Video: Director of Financial Planning Programs Accepts Prestigious Award

Dave_web_2Dr. Dave Yeske, CFP®, was recently presented with the 2017 P. Kemp Fain, Jr. Award: the highest honor bestowed by the Financial Planning Association®. This award represents the pinnacle of recognition in the financial planning profession, honoring one exceptional individual who has made significant contributions in the areas of service to society, government, and academia.

We invite you to watch these portions of the award ceremony.

Career retrospective >> Acceptance speech >>

Dr. Yeske earned his doctorate in Financial Planning from Golden Gate University and has been a spokesperson for the profession at conferences and with the media. He has appeared on CBS, CNBC, CNN and NBC News. The Wall Street Journal has profiled Dr. Yeske and the Yeske Buie approach to investing.

Dr. Yeske has led the way in bringing science-based insights into the profession through writing and his position as Director of the GGU’s Financial Planning programs. He also holds an appointment as Distinguished Adjunct Professor and co-teaches the Capstone Cases in its Financial Planning course.

A practicing financial planner since 1990, Dr. Yeske founded the San Francisco Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) and has held many leadership roles in FPA, including president of the FPA Board of Directors in 2003 and chair in 2004; chair of the FPA Political Action Committee (PAC) in 2005 and 2006; and chair of FPA’s Research Center Team and its Academic Advisory Council from 2007 to 2012. At present, Dr. Yeske serves as Practitioner Editor of FPA’s award-winning Journal of Financial Planning. Currently, he is Managing Director of Yeske Buie, a comprehensive financial planning firm with offices in Vienna (VA) and San Francisco.

CFP® & CFP® are trademarks of the Financial Planning Association.

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List of Business Analytics Books and Articles for Business People

If you are doing research on data analytics or business analytics you may want to look at these choices collected by the GGU Business Library. Writing a paper on this topic or finding articles about it can be difficult because it is a huge topic and much of it geared toward a technical audience. People that want to learn about data analytics from the perspective of business will find much of value here, including how to use popular applications like Google Analytics or data-visualization application Tableau (Jumpstarting Tableau was written by a professor in the master’s degree in business analytics program at GGU.). Want to dig deeper? Check out the peer-reviewed journals or technical sources on SQL and R programming on this list.



Big Data at Work by Thomas H. Davenport (2014)  
Competing on Analytics: Updated, with a New Introduction by Thomas Davenport; Jeanne Harris (2017)  
Business Analytics by Jay Liebowitz (Editor) (2014)  

Big Data: The Management Revolution (2012)

Everybody Lies: big data, new data, and what the Internet can tell us about who we really are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz  (2017)  
Predictive Analytics: the power to predict who will click, buy, lie, or die by Eric Siegel; Thomas H. Davenport (2013)  

How-To & Guides

Getting Started with Business Analytics by David Roi Hardoon; Galit Shmueli (2013)  
Data Science for Business by Foster Provost; Tom Fawcett (2013)  
Naked Statistics: stripping the dread from the data by Charles Wheelan (2013)  
 The Value of Business Analytics by Evan Stubbs (2011)
 Big Data by Bernard B. Marr (2015)  
Business analytics: methods, models, and decisions by James R. Evans (2015)  
Data Analytics: Practical guide to leveraging the power of algorithms, data science, data mining, statistics, big data, and predictive analysis to improve business, work, and life by Arthur Zhang (2017)  
A Practitioner’s Guide to Business Analytics by Randy Bartlett
Key Business Analytics: the 60+ business analysis tools every manager needs to know by Bernard Mar (2016)  
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) by Bernard Marr  (2012)  
Delivering Business Analytics: practical guidelines for best practice by Evan Stubbs; James Foster (2013)
 Google Analytics Breakthrough: From Zero to Business Impact (2016)  
The Big Book of Dashboards by Steve Wexler; Andy Cotgreave; Jeffrey Shaffer (2017)  

Programming and Databases

R Cookbook by Paul Teetor (2011)  
NoSQL Distilled: a brief guide to the emerging world of polyglot persistence by Martin J. Fowler; Pramod J. Sadalage (2012)

Data Visualization

Effective Data Visualization by Stephanie D. H. Evergreen (2017)  
Storytelling with Data: a data visualization guide for business professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic (2015)  

Machine Learning

Machine Learning: Fundamental Algorithms for Supervised and Unsupervised Learning with Real-World Applications by Joshua Chapmann (2017)  
Machine learning: the ultimate beginners guide to neural networks, algorithms, random forests and decision trees made simple by Ryan Roberts (2017) 51reibzaacl-_sx331_bo1204203200_
Machine learning: the art and science of algorithms that make sense of data by Peter A. Flach  (2012)  

Scholarly Journals

Journal of Big Data  
Journal of High Technology Management Research  
Big Data Analytics  
Machine Learning  Journal of Machine Learning cover art
MIT Sloan Management Review  


Financial Life Planning Concentration Added to MS in Advanced Financial Planning

The Master of  Science in Advanced Financial Planning degree is designed for those who have passed the CFP® certification exam and wish to pursue advanced studies in taxation, estate planning – and now Financial Life Planning. Research in psychology and behavioral finance has provided new insights into what it takes to facilitate positive change in clients’ lives—and we have incorporated this knowledge into this innovative, research-based degree program. Students will gain the following capabilities:

  • Application of positive psychology
  • Advanced interviewing skills for uncovering client history, vision, and values
  • Understanding behavioral finance and the ability to identify specific client behavioral biases and heuristics
  • Advanced coaching skills for helping clients affect positive change and achieve goals
  • Understanding of the drivers of client trust and relationship commitment and ability to use this to develop and sustain highly functional client relationships
  • The skills necessary to facilitate financial health
  • Deeper insights into their own history, attitudes, and relationship to money

About the Faculty

The Financial Life Planning concentration and Advanced Financial Planning degree is taught by founders and leaders in the field who have deep expertise in the areas of life planning, coaching, facilitation, communication, and counseling skills. You truly learn from the best of the best, who become a permanent part of your professional network.

Dr. Dave Yeske CFP®, Director of the GGU’s Financial Planning programs and Distinguished Adjunct Professor, designed the new concentration. A Financial Planning Evangelist, he has made national TV appearances, led professional organizations, and published articles and books such as Evidence-Based Financial Planning: To Learn . . . Like a CFP.  The financial planning investment strategy he pioneered—The Yeske Buie Approach—has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal. The Financial Planning Association® (FPA) has recognized Dr. Yeske as one of the profession’s leading minds by awarding him their highest honor—The P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award (2017). He earned a doctorate in Finance from GGU in 2010.

Elizabeth Jetton, CFP® has been a thought leader in the financial planning profession for the past 20 years. She has been in the financial services industry since 1981 and served as President of The Financial Planning Association in 2004. She trains planners how to become conversational leaders and to use group conversational processes to engage, attract, and build trust.

Saundra Davis, MS is nationally recognized as an expert in the financial coaching field and founder and Executive Director of Sage Financial Solutions. She developed a financial coach certification program and received a special invitation to attend President Obama’s 2014 White House Summit on Working Families.

Rick Kahler, MS, CFP® is a pioneer in the emerging field of financial therapy that integrates Financial Planning and Psychology. He has been featured by NBC’s Today, ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and MarketWatch. He is a co-author of books such as Facilitating Financial Health and Conscious Finance.

For more information and course list, contact program director Dr. Dave Yeske, CFP® (415-442-6524 or

Sexual Harassment Training and a Culture of Respect

By Marianne Koch, PhD
Associate Dean, Ageno School of Business

We are in the midst of a culture change (I hope!) at work.

We can start with sexual harassment training and related actions – empower the bystander; encourage civility; promote more women; and encourage reporting as a part of serious and frequent training (as Claire Cain Miller reports that research shows to work) – to begin the deeper work of bringing about a culture of respect at all levels of power in our organizations.

Sexual harassment is not just about unwanted behavior of a sexual nature; it’s about power. The nascent culture change that we are seeing has its origin in the uncovering of sexual harassment involving men of prestige, power, and positions of great authority. However, rooting out sexual harassment is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. We have to correct the imbalance of power and the bad behaviors that can come about due to that power imbalance.

Miller has written a useful piece on sexual harassment training that is full of good advice. How we might improve on not-so-great sexual harassment training that we all are regularly put through provides a starting place for ushering in a bigger change – a culture change – at work.

In our Master of Science in Human Resources program at Golden Gate University, we cover legal issues inherent in sexual harassment cases; additionally, we teach inclusion and ethical behavior in all our courses. Diversity issues come up naturally and often in our classes because of the growing diversity among workers in the Bay Area. We believe that how we manage people at work and the culture we support and inspire are the necessary elements of a workplace of respect for all.

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“More than Just Theory”: MBA Graduate and Board Member Scot Ferrell

Scot Ferrell, FBCI, CBCP is a graduate of GGU (MBA ’88, Finance) and also serves on its Board of Directors. Based in San Francisco, he has held management positions at EY and Gap, Inc. and is currently Managing Director at Marsh Risk Consulting’s (MRC) within its Risk Consulting Practice. Over 600 organizations have benefited from Ferrell’s assistance in development of their risk management programs.

In this short video, Ferrell discusses his experience in the MBA program and what makes GGU different. “One of the things that I love about GGU is that the classes are taught by business professionals,” he says. “It’s more than just the theory. Theory is great but they teach you what you need to know–for example, how to close a deal or communicate effectively.”

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Wells Fargo Expert Puts GGU Finance Students around the Corner from Must-Have Knowledge

Yvette Hollingsworth Clark’s office at Wells Fargo is virtually around the corner from GGU, which puts GGU students close – literally and figuratively – to the latest in the financial industry practices. As Regulatory Innovation Officer at the bank’s Innovation Group, she responds to the impact of adopting emerging technology on banking and financial institutions. Working with other financial experts, strategists, coders, data analysts, risk managers, and lawyers, Clark leads the integration of infusing risk management requirements during the design stage of transformative digital solutions to enhance the customer and team member experience at Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo designed her position on the strength of a paper she wrote advocating that compliance and risk management requirements be part of the initial transformative design process, ensuring that Wells Fargo is positioned to meet customer needs and help customers make informed decisions. For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an aid to human intelligence, she says, that can help explore more data and assess linkages more quickly than a human mind can do on its own.

We asked Clark what skills she wants to bring to the GGU classroom.
• Real-life examples of how the classroom experience translates to the office or boardroom
• Working domestically and globally
• Suggestions to navigate your career
• Influencing and managing challenging situations
• Interacting across all levels of the organization
• How to champion and challenge work content
• How to ask others to help you be successful

The Fundamentals Matter

While AI and virtual-reality applications (How can someone buy a ticket safely during a “virtual tour” of a basketball arena with their debit or credit card) are her direct concerns, the business fundamentals matter. “We meet with many Fintech companies who pitch cutting-edge technology solutions to help solve business challenges. These solutions can include tools to help with financial reporting and analysis, a systematic approach to comply with a complex regulatory requirement, or an algorithm/financial model that helps an analyst assess financial scenarios more effectively” she says.

Clark will bring her critical eye to GGU students in the Financial Reporting and Analysis course this spring and focus on, “real-life examples of how the classroom experience translates to the office or boardroom.”

Clark started building the foundation of banking and risk-management knowledge early on, joining the Federal Reserve System as a grad student. Citigroup was her next stop, where she contributed on the corporate side (focusing on anti-money laundering compliance testing) and on the business side (focusing on financial crimes risk management in the Corporate & Investment Bank). After serving as regional head for North America at Citigroup, the UK-based Barclays offered her the role of the global head of financial crimes and operations compliance –adding international experience to her resume.

American Banker has ranked Clark as one of its “Top 25 Women to Watch” three years running.

What Skills Does She Need on Her Team?

As a team lead, Clark hires for positions that require technical expertise in banking regulatory requirements, risk management, technology, data analysis and project management skills. When it comes to hiring for risk management roles, many freshly minted MBAs don’t emerge with all the skills that she is looking for. A conversation at a professional organization about candidate skill-gaps led to a teaching invitation at GGU.

Clark says: “The needs of an MBA have changed since I graduated. MBAs need more quantitative and data analytic skills given the use of technology and the need to analyze big data. Irrespective of which industry an MBA seeks to pursue for employment, the need to understand business processes and how to interpret the data associated with the business or a specific product is needed. In conversations with a few universities, we discussed how to augment MBA curriculums to capture this need. I want to see a mix of technical skills and a successful ‘integrity check’ in the interview process. In my discipline, I am hiring people that know the anatomy of a law and regulatory requirements, the basic fundamentals of business and who demonstrate that they will make all decisions with integrity and in an ethical manner. ”

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From Biotech Expert to Entrepreneur: An MBA at GGU Story

Katharine Grimmer (MBA ’12) wanted to move up to the next role in management in biotech, a field that she was in for 16 years. At GGU, she says that she was able to apply what she learned right away in her job from courses in marketing, supply chain management, and finance. GGU is nationally recognized for the kind of education that brings adult professionals the best of academic and real-world insights from its faculty–and it paid off for Grimmer.

Grimmer had been pondering an entrepreneurial idea for some time. Encouraged by a finance professor to pursue her dream, she launched a hair care product for those suffering from dandruff and scalp discomfort brought on by chemotherapy (so-called Chemo-cap).

Boasting literacy in both pharmaceutical drug development and financial terminology from the MBA program, she was able to pitch her idea to funders with confidence and greater impact.

The chemo-cap treatment developed as a remedy for her mother who was suffering this side effect while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. “By reducing itching, inflammation, and flaking, it  gives patients back a little bit of ‘normal’ in a uniquely abnormal situation.” Grimmer has also experienced dandruff her entire life which served as additional motivation.

Boasting literacy in both pharmaceutical drug development and financial terminology from the MBA program, she was able to pitch her idea to funders with confidence and greater impact.

Lotus Rx Hair Solution launched in 2016, and she is now crowdfunding the next iteration of the formula and to raise funds for the Lotus Rx Cancer Connect Initiative. You can support Grimmer at iFund Women.

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Data Analytics Skills for Business People: Video Interview with Dr. Judy Lee

Dr. Judy Lee, Chair of the new master’s degree in business analytics program, was interviewed this month at the 21st Cloud Expo in the Silicon Valley. She has spent the majority of her career in IT and software product engineering in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In this short video, she talks about GGU’s business analytics curriculum that provides foundational knowledge and also “branches out into the specific tool-sets [business people] are going to need and ties them to the business experience.”

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GGU Helped Me Get Hired by a “Big Four” Accounting Firm in San Francisco

By Noah Lee, Master of Accountancy (’18)

Golden Gate University is different than my undergrad school, UC Berkeley. Cal has definitely helped me build my fundamental foundation in learning and thinking, while the Master of Accountancy program at GGU taught real-world skills.

I was skeptical at first, because there is only so much you can mimic professional situations, right? However, as I began interviewing for internships at Big Four accounting firms (that include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers), I could tailor my answers to show my grasp of what the job really entails. Getting the job as an Audit Intern at one of the Big Four companies was the most satisfying proof that I learned something relevant.

For example, we had to deliver a mock board presentation as part of a course called Communication and Analysis of Financial Information for Accountants. Professor Ric Jazaie (GGU’s Director of Accounting Programs), gave us a mock budget and challenged us to answer the client’s question: What should we do; and why are our numbers the way they are? Up front, we had to learn (on our own) the textbook terms that you might find in an academic class and go right to applying them.

I took inspiration from Prof. Jazaie, who knows what the skills employers are looking for in the accounting field.

Prof. Jazaie gave us barely enough instructions for the presentations, which was slightly unnerving. Aggregating all the broad ideas he gave us and having to narrow it down was our task. We had to decide what we wanted to portray to our audience—and be ready to say why. The reasoning for the assignment is that you may not get all of what you need or get something ambiguous from a client. In the same way, traditional school is different than a business setting where you must eventually succeed.

Prof. Jazaie asked us questions after the presentation that he did not give us in advance. He has a lot of experience giving presentations in court and in front of clients. He wanted to make us feel like we didn’t know what to expect and it brought out the best in us.  Because he threw us into high-pressure moments, we just got used to it.

What did we learn in the Communication and Analysis of Financial Information course?

  • Differentiating what is presentation versus what is casual conversation
  • Critical thinking, which means deciding what is important from hundreds of facts
  • When questioned, coming up with a reasonable explanation without overreaching
  • Having a story to tell rather than just a report of findings, which means linking company strategy to financial statements

I took inspiration from Prof. Jazaie, who knows what the skills employers are looking for in the accounting field. He really opened my eyes to the profession and inspired me when he said that as an accountant, “what you are doing is really impacting the company.” That was great to hear.

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Tax Reform Update: Slides and Videos to Help Tax Professionals Advise Clients

By Fred Sroka, Dean of the GGU School of Accounting & Bruce F. Braden School of Taxation

On November 16, the House of Representatives and Senate Finance Committee passed different versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The proposals are sweeping in scope. Sadly, we won’t know which proposals (if any) become law until very late this year, or even early 2018. We have provided summary slides and videos to help tax professionals advise clients in this uncertain time. Our experts have tried to keep things short, high level, and focused on reasonable actions you might consider before December 31, 2017.


Individual taxpayers may benefit from the proposed reduced tax on flow-through business income. Small businesses may want to defer income and accelerate deductions in anticipation of potential 25% tax rates on 2018 business income. The Bills also encourage purchases of business property through expanded write-offs. Small businesses may choose to defer any major purchases that would be capitalized under current rules, in hopes of getting an immediate write-off in 2018.

The tax benefits of home ownership may be reduced dramatically. Homeowners may want to prepay property taxes, and perhaps prepay the January mortgage installment to assure deduction of the interest expense. Proposed limitations on property taxes and mortgage interest may adversely impact residential prices, particularly in high real estate markets such as Northern California.

Individual taxpayers may also want to prepay itemized deductions that will be repealed under the Bills. State income tax and many other itemized deductions are scheduled for limitation or repeal. Curiously, the proposed elimination of the alternative minimum tax might encourage taxpayers to defer charitable giving, in hopes to getting a higher 2018 tax benefit.



The House Bill drops 2018 corporate tax rates from 35% to 20%. The Senate delays this reduction to 2019. Dramatic changes are also proposed to encourage investment in depreciable property, to discourage excessive debt, and to eliminate a variety of deductions, fringe benefits, and credits. Businesses should consider deferring income, accelerating deductions, and deferring purchases of depreciable property if current rules would require capitalization.

Domestic flow-through businesses (partnerships, LLCs, and S corporations) may want to consider converting to C corporation status to take advantage of the dramatic reduction in tax rates. These entities will have until March 15, 2018 to make a retroactive “check the box” election or revocation of an S election.

For financial accounting, ASC 740 requires the tax provision to reflect all changes in laws enacted by December 31. The potential impact on deferred tax assets and liabilities (and in particular on international operations) may have a dramatic impact on 2017 financials.



Partnerships and S corporations must address the potential 25% tax rate on business income. This may impact compensation structures and future activities of owner-employees. S corporations need to consider a number of other special rules at year end, and partnerships should address the impending change to IRS audits under the Bipartisan Budget Act. Starting with 2018 tax returns, IRS can audit a partnership much like a corporation, and can simply collect any deficiency from the partnership itself unless substantial planning is undertaken.



The tax proposals will have their greatest impact on international tax. The reduction of U.S. corporate rates to 20% will be accompanied by a territorial tax system, under which the earnings of foreign subsidiaries can be distributed to the U.S. parent without any incremental U.S. tax. Other provisions seek to punish offshore income and encourage the repatriation of intellectual property.
Multinationals may decide to convert foreign branches into subsidiaries. If this election is made by March 15, 2018, it can be retroactive to January 1. Foreign subsidiaries may wish to engage in substantive tax planning to defer net income. U.S. parents may need to report the dramatic impact of the changes in the tax provision of their 2017 financial statements. Ultimately, the proposed changes may cause a profound change in how multinational corporations are structured, financed and operated.