Karen Benson

1920 W. 8th Street
Erie, Pennsylvania 16505
United States
Office Phone: 814-453-6594
Member since 2011
Membership Type: IACP

Profession(s)

Financial Professional

As a Personal Financial Specialist and CPA Partner at MPB, I am experienced in analyzing financial information for clients involved in litigious situations. This collaborative process is so much more satisfying, primarily because of the results. Working together with other like-minded collaborative professionals in a team creates synergy and a cooperative attitude that revolutionizes the entire process. Although there will be some “give and take” throughout the process, the outcomes are considered reasonable and fair. As a financial advisor in a collaborative divorce, I work with both parties as a neutral financial coach gathering the financial information, analyzing the data, establishing working budgets, determining value for assets and creating best case tax scenarios. Although these traditional services are vital to the process, I specialize in an educational role bringing clarity and understanding to the numbers. Often financial issues create substantial stress in any divorce and I strive to create a more level playing field with both parties understanding each decision’s financial impact, thereby creating efficiencies in the divorce process and a stress-reduced environment.

Area(s) of Practice: Financial
License(s): Certified Public Accountant, CPA ~Personal Financial Specialist, PFS

Professional Activities

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Council - 2010-2113 ~PICPA Federal Tax Committee - Chair ~PICPA Employee Benefit Plans Committee & Subcommittees ~PKF North America Employee Benefit Steering Committee ~IRS, PA Department of Revenue & Practitioner Working Together Committee ~Collaborative Professionals of Northwest PA -Actively participating member ~ ~

Undergraduate Education

Grove City College - 1978
Bachelor of Arts, Accounting and Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude

Postgraduate Education

As a Certified Public Accountant and Personal Financial Specialist, I am required to obtain at least 80 hours of continuing education every two years. In the last reporting period ended December 31, 2013, I obtained over 200 credited hours of continuing education.

Comments

Even with highly qualified attorneys assisting clients through the difficult and emotional traditional process of divorce, very seldom do both parties feel that the court process has addressed their specific concerns; nor do they feel that the settlement was fair. What makes the collaborative process different is the commitment to stay out of the courts and to work together collaboratively to find an “out of the box” plan for moving forward positively toward two healthy separate lives. Collaborative cases usually move more efficiently through the divorce process which is marked with less stress, an overall feeling of being listened to and a part of the solution and in most cases at a less expensive overall cost. If you are unsure about whether the collaborative approach is the best fit for you, please feel free to contact me to discuss your concerns.