CPA/PFS Credential Eligibility Requirements 


    The requirements for the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential are established by the PFP Division staff at the AICPA, the National Accreditation Commission, along with the PFS Credential Committee, and accurately reflect the depth and breadth of experience and technical expertise required to obtain this credential.

    For more information:

    The 5 major requirements are:


       Obtain the CPA License and be a current member of the AICPA 
     A PFS candidate must hold a valid and unrevoked CPA permit, license or certificate issued by a legally constituted state authority.

    The CPA license establishes the ethical and professional foundation for the CPA/PFS credential. No other comprehensive financial planning credential requires this level of professionalism as their foundation. Every CPA/PFS credential holder has successfully completed the rigorous CPA exam, has met the strict education and experience requirements, and with membership in the AICPA, has agreed to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

       Complete Comprehensive PFP Education 
     A CPA/PFS candidate must earn a minimum of 75 hours of personal financial planning education within the five year period preceding the date of the PFS application. The AICPA offers PFP education opportunities that qualify.  The education must be in the 9 areas that make up the PFP Body of Knowledge, found in the CPA/PFS Credential Application Kit. Alternative sources include a combination of professional CPE, approved courses at an accredited university or college, or presenting and authoring on financial planning subjects.

    Consider the PFP education offered in partnership with The American College. In addition the PFS Exam Review Course offers 32.5 hours of CPE.

       Attain a Specified Level of PFP Experience 

    Within the five year period preceding the date of the CPA/PFS application, the CPA/PFS candidate must have either: 2 years of full-time business or teaching experience (or 3,000 hours equivalent) in personal financial planning or, for candidates in academia, a qualified credential holder should be a full-time professor and have taught at least 4 accredited college courses with 50% of their material included in the CPA/PFS Body of Knowledge.

    The experience must be in the 9 areas that make up the PFP Body of Knowledge, found in the PFS Credential Application Kit . Note that up to 1,000 hours of tax compliance experience can count toward the total experience requirement.

       Pass a PFP Examination 
     The CPA/PFS candidate must successfully pass a PFP-related exam. Successful completion of the following examinations will satisfy the examination requirements for the CPA/PFS credential:

    Return to the Overview of the CPA/PFS Credential




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