In 1952, after graduating from law school, Sid Kess began his career as a staff person in a Big 8 firm. Over the past 70 years, Sid—through his creativity, hard work, and genuine care for people—has created a legacy. However, Sid's true measure of success comes not from the extensive accolades but from the countless lives he's touched. Still active at the age of 95, it is Sid's passion to serve that inspires his work each and every day. Sid is not just a voice of the past; his ideas have always been and still are progressive and forward-thinking, inspiring much younger professionals who are constantly learning from his timeless life lessons. As a result, Sid's legacy lives on in all forms. His ideas and materials are actively used today. If you are in the accounting profession, your life has been impacted by Sid's efforts—whether you know it or not! This interview with Scott Zarret, CPA, will give you a unique perspective into Sid's secrets to living a life of joy and fulfillment that you can apply to your personal and professional life.
We're saddened by the passing of our Executive Advisor and friend Sidney Kess. Sid was an inspiration to us all, an unrivaled leader in the profession, and the torch bearer for excellence in CPA education.
Join Scott Zarret, CPA, as he explores the remarkable life and lasting impact of Sid Kess, a trailblazer in the world of accounting and Continuing Professional Education (CPE). Sid Kess was not just an educator; he was a visionary who transformed the accounting profession through his passion for knowledge, mentorship, and genuine human connection.
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In 2019, Sidney Kess, CPA, J.D., LL.M., was named as an Advisor to CPAacademy.org. Mr. Kess was recently selected “Most Influential Practitioner” by CPA Magazine, and is a nationally renowned tax expert and author/coauthor of hundreds of tax books on financial and estate planning. Having lectured to more than 1,000,000 practitioners on tax, financial, and estate planning, Mr. Kess is one of the nation’s most prominent lecturers on continuing professional education. Mr. Kess is also Consulting Editor of CCH Incorporated’s Financial and Estate Planning Reporter. In addition, Mr. Kess was Chairman of the Advisory Board of Tax Hotline and is a member of the PPC Tax Action Panel. He has edited a column on “Tax Tips” for the New York Law Journal for the past fifty years.
Mr. Kess was editor of the AICPA’s CPA Client Bulletin and CPA Client Tax Letter. He has written hundreds of AICPA tax workshops, audio, and video programs, and is the recipient of the AICPA Distinguished Lecturer Award. Mr. Kess is often quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other national publications. He was included in Accounting Today’s, “100 Most Influential CPAs in the U.S.” for several years, as well as CPA Magazine’s, “Most Influential CPAs in the U.S.” Mr. Kess was the National Director of Tax at KPMG Main Hurdman and a tax partner at KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr. Kess is the recipient of the AICPA’s “Special Recognition Award” for his many years of contributions to the AICPA’s continuing professional education program and was elected to the Estate Planning Hall of Fame by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils for his distinguished service to the field of estate planning. He is also the recipient of the AICPA’s Gold Medal Award, which is the highest award in the accounting profession. Most recently, he received the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award.
The AICPA established the Sidney Kess Award for Excellence in Continuing Education, to recognize individual CPAs who have made significant and outstanding contributions in tax and financial planning and whose public service exemplifies the CPA profession’s finest values and ethics. Sidney Kess was the first recipient of this Award. Mr. Kess was inducted into the New York State Society of CPA’s Hall of Fame. He received his B.B.A. from Baruch College, his J.D. from Harvard University School of Law, and his LL.M. from New York University Graduate School of Law.
Click here to read THE SID KESS APPROACH: 60 Years of Best Practices in Tax, Education, Careers and Life: Published by the AICPA
With more than 30 years of experience in the accounting profession, Scott Zarret, CPA, is widely recognized for developing innovative and highly successful marketing and sales strategies. Scott's platform (CPAacademy.org) has processed more than 7,500,000 registrations.
An alumnus of University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Scott began his career in the audit and tax department of what is now CohnReznick. Scott was named as one of the 2019 Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.
CPAacademy.org (Sponsor Id#: 111889) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.
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