A software developing accountant has developed a new credential and organization for financial advisors so they can help clients get the best Social Security benefits.

 Michael Rosedale launched the Registered Social Security Analyst credential, which is backed by the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts, an organization he founded. The credential, which is supported by software Rosedale developed, and the organization are designed to educate advisors and other financial professionals about the ins and outs of the complicated Social Security system, Rosedale says.

Rosedale, a CPA doing business as Rosedale & Associates in Wantagh, N.Y., created the Registered Social Security Analyst certification. It’s recognized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

The five-course online program does not teach advisors all of the thousands of possible Social Security strategies; rather, it teaches them how to find the ideal strategy for each client’s situation and educates an advisor about how to approach the client, Rosedale says.

Once a candidate completes the course, he or she can take the exam to earn the certification. When advisors complete the course, they earn 8.5 continuing education credits for the CFP Board.

Rosedale adds the service can be billed by an advisor with a fee or presented as part of a package of services that can help create client loyalty. “This can help advisors build a specialty practice that can attract new clients and serve some of the millions of people reaching retirement age,” he says.

Some advisors send their clients directly to the Social Security Administration to get help. But Rosedale says that’s not the best way to get claims, and says advisors need training in different strategies to optimize the benefit.

“We married the software to the educational process,” Rosedale says.

The National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts was in beta mode for two years and has now officially launched. But more than 2,000 financial professionals have already taken or are taking the course, Rosedale says.

It’s estimated only a small percentage of eligible Social Security recipients are maximizing their benefits. With 10,000 people a day reaching Social Security eligibility, and with more than 70 million baby boomers, the need for Social Security advice is unprecedented, Rosedale says.

His organization provides the back office support for advisors, along with the reports for clients that explain their individual Social Security options. The organization also offers continuing education for its credential holders. It provides Social Security maximization software, branded marketing materials for the credential, invoicing and payment solutions, and tax and bookkeeping support services.

“The certification enables advisors to add value for their clients, and the education can earn clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in Social Security benefits over a lifetime,” Rosedale says. “This is a relationship enhancer. A lot of advisors do not know as much as they should about Social Security. We wanted to fill that gap.”