Pathway to the CPA/PFS Credential
Step 1: Learn
The AICPA has five online CPE learning courses that track directly to the PFP Body of Knowledge that is tested on all of the exam options. In addition, the Essentials of PFP publication provides an overview of all areas of personal financial planning. Augment this with specific practice-related and technical topics at conference sessions, live classes, webcasts and podcasts. PFP Section membership can provide additional discounts. Here is some helpful information:
Step 2: Pass the PFS Comprehensive Exam or the PFS Experienced CPA Assessment or Complete the Certificate Program
Flexibility in access and CPE credit are hallmarks of our self-study CPE. The PFS Comprehensive exam is conveniently offered both online (24/7) and at local testing centers at any time. The PFS Experienced CPA Assessment is offered online (24/7). PFP Section discounts also apply.
PFS Experienced CPA Pathway
The Experienced Track pathway allows for CPAs practitioners with significant experience a more streamlined exam and demonstrates the same level of overall rigor and competency as the other approaches.
PFP Certificate Program Pathway
The Certificate Pathway leverages the new AICPA PFP certificates to meet the education and examination requirements. Simply complete the education and exam requirements for each of the 5 certificates. Fit the education and exam into your schedule more conveniently.
Step 3: Gain Experience
For the Standard and Certificate pathways, while learning and passing the exam, you should be accumulating the needed 3,000 hours of PFP-related experience over the previous five years. Up to 1,000 of this can be tax compliance experience. For the Experienced pathway, you should be accumulating the needed 7,500 hours of PFP-related experience over the previous seven years. Up to 2,000 of this can be tax compliance experience. Acceptable areas are identified in the PFP Body of Knowledge. Calculate your current experience hours using our PFS credential experience hours worksheet.
Step 4: Get Credentialed
You now can apply for the PFS credential using the online application. For the Standard and Certificate pathways, you will attest that you have met the experience requirement, passed the exam and, within the last five years, have a total of 75 hours of PFP-related CPE. For the Experienced pathway, you will attest that you have met the experience requirement, passed the exam and, within the last seven years, have a total of 105 hours of PFP-related CPE If selected in the annual audit of new members, you will need to produce documentation for each of these requirements.