Financial Headaches Hurricane Sandy 2012

The Financial Headaches of Repairing the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Financial Professionals Working Together Toward Solutions

November 15th, 2012 —

Hurricane Sandy caused an historic amount of damage to homes and businesses on the U.S. East Coast. Estimates are running between 10 to 20 billion dollars, second only to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. For CPAs, this means having a direct impact on the ability for people and businesses to get back on track. Whether this work entails assisting in business valuation, helping to track cost of home repairs, or re-evaluating a savings and investment strategy, the CPA brings a comforting peace of mind to clients struggling to understand how to rebuild amid dire conditions.

Within days of Hurricane Sandy striking the coast, the American Association of CPAs, had set up a series of online support pages for CPAs and their clients on their website. Their homepage suddenly became a place where professionals could easily connect, post updates and send and receive other pertinent information.

From articles on assisting clients with business continuity, to providing contact information for disaster relief, CPA’s worked together to help one another through the toughest times with an active membership and second-to-none professional service. As one can see, obtaining full CPA credentialing means becoming an integral member of an esteemed community of highly proficient professionals within a collegial culture where assistance is offered in good times, and in not so good times.

For over 200 years the field of accounting has evolved with client needs and shifting ethical guidelines. When accountants earn their CPA license, they demonstrate to their clients and employers that they are committed to upholding the most rigorous professional standards. For businesses and individuals struggling to recover after a crisis, this prestigious credential provides another level of assurance that their most precious assets are in safe hands. Further, through the professional standards and on-going career development requirements, CPA’s are immersed in “best practice” knowledge that is current, relevant, and trustworthy which are all worthwhile reasons to hire CPAs.

CPAs function in every aspect of business, and this is even more apparent in challenging times like the days and weeks following Hurricane Sandy. From accounting needs of emergency supply teams, to assessing the funds available for city councils, to contributing to recovery plans for governors, CPAs provide vital skills needed to help individuals, local government, and businesses get back on track as efficiently and effectively as possible.

At times like these, there is no room for second chances. Especially considering that 2015 might bring additional taxation for businesses and individuals. Those whose financial lives or well-being that were affected will doubly need CPAs. Leaders at all levels invest in the services of experienced and credentialed CPAs because they know that reputation matters. Fortunately for business leaders and private clients, within the field of accounting there are many specialty areas. CPAs who have additional credentialing in areas from auditing to valuation and from forensics to IT and tax law are all playing their part in recovery efforts across states up and down the eastern seaboard.

In addition to direct client services, one of the most impressive services CPAs are providing to communities is their knowledge. Often serving on councils and committees and speaking before town hall meetings, CPAs are answering questions and providing assistance through various public forums such as these. The contribution of their time and knowledge is directly helping community members make decisions and put strategies in place to re-build entire communities impacted by Sandy.

Many CPAs serving their communities in this direct manner may not have ever dreamed of this sort of professional involvement when completing the 14 hour CPA testing process. Nonetheless, they are now able to serve their fellow business owners and citizens in ways no other training or credential could provide. In addition, CPAs working through related professional organizations are creating educational materials and other documents that can assist colleagues in helping to prepare clients for future disasters.

While the path to becoming a CPA is definitely challenging and time-consuming, the professional rewards are many. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, not only are the professional rewards apparent, but the personal rewards and the intrinsic value of being a CPA is especially apparent.

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