Institute Issues Updated Guidelines for PFS Credential

The AICPA has revised requirements for the personal financial specialist (PFS) credential, which it established in 1987 for members committed to personal financial planning as a practice discipline. Until recently, members were evaluated based on business experience and examination. Now, they will also be evaluated in a new area—lifelong learning.

Lifelong learning includes both traditional methods such as continuing professional education courses and nontraditional ones such as self-directed reading and research. Advanced degrees such as a JD or MBA, professional writing credits, conference presentations or participation on personal financial planning association committees will count towards earning the credential.

PFS candidates will be assessed using a point system (mirroring that for the AICPA certified information technology professional), with a total of 100 points being required to qualify for the credential.

On January 1 the Institute launched an online PFS application-cum-assessment tool at .


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.