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September 28, 2007
Dear Friend:

Last week I visited the Board of Directors of the Florida Institute of CPAs at the Annual Accounting Show. Their president, Dave Dennis, and his leadership team have made a commitment to help improve financial literacy and have been working on educational outreach to help in that effort.

According to statistics provided by the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Federal Reserve, and the National Endowment for Financial Education, the outlook for America’s financial health is discouraging:

• 40 percent of Americans say they live beyond their means.

• Household debt increased more than 9 percent, the largest increase since 1989. In the first quarter of 2002, total credit debt was $660 billion.

• Sixty percent of American households carry over some portion of their credit card debt every month. The average balance is more than $4,000.

• The US has the lowest personal savings rate of any major industrialized nation.

In response to these statistics and others, AICPA decided to take the lead on education. They launched the Feed the Pig (as in, your piggy bank) campaign. The Feed the Pig website, (http://www.feedthepig.org) has calculators, savings tips, and tools for establishing a budget. It even has a weekly e-mail savings tip. These tools are immensely valuable for families and for businesses.

They also have a complementary site, 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (http://www.360financialliteracy.org/) that helps with budget planning for every life stage. What is especially valuable for our licensees is the page devoted to financing for entrepreneurs: http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Life+Stages/Entrepreneurs/. The page has valuable tools for planning a business, incorporating the business, financing the business, purchasing insurance, paying required taxes.

Many of our licensees are Florida’s small businesses, and while they are trained in their profession, they are not trained to run a business. Every year our professional boards hear discipline cases where our licensed professionals engaged in financial misconduct, and tools like these offered by FICPA can really help our licensees succeed.

Sincerely,
Secretary Benson Signature
Holly Benson
Secretary

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation

1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:
850.487.1395

www.MyFloridaLicense.com

Board Schedule header

Here is a schedule of next week’s professional board meetings. For full meeting details, we’ve included a link
below to the department’s online calendar.

October 3, 2007
FLORIDA REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL BOARD
ORLANDO

October 4-5, 2007
PILOT COMMISSIONERS
PALM BEACH

Feed the Pig website screenshotThe American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has launched a new educational website designed to help families and businesses establish a budget through the use of calculators, savings tips and other tools. The websites, www.feedthepig.org and www.360financialliteracy.org can be valuable tools for Florida's small businesses.

Did You Know header

There are 33,300 licensed Certified Public Accountants in Florida. CPA's salaries are typically lower in the south Atlantic states, but in Miami, CPA's salaries are 14 percent higher than the national average and in Orlando salaries are averaging 2 percent higher.

If you have a question regarding your application or to become licensed, contact our Customer Call Center at 850.487.1395 or use our convenient contact form.

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