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 http://pfs.aicpa.org .