Moving from Tax Preparer to Financial Planner 

    Many CPA financial planners added financial planning services to their tax practices because their clients asked questions that went beyond taxes, including educating children,  transferring wealth, protecting assets, funding retirement, etc.  These CPAs have built their financial planning practices off of their existing tax practices, and take a holistic approach in the delivery of financial planning services to ensure all of their clients’ needs are met, including tax, estate, retirement, investments and insurance. Not only does this expansion of service offerings open up new revenue streams and increase retention of clients and staff, but also brings CPA financial planners fulfillment as they work to help their clients realize their financial goals.

    PFP Section members, inclusive of PFS credential holders, can access the recordings and presentation materials in steps 1 and 2 of this webcast series to assist you in moving from tax return preparer to financial planner. Step 3 takes place in person each year at the Advanced Personal Financial Planning conference in January.


    From Client Tax Returns to Value-Added Planning: A Guide for CPAs
    For those CPAs who have not yet formalized their PFP services, a new, free whitepaper available from the AICPA explores how you can leverage your tax knowledge to counsel your clients in retirement, estate, risk management and investment planning, as well as tax planning. This whitepaper, authored by AICPA PFP Division Senior Technical Manager, Andrea Millar, CPA/PFS, addresses why CPAs should consider expanding into financial planning services, the main types of PFP services, using the tax return to assess what types of PFP services a tax client might need, as well as fee structures and business models. Learn how you can add new revenue streams, deepen client relationships and become less dependent on busy season!

    PFP Practice Center
    The PFP Practice Center will help you efficiently add or expand into personal financial planning services, offer value-add services to existing clients and aid you in communicating about personal financial planning topics with your clients through education and guidance on practice development, practice management, technical education, regulatory issues and technology, among other areas. The practice center includes information on the CPA-customized version of Fox Financial Planning Network, a resource to help you systematize your financial planning practice through checklists, workflow processes and more.

    Analysis of a Tax Return for Personal Financial Planning
    This checklist was developed by leading CPA financial planners to help you find personal financial planning opportunities in your tax practice. This checklist will help you analyze and identify key issues to consider as you prepare, review and discuss individual tax returns with your clients.

    Roadmap to Developing and Managing a CPA Personal Financial Planning Practice
    If you are looking to formalize your PFP services, download a free copy of the Roadmap to Developing and Managing a CPA Personal Financial Planning Practice. The Roadmap is your PFP atlas, with the information you need to plot a route to successfully add personal financial planning as another value-added service to your established practice.

    Personal Finance Report (Practitioner version) | (Consumer version)
    This assessment represents a starting point that can be used to summarize a client’s financial situation. It was developed as an interview tool with new clients and as a way of periodically reviewing client progress: not only does it help identify the important issues, but it also is a great motivational tool, encouraging the client to take actions that will raise the score at the next meeting. One of the most important points that this report card helps emphasize with clients is that a financial planner is much more than an investment adviser! Use the practitioner version during meetings with your clients or hand out the consumer version for clients to work with on their own before or after meeting with you.

    Personal Financial Outlook
    This checklist was adapted from the Personal Financial Report Card and can be used as a starting point to summarize a client’s financial situation and identify important issues and opportunities for planning. Include this checklist in your tax organizers or have new clients fill it out prior to working on a planning engagement.

    The guide will lead you through a range of business processes most frequently encountered when developing and managing a CPA Personal Financial Planning practice, including: organizing your practice and developing procedures, assessing professional liability and managing risk, regulatory requirements, determining fees and costs, engagement documentation and how to market your services and grow your practice.

    CPA/PFS Credential Educational Program
    The Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) program allows CPAs to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in PFP. The educational pathway gets CPAs up to speed in the core financial planning disciplines including retirement, estate, investment, risk management/insurance, and tax as well as the responsibilities of CPAs providing PFP services.

    2015 Webcast Series Rebroadcast: From Tax Preparer to Financial Planner: The Road Best Traveled
    2014 Webcast Series: From Tax Preparer to Financial Planner: The Road Best Traveled (on-demand recordings) 

    The following steps will help you transition from tax preparer to financial planner:

    Step 1: Understanding
    the Value of Financial Planning
    (October 2014)

    Overview: From Client Tax Returns to Value-Added Financial Planning: How CPAs Can Get in the Game
    Michael Goodman (Moderator), Randy Abeles, Chris Benson, Susan Tillery, Dave Stolz

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    Step 2: Moving from Tax Planning to Integrated Financial Planning for Individuals, Families and Business Owners
    (October 2014)

    Overview: Expand Your Financial Planning Practice through Your Client’s Tax Return
    Bob Keebler, Ted Sarenski and Susan Tillery

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    The Practical Side of Investment Planning
    Bob Keebler, Ted Sarenski and Scott Sprinkle

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    The Practical Side of Estate Planning
    Bob Keebler, Ted Sarenski, Steve Siegel, Scott Sprinkle and Susan Bruno

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    The Practical Side of Retirement Planning
    Ted Sarenski, Steve Siegel and Scott Sprinkle

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    The Practical Side of Risk Management & Insurance Planning
    Ted Sarenski, Susan and Tom Tillery

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    Comprehensive Personal Financial Planning Case Study
    Ted Sarenski, Susan and Tom Tillery

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    Step 3: Implementing Personal Financial Planning Services:
    Plans for Success

    January 16-17, 2016
    Live workshop at the Bellagio
    Las Vegas

    Registration will be provided at a later date

    • PFP Business Models: True Stories from Successful CPAs
      • A panel of 9 successful CPA financial planners will walk you through the benefits, challenges and best practices— helping you identify the best structure for your practice and clients
    • How to Get Started 
    • Regulatory & Compliance
    • PFP Technology
    • Practical Approach to Client Meetings


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