AICPA Creates Community Web Site for Personal Financial Planning Services


his year will mark the AICPA’s 20th anniversary in support of CPAs in the expanding field of personal financial planning (PFP). More than 23,000 AICPA members provide PFP services, while an estimated 10,000 members are registered investment advisers (RIAs) and another 60,000 CPAs provide limited financial planning services as an extension of their existing tax practices. To serve this broad constituency, the AICPA has dedicated considerable resources in this practice area to meet three core member objectives: community, competency and communications.

In January the AICPA launched the Personal Financial Planning Services community Web site. “Having a strong sense of community has been such an important piece of the puzzle for our PFP section members and CPA/PFS credential holders,” said Joel Framson, CPA/PFS, chairman of the PFP Executive Committee. “The new site satisfies the needs of our CPA financial planners—who have told us they want a “home” to share, collaborate and network with peers—as well as financial planners who have similar professional interests.” The site offers members the ability to share experiences, post questions to peers, learn what’s new and have access to the CPA Financial Planner Online Discussion Forum.

“A key focus for the AICPA’s PFP area is the development of guidance, resources and tools to assist CPAs in obtaining the requisite knowledge and ongoing information to practice as competent and objective financial planners,” said Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO. To help build member competency, the PFP community provides convenient access to articles, illustrations, tables and interactive tools that enable financial planners to deliver current, concise and compliant advice to clients. Valuable features of the site include consumer articles, frequently asked questions, decision tools, Java calculators, a powerful search engine and content addressing engagements, estate and investment planning, personal income tax, retirement planning, insurance and risk management, personal finance, practice management and regulatory and statutory issues. The AICPA PFP team is committed to keeping the site continually updated with fresh and relevant content.

To learn about premium benefits or if interested in becoming a CPA/PFS credential holder or a member of the PFP section, click on the “Membership” tab of the Web site at www.aicpa.org/PFP .

WHAT IT IS
The AICPA Personal Financial Planning (PFP) community Web site provides CPAs with the resources, tools and information they need to offer professional and ethical financial planning services from one central location. Premium content is reserved for members of the Personal Financial Planning membership section and CPA/PFS credential holders. Vital material is offered for use exclusively by these member groups and affords the CPA financial planner access to a wealth of online content and personal financial planning knowledge. The Web site also includes information about PFP issues for consumers and can connect them with CPA Personal Financial Specialist credential holders (CPA/PFS). To visit the site, go to www.aicpa.org/PFP .

WHAT IT OFFERS
The PFP Web site is a comprehensive resource organized as follows:

Home. The front door to the site, a search engine and a selection of tabs for specific information. See spotlights on important events and alerts on pertinent news.

Resources. Access the research tools, practice aids, specialized guidance, calculators and other reference materials you need.

Community. Check the calendar for important dates, locate a committee member here and search for a CPA/PFS credential holder or read the profile of another.

Events. Browse the CPE and training courses by state and scroll through the calendar of PFP events to get yourself organized.

Membership. Learn more about benefits of joining the PFP membership section or applying for the CPA/PFS credential. By registering on the Web site, you will have access to the information you need.

Products. Find products and tools you need to support your PFP practice.

WHO THE COMMUNITY SERVES
The primary audiences are

CPA financial planners providing services in insurance and risk management, investment management and advisory services, tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning.

CPAs serving in a fiduciary capacity.

CPAs interested in developing a niche practice in any area of financial planning.

CPAs in business, industry and government who seek information, tools and resources in financial planning.

CPA firms looking to outsource to or hire a CPA/PFS.

Consumers searching for personal financial planning information.

Consumers looking for a CPA/PFS to provide professional financial planning advice.

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