I found it puzzling The CPA Journal would publish a guest editorial like the one in the November 2015 issue (“It’s Amazing What CPAs Can Do: Pension Consulting Is an Old Practice but a New Specialty,” Matthew Gaglio, p. 72). Here we have a registered representative and financial advisor talking down to CPAs about the benefits that can be derived for their business clients by advising on plans that enable them to salt away pension contributions under the tax law and thereby minimize their tax liability.
I know of few CPAs servicing small business clients who were unaware of the sections of the tax code that pertain to qualified retirement planning. Many CPAs I know have recommended such plans to clients and have done so working with actuaries and pension consultants.
Yet Gaglio makes the following statement: “In 1992, CPAs did not view a qualified retirement plan as a resource for tax planning because they were not taught to.”
That’s a put-down if I ever read one. Leaving aside the glaring generality, the author doesn’t cite any authoritative source for such a statement. Were there some CPAs not as knowledgeable as they should have been about the tax provisions dealing with qualified retirement plans? Of course there were. However, to make that broad knock on CPAs is unwarranted, and out of place in our professional journal.
Elsewhere, the author implies that the tax act known as the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001” is gibberish to many of today’s CPAs. On what basis does he make such a comment? A CPA serving business clients would not survive for long being ignorant of the act cited.
To call the article a guest editorial is to dignify what amounted to an advertisement for pension consultants and a broadside at CPAs. The best that can be said of it is that it added nothing of value to the discussion.