New Exam Options Offer Pathways to PFS Credential

An examination leading to the AICPA’s Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential is now available in hundreds of cities nationwide, along with a live, interactive online offering of the exam’s case-study component. Together, these features of the new PFS Pathway program are intended to allow CPAs anywhere to obtain the PFS credential with minimal time away from the office.


Registration for the 2009 PFS Exam is now open, with the test to be administered in November and December at more than 270 Prometric Test Centers in all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; Guam; and the U.S. Virgin Islands. CPAs planning to take the test by this option should also register now for the required online case study sessions, which will take place evenings in November and December.


Alternately, CPAs may again this year attend a live case study and exam administration at the AICPA’s offices in Lewisville, Texas, near Dallas on Dec. 7-10. This option allows CPAs to meet all the credential examination requirements in a single four-day session.


Participants in last year’s inaugural exam in Lewisville say the case study exercise, especially, gave them valuable feedback on preparing and communicating to clients a financial plan.


“The case study program was definitely one of the best CPE experiences that I have had during my almost 30 years in practice,” participant Peter Flourny wrote in his session feedback.


To prepare for either of these PFS pathways, a review course is available for self-study with a set of six AICPA-produced textbooks.


The new options offer unprecedented convenience and flexibility for CPAs to obtain the credential, said Robert Jazwinski, chairman of the PFS Credential Committee.


The PFS Pathway is a critical component in assisting CPAs offering personal financial planning and related services to clients,” Jazwinski said. “The options of live and virtual case study and exam offer convenient and effective paths to gaining and demonstrating professional competence.”  


The PFS credential distinguishes CPAs who specialize in any form of personal financial planning including income tax, estate, retirement, insurance or investment planning. The PFP Section is a community of CPAs with a common interest in financial planning that can benefit from the availability of a wide variety of practice guides, client communication tools, newsletters and industry information, Web seminars and conferences. 


To register for or obtain more information about any of these pathways to the PFS examination and credential, see



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