CPA v CFP

Primaries are tough. No Republican really likes to fact check a fellow Republican, especially during a primary unless given cause. It is always unfortunate when you are given cause.

My primary opponent is now telling people that Republicans should not vote for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to serve as Nevada State Treasurer. He’s telling people this because he is not a CPA and I am a CPA. He’s saying we need a “financial adviser.” Why? He happens to be one.

In fact, he says that his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification is much stronger than my state CPA license. Maybe it depends on whose yardstick you use to measure.

There are many good CPAs out there. There are many good CFPs. I haven’t run into too many who want to compare apples to oranges, but let’s entertain my opponent.

You can read the Wikipedia entry on Certified Financial Planners or cut straight to the source.

The CFP education requirements include a bachelor’s degree (for CFPs after 2007) and asks students to take about six courses that cover these topics:

  • Insurance (life)
  • Employee benefits planning (better benefit plans for the management)
  • Investment and securities planning (capital gains treatment)
  • State and federal income tax planning (not part of the Treasurer’s Office)
  • Estate tax, gift tax, and transfer tax planning (death strategies for the very wealthiest)
  • Asset protection planning (ways of hiding real estate from people you owe money)
  • Retirement planning (for individuals)
  • Estate planning (avoiding probate when you die with a trust)
  • Financial planning and consulting

There is no question all of these topics come in handy when servicing upper middle to ultra wealthy families who can afford a CFP. Most of these topics, however, don’t have much to do with the duties of the Nevada State Treasurer.

What I find even more interesting is that the organization in charge of the CFP certification thinks more highly about CPAs than my opponent does. CPAs are exempt from taking the mandatory CFP classes because CPAs have already mastered these topics as well as many more. CPAs can take the CFP exam any time.

As it turns out, a Certified Financial Planner learns a subset of professional material that CPAs are required to master. CFPs are not, unfortunately, required to master any material that is aligned with the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office.

They are also not required to master a variety of topics that I have during my 30-year career as a CPA in Nevada. I have experience managing cash flow, investments, and debt. Nevada, as you may know, has more debt to manage than investments. I know because I served on the Clark County Debt Management Commission as a Las Vegas City Councilman.

In addition to being a CPA and providing finance guidance in the public and private sectors for the past 30 years (including 10 years of service in the Nevada State Legislature and on the state’s Finance Committee), I have also served as chief marketing officer for several companies during my career.

I suppose I could invest a great deal more time in outlining the differences between a CFP and a CPA. For example, CPAs are required to have 20% more college, required to get two years experience in accounting and auditing under the supervision of a licensed CPA, and must pass a rigorous 14-hour exam that covers everything: financial accounting and reporting, auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, regulation, and so on. They are also licensed by the state. Once licensed, they are required to have 40 hours of continuing education every year.

I suppose I could list all of these distinctions and then some, but there really isn’t much point. Many CFPs are remarkably bright people when they are working on individual portfolios. Something else must happen to them when they try to run for office.

This is probably why Democrats are nominating a CPA with legislative experience to run for Nevada State Treasurer in this election. Republicans should do the same. And if Republicans want a Nevada State Treasurer who is already familiar with state government, the state budget, the Finance Committee, the Nevada State Legislature … then they will likely vote for the candidate they know will hit the ground running.

My name is Bob Beers. I am that candidate, and I am asking for your vote for Treasurer.

 

 

Treasurer Chiang Releases Pot Report

California Treasurer John Chiang put together a “Cannabis Banking Working Group” several months ago to study the contortions created by the juxtaposition of state cannabis legality and our republic’s illegalization.

It considers strategies in four areas:

  1. Tax and fee collections needs to be safer and more efficient
  2. Figure out how to get cannabis access to bank services
  3. Study creating a state-backed bank to create bank services for cannabis businesses
  4. Work to change federal law to respect the now loud voice of the states (the problems the CBWG noted exist in 30 states (including DC)).

after pointing to the following societal problems:

  1. Cannabis businesses are forced to accumulate staggering amounts of cash. Their customers must pay in cash, and cannabis businesses can’t get banks to create bank accounts for them to deposit the cash into, like other businesses. This makes their customers and employees targets of violent crime, and promotes tax evasion.
  2. It costs more to secure government locations for the payment of cash than it does to provide armored car service to pick the cash up. In addition, state law could create a state bank that took currency in and delivered it directly to the Federal Reserve for redemption.
  3. We’ll never stop the black market until this new industry has normal access to banking.

Here is a link to the report. As the Republican candidate for Nevada Treasurer, I would encourage Nevadans to take a look at the report. The short story is in the Executive Summary close to the top. Feel free to offer me your opinion – my cell is 702-592-8822.