AICPA Seeks Comment on Proposed Personal Financial Planning Services Standards

June 11, 2013

Contacts: Jonathan B. Cox, 919-403-4499, or Mitchell Slepian, 212-596-6177,

New York (June 11, 2013)
– The American Institute of CPAs today announced that it is seeking comment on proposed standards intended to build on the rigorous oversight of  CPA financial planners and enhance the consistency and discipline they already bring to the planning profession. 

The standards are based on the AICPA “Statement on Responsibilities in Personal Financial Planning Practice” that was first adopted more than two decades ago. The statement, intended as a framework to help CPAs deliver financial planning services with the highest integrity, has become a de facto standard in many cases and has been adopted by seven state boards of accountancy as a required standard.

To establish clearer, definitive rules with broad applicability and enforceability, the AICPA’s governing council in October awarded the executive committee of the personal financial planning division authority to set standards. The committee has approved the draft standards — covering everything from planning engagements to working with other service providers — that will apply to all AICPA members who provide personal financial planning services and do any of the following:  represent that they provide personal financial planning services; engage in activities that require registration as an investment adviser under federal or state law; or sell a product as a result of an engagement.

“Amid the complexity and uncertainty of today’s economy, more clients are turning to their CPAs for guidance on a broader array of financial issues,” said Lyle K. Benson, CPA/PFS, chairman of the AICPA’s personal financial planning executive committee. “That’s because the CPA-client relationship is built on trust rooted in the most stringent ethical, professional and regulatory requirements. We have drafted these standards to continue raising the bar, ensuring that CPAs deliver the highest level of professionalism, integrity, objectivity and competency in the financial planning profession.”

The AICPA will accept comments on the proposed standards through September 9.