It's a given that CPAs are leading advisors to businesses and individuals on a host of financial issues. Consequently, their clients and employers will rely on them to help negotiate the labyrinth of proposals that have been advanced to reform Social Security.

To assist CPAs in learning more about the ramifications of the different reform scenarios, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has prepared a comprehensive study, "Understanding Social Security Reform: the Issues and Alternatives." While the AICPA report doesn't take a position on any proposal, it does provide a platform for reasoned, informed discussion by providing impartial facts and analysis. The study identifies and examines four methods for improving the financial condition of the Social Security Trust Fund: reducing benefits; increasing revenues through a jump in payroll taxes; improving the rate of return on trust fund assets; and transferring other revenue sources into the Trust Fund, such as an appropriation of Treasury general funds.

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