Companies are Teaching Employees Personal Finance to Boost Financial Literacy and Decrease Money Stress

Nov 3, 2011
A joint announcment from SHRM and AICPA.

Companies are Teaching Employees Personal Finance
to Boost Financial Literacy and Decrease Money Stress

NEW YORK and Alexandria, Va. – Nine organizations across the nation have received the first award for excellence in workplace financial education, which recognizes them for setting the standard in programs that teach employees how to make better personal financial decisions.

The WLIFE award — “Workplace Leader in Financial Education” — was created this year by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to highlight the importance of financial wellness in the workplace. The AICPA and SHRM were inspired by a working group of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, which suggested the creation of an award to recognize employers who excel in this area. The WLIFE award is the first national honor for employers who provide financial education programs that improve the personal well-being of employees.

The AICPA and SHRM received more than 300 applications for the inaugural WLIFE award, which were judged by members of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, human resource professionals, and CPAs. The winning companies stood out because their financial education programs showed results, innovation, effective tactics, and a significant scope in increasing employee financial wellness.

The nine winners represent corporate, not-for-profit and government:

  1. American Express

New York, N.Y.

  1. Centre Area Transportation Authority, or CATA

State College, Penn.

  1. ​Heritage Wealth Advisors

Richmond, Va.

  1. Mountain America Credit Union

West Jordan, Utah

  1. NYSE Euronext

New York, N.Y.

  1. New York Presbyterian Hospital

New York, N.Y.

  1. Therm-o-Disc Inc.(division of Emerson Electric)

Mansfield, Ohio

  1. UA Healthcare

Tucson, Ariz.

  1. WorldatWork​

Scottsdale, Ariz.

“It’s no secret that the economy is weak and individual financial security is top of mind for many workers — now is the time to educate employees about personal finance and financial well being,” said Henry “Hank” Jackson, president and CEO of SHRM.

A 2010 SHRM survey released late summer shows 30 percent of organizations offered one-on-one financial/investment advice while 24 percent offered the advice via in-group or classroom, and 22 percent delivered the advice online.

“As CPAs, we know that financial security brings peace of mind,” said Barry Melancon, CPA, CEO of the AICPA. “Employers who commit to improving the financial understanding of their employees improve the lives of these individuals as well as the financial well-being of communities where they work.”

AICPA and SHRM define financial wellness as a person’s skill and knowledge for making sound decisions about personal finances, such as saving, budgeting, using credit wisely, education, tax and retirement planning, investing and choosing company benefits wisely. A financially literate workforce understands financial concepts such as the time value of money, the effects of inflation on savings, compound interest and the rate of growth, and the benefits of deferred income and reinvested capital gains and interest.

For more information, visit The link includes a toolkit and information to help employers develop their own financial education programs.

Media: Reporters may contact (1) Jonathan Cox at and 919-402-4499; or (2) Julie Malveaux at and 703-535-6273.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter at


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (, founded in 1887, is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 370,000 members in 128 countries. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education, and consulting; membership is also available to accounting students and CPA candidates. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Durham, N.C., Ewing, N.J. and Lewisville, Texas.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at Follow us on Twitter at


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