Sharing your life plans and dreams with a financial adviser requires an enormous amount of trust. There’s so much to consider.
- You need to know they’re credible and objective while acting in your best interest.
- You want to ensure they have the required qualifications such as education, experience, reputation, and financial planning expertise
- You want to know how they’re compensated (fees, commissions, etc.).
If you’re like most people, this can be a daunting decision.
Here’s a simple way to make it easier: Look for the letters “CPA/PFS” (Personal Financial Specialist) after the name of anyone you’re considering.
CPAs are protectors of the public
Licensed CPAs are subject to regulation by their respective state boards of accountancy and strict professional ethics rules adopted by the boards to protect the public against fraud, incompetence and conflicts of interest.
In addition, all CPA/PFS credential holders are members of the American Institute of CPAs and are required to adhere to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, which sets forth certain standards of professional conduct.
The Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services establishes guidance for members who provide personal financial planning services.
What a CPA/PFS Can Do for You
A CPA Personal Financial Specialist (CPA/PFS) must adhere to the most rigorous professional standards and ethics which means they will take the time to first UNDERSTAND YOU so they can truly put YOUR INTEREST FIRST.
Having "CPA/PFS" proves they have earned a level of distinction few financial planners can match. The CPA profession reputation is built on consistent competence, objectivity, and integrity. A CPA/PFS won't ask for your trust, they will earn it.
A CPA/PFS will:
- apply their training, experience, testing and education as CPAs to your financial situation, distinguished from other financial planners;
- demonstrate expertise and continued learning in the topic of personal financial planning; and
- coordinate your financial life by integrating your goals, tax situation, and financial plan in a holistic way.
Tools and Resources to Get You Started
The following tools and resources have been created to assist you in all areas of your financial plan.
- Analysis of a Tax Return for Planning Opportunities: This checklist will help you analyze and identify key issues to consider as you prepare, review and discuss individual tax return with your CPA financial planner.
- Personal Finance Scorecard: A great motivational tool to help you identify the important issues in all areas of personal financial planning, including estate, tax, retirement, investments, and insurance planning.
- Books and Articles:
- Additional Resources:
- 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: resources to help consumers understand their personal finances through every stage of life
- 360 Degrees of Taxes: resources to help consumers understand their taxes
- Disasters: Planning Ahead and Recovering
- Feed the Pig/Benjamin Bankes: resources to help consumers 35 and younger with their spending and saving habits
- Money Doctor: CPA/PFS credential holders are available to respond to basic financial planning questions
Financial Planning Webcasts
Timeless topics from past events: