FIDELITY, AICPA EXTEND PARTNERSHIP PACT: Financial services conglomerate Fidelity Investments has extended its partnership with the American Institute of CPAs to assist CPAs in establishing investment advisory practices.

As part of the extension to the five-year-old program, institute members will receive several new benefits, including low minimum asset requirements and discounts on marketing materials through PracticeMark, Fidelity's online marketing program. Originally sealed in 2000, the pact designates Fidelity as the exclusive, preferred provider of custody and clearing services to AICPA members. Information about the Fidelity program is available at http://pfp.aicpa.org/resources/investment+planning.

FPA SEEKS P. KEMP FAIN NOMINATIONS: The Financial Planning Association is seeking nominations for the P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award, which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the financial planning profession. The award will be presented at the FPA's annual convention, scheduled for Sept. 15-18 in San Diego.

The award is named in honor of P. Kemp Fain Jr., who formed the first International Association for Financial Planning chapter in the nation in 1971 and served as its first president. Additionally, Fain served as president and chair of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners from 1983 until 1985. He was also the first person to officially enroll in the CFP program and was a member of the inaugural class of conferees in 1973.

Nominees should be professionals who have made a significant contribution to the financial planning profession in the areas of service to society, academia, government and professional activities. They must also exemplify the FPA's core values of integrity, competence, relationships and stewardship. Nominations must be received by May 23. For more information, visit www.fpanet.org/.

AMERICAN COLLEGE PROGRAM EXPANDS TO CHINA: The American College has entered into an agreement with the US Asia Center for Business and Financial Services Company Ltd. as its sponsor in the People's Republic of China to offer the LUTC Fellow, Chartered Life Underwriter and the Chartered Financial Consultant designations in that country. The China pact comes on the heels of a similar agreement that the American College established in Thailand.

"With a population estimated at 1.3 billion individuals, China represents an enormous financial services and educational opportunity for our institution," said Larry Barton, Ph.D., president and chief executive of The American College.

PAYCHEX POSTS 15% RISE IN Q3 EARNINGS: Paychex Inc. posted a 15 percent rise in third quarter earnings, to $92.8 million, versus the third quarter of last year. Company-wide revenue for the third quarter rose just over 9 percent, to about $380 million, versus the year-ago quarter. Paychex said that payroll, the company's largest unit, was boosted by organic client growth, higher use of ancillary services and an increase in prices.

For the nine-month period, earnings rose 11 percent, to $267.4 million, while system revenues hit roughly $1.1 billion, an 11 percent jump. Payroll service revenue increased 8 percent for the third quarter and 9 percent for the previous nine months, to $292 million and $851 million, respectively.

Human resource and benefits service revenues increased 13 percent for the third quarter and 24 percent for the previous nine months, to $65.1 million and $175.2 million, respectively.

STUDY SAYS EXPENSING WOULD TRIM NASDAQ, S&P 500 EARNINGS: Expensing for stock options would slash post-tax earnings by an average of 22 percent for companies in the Nasdaq 100, and by 5 percent for firms residing in the S&P 500, according to a just-released analysis of options expensing by financial services conglomerate Bear Stearns.

The report analyzed the 2004 option disclosures in the 10-Ks filed by companies that were listed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes as of Dec. 31, 2004. The report said that some $44.43 billion in net income for a total of 80 information technology companies would be reduced an aggregate of 25 percent. Meanwhile, 87 consumer discretionary companies with $39.4 billion in earnings and 55 heath care concerns with $58.2 billion in net income would experience a 9 percent decline.

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