LAS VEGAS (June 11, 2019) – Stuart Kessler, CPA/PFS, has received the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA) Stanley H. Breitbard Lifetime Achievement in Personal Financial Planning Award. This is only the third lifetime achievement award in personal financial planning ever given by the AICPA. The presentation took place at the AICPA’s Advanced Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Conference in Las Vegas.
Kessler, a Senior Tax Director specializing in estate and financial planning at CohnReznick in New York, NY is being honored for the key role he played in launching the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Division over 30 years ago as well as his continued contributions advancing the profession today. He led the way in having personal financial planning set forth as one of the five core services for future CPA practitioners in the CPA Vision initiative in the late 1990s.
“Stu has been an avid promoter in raising awareness of the work CPAs do in personal financial planning from the very beginning,” said Andrea Millar, CPA/PFS, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Director of Personal Financial Planning. “He was integral to the establishment of the Personal Financial Planning Division as we know it today.”
An active member of both the AICPA and the New York State Society of CPA’s (NYSSCPA), Kessler has served as Chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors, 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 is also a Past President of the NYSSCPA and of its Foundation of Accounting Education. Accounting Today listed him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in accounting. 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.
In addition to his volunteer work with the AICPA, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Estate Planning Council, and President of the Accountants Club of America. He also chaired the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) Technical Committee, which was responsible for establishing international standards for personal financial planning.
The criteria for the lifetime achievement award include 25 years of experience in financial planning and 15 years of AICPA volunteer work in personal financial planning. Recipients must have unquestioned integrity and professionalism and exemplify the personal, ethical, and professional characteristics of the model CPA financial planner. The recipient must be approved by PFP Division staff with input from the current and past chairmen of the PFP Executive Committee.