was committed to building diversity within the profession through the Stuart Kessler Scholarship for Minority Students, which is awarded annually to the highest ranked graduate-level student of the AICPA Minority Scholarship program.
Accounting Today’s twice listed Stuart among its Top 100 Most Influential People in accounting, while Money Magazine recognized him as one of the outstanding tax practitioners in the U.S., and Worth Magazine featured him as one of the country’s top financial planners.
We will miss Stuart’s leadership, unwavering commitment to helping those within the accounting profession and his desire to improve the lives of his clients through personal financial planning.