How You Can Take Action


The magnitude of the financial earthquake is daunting, but as more citizens get involved in the dialog, the better off we are in finding sustainable results. Here are some suggestions for making a difference:


Financial Ready Utah Spring Seminar

Spring Seminar

Growing concern about our financial future and the impact of the debt crisis has prompted Utahns to take action. Through Financial Ready Utah, this group aims to prepare and reduce the effects of the aftershock that are a consequence of the inevitable financial earthquake.

Financial Ready Utah is holding a spring seminar where attendees will learn about the steps we should be taking to help our communities. Please join us for this exclusive financial preparedness event where Peak Prosperity founder Chris Martenson will speak about preparing for a fiscally sustainable future.

Spring Seminar Agenda
7:30     Continental breakfast
8:00     Kent Thomas, CPA What is Financial Ready Utah
8:15    Rep. Ken Ivory, remarks and introduction of Chris Martenson
8:30     Chris Martenson, Founder of Peak Prosperity
9:15    Q&A with Chris Martenson
10:45    Break
11:00    Preparedness Panel: What community leaders in Utah
are doing to prepare for a  financial disaster

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Location: UACPA, 220 E. Morris Ave., Suite 320, Salt Lake City
Cost: $25, Recommended Donation
CPE: One (1) hour
Click here to register


Sequestration Survival

Utah Governor Gary Herbert calls it “butt-biting time.” That’s the next domino to fall from living beyond our means and striving to survive the sequestration.

Does it feel like we haven’t heard nearly as much about the sequestration as we have the fiscal cliff? Maybe because we haven’t. According to Chris Whatley, the director of The Council of State Government’s D.C. office, “I think in some ways, there’s a bit of detachment with what’s going on in Washington, in part because this is the fourth major deadline within 18 months,” he said. “There was the debt ceiling deadline, there was the late fall deadline of the super committee, there was the fiscal cliff deadline in December, now it’s the sequestration deadline March 1. … You can only say the sky is falling so much.” (Read the full article here)

Whatley says there is no getting around these cuts and that “more fiscal pain could be headed toward the states.” The sequestration evenly divides the budget cuts between domestic and defense spending for just the first two years. Come 2015, the cuts could have a bigger impact.

Although out state tends to get the pat on the back for doing things right, there is plenty of work that still needs to be done.

This poll post on offers some insight here on how Utah’s lawmakers feel about the effects our state may feel.


Bluffdale Passes Resolution

Bluffdale is the first city to pass the Financial Ready Utah resolution.The resolution was passed on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Councilman Bruce Kartchner, a CPA, says, “We have a mayor and city council that are fiscally conservative. They recognize the prudence of contingency planning related to federal funds and they wanted to show their support for the ideals being promoted by Financial Ready Utah.

The mayor and council recognize that the financial path that the federal government is currently taking is not sustainable.  They believe that every individual, household, business, municipality, and organization should become aware of the financial implications of current government policies.  With that knowledge we all can help shape policies that will ensure that our state and local governments remain financially fit.”

View Bluffdale’s Resolution here.

Are you interested in passing this resolution in your city, please get in touch at


Op-Ed: Preparing for a Financial Earthquake

The Utah Association of CPA’s have been active in the dialog about fiscal sustainability. The UACPA’s President-elect Kent Thomas was published recently in the Deseret News with an editorial explaining why resolving these debt issues is a concern to a CPA.

View the article on the Deseret News website

Preparing for a financial earthquake
By Kent Thomas, CPA

As a certified public accountant and advisor to many companies, I routinely deal with the uncertainty of projecting next year’s revenue and expenses. The budgeting process involves using the best information we can acquire about our business, our customers’ plans to buy from us and our suppliers’ plans for pricing and supply and making the best assumptions we can about key variables and how they may change over time. We do this as businesses in order to look into the future to make sure we are aware of and can plan for opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

If I learned through the budgeting process that my largest customer, who represented up to 30 percent of my company’s revenues were likely to reduce or eliminate their purchases from my company, my failure to take immediate and effective action to plan for this eventuality would be a dereliction of my duties as a chief executive or chief financial officer. In order to properly fill my role, I would take decisive action to evaluate all aspects of our company to find ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency and, if possible, find new customers to make up some of the expected losses so that we could weather the storm and stay in business.

The state of Utah is not unlike a business — it prepares budgets each year in much the same process as described above and our elected representatives are responsible to be just as diligent in making sure that we are looking into the future and planning properly. As we evaluate the state’s budget, we quickly recognize that subsidies and payments from the federal government represent in excess of 30 percent of the state’s “revenue.” This is money that helps fund Medicaid, transportation, public safety, environmental quality, public education, the National Guard and other programs.

Like a good business, some of our elected representatives are asking the question, “What happens if this revenue were to be reduced by 5 percent to 30 percent because the federal government can no longer provide the subsidies that we have become used to?” I applaud these efforts because the result is not pretty, the process of deciding what we should do is not exactly fun and the decisions are not going to be popular or easy for the citizenry to accept. As I see it, however, we can either take action on our own now and create a well thought out plan in which we decide how we will experience the “pain,” or we can hope that nothing happens (almost 100 percent sure not to be the eventual outcome) and allow a rushed, emergency session of the Legislature to determine how the pain is delivered.

I invite all Utah citizens to learn about what the Legislature and business leaders are doing and get involved. The Legislature has formed the Fiscal Sustainability Legislative Task Force and business and government leaders have started a movement called Financial Ready Utah, where you can get educated and take action. This initiative will take a concerted effort from all of us in order to be successful.

Kent L Thomas is a CPA and is the founder of Advanced CFO Solutions, as well as the president-elect of the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants.


Three Months Worth of Savings


Photo credit: 401(K) 2013

Do you have three months worth of savings? That is the minimum amount of funds many financial planners recommend having for emergency.

This article published in The LA Times says “nearly 44% of American households are one emergency away from financial ruin.” Furthermore, nearly a third of Americans have no savings account at all.

While many budgets are recovering from recessions, living paycheck to paycheck could prove disastrous should job loss or unforeseen illness become a factor.

The U.S. household consumer debt profile shows the following:

  • Average credit card debt: $15,422
  • Average mortgage debt: $149,782
  • Average student loan debt $34,703

Read more about debt statistics here.




News Articles from Financial Ready Utah’s Press Conference

Fire Alarm

Photo credit: Admit One

Local news outlets have been buzzing since the Feb. 12 press conference announcing how Financial Ready Utah is pulling the financial fire alarm. Here are the articles that were published following the press conference.

The Salt Lake Tribune: Bills seek to prepare Utah for ‘financial earthquake’

Deseret News: Utah accountants urge state to prepare for economic crisis

Daily Herald: Legislators reveal slate of bills to reduce federal dependency

Utah Policy: Utah Preparing for Financial Crisis

KUER: Accountants pull the financial fire alarm


Press Release: Financial Ready Utah Conducts Press Conference to Announce Plan for Fiscal Sustainability

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Spencer, 801-834-6633,

SALT LAKE CITY, February 11, 2013 – Financial Ready Utah, a non-profit organization led by the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants, will conduct a news conference on Tuesday, February 12, at 12:15 p.m. in the Capitol board room at the Utah State Capitol. The conference will be conducted by Kent Thomas, CPA, President-elect of the Utah Association of CPAs and will include the announcement of legislative bills presented by Representative Ken Ivory and Senator Deidre Henderson with remarks from State Auditor John Dougall.

“In Utah, we pride ourselves on our fiscal responsibility,” Representative Ivory says. “The painful truth is that 40% of our state spending comes from a federal government that borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends.” Senator Henderson, who got involved in the political process as the campaign manager for Jason Chaffetz, says, “when I saw federal deficits hit 500 billion dollars, that’s when I felt compelled to get involved. With six trillion dollars in accumulated debt since then, what I wouldn’t give to see annual deficits of only half a trillion dollars.”

The following is an outline of the Financial Ready Utah Package of bills:

SB 70 Federal Funds Commission: This Bill creates a Federal Funds Commission to assess the risk of a reduction in the amount or value of federal funds into the state and how to reduce the dependency of state and local governments on federal funds.
Chief Sponsor: Sen. Deidre Henderson
House Sponsor: Rep. Ken Ivory

SCR7 Concurrent Resolution to Reduce Utah’s Dependence on Federal Funds: This Resolution details what Erskine Bowles calls “the most predictable economic crisis in history” and calls on Utah, its subdivisions, communities and families to lead out in our state and our nation to provide for greater opportunities for future generations.
Chief Sponsor: Sen. Aaron Osmond
House Sponsor: Rep. Eric Hutchings

SJR7 Joint Rules Resolution on Revenue Estimates for Federal Funds: This Resolution establishes the legislative procedures for taking into account in the budgeting process the risk of a reduction in the amount or value of federal funds.
Chief Sponsor: Sen. Wayne Harper
House Sponsor: Rep. Brian Greene

SB138 Amendments to Requirements for Governor’s Proposed Budget: This bill establishes the requirement for taking into account in the Governor’s proposed budget the risk of a reduction in the amount or value of federal funds.
Chief Sponsor: Sen. Wayne Harper
House Sponsor: Rep. Steve Handy

HB195 Budgetary Procedures Act Revisions: This Bill establishes the Rainy Day Funding criteria to account for the risk of a reduction in the amount or value of federal funds.
Chief Sponsor: Rep. Ken Ivory
Senate Sponsor: Sen. Steve Urqhart

HB205 Contingency Plans for Political Subdivisions: This Bill extends the contingency planning requirements of HB138 Federal Receipts Reporting Requirements (2011) to political subdivisions.
Chief Sponsor: Rep. Ken Ivory
Senate Sponsor: Sen. Deidre Henderson

SB158 Municipal General Fund Amendments: This Bill increases the Rainy Day cap for municipalities to deal with contingencies.
Chief Sponsor: Sen. Deidre Henderson
House Sponsor: Rep. Ken Ivory

About Financial Ready Utah
Financial Ready Utah was created by Utah’s CPA community, chambers of commerce, state legislators, community leaders, educators and others who are invested in taking action on securing a sustainable future for our families. Individuals have come forward to leverage their voices in an effort to prepare for a “financial earthquake” in the spirit of Be Ready Utah. Learn more about Financial Ready Utah at

#          #          #