New additions to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resource can help practitioners who practice in the areas of estate, retirement, risk management, and investment planning to comply with Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services No. 1 (AICPA, Professional Standards, PFP Sec. 100).
The standard and the accompanying Compliance Toolkit, which includes FAQs, have been developed to assist all AICPA members in delivering personal financial planning services with competence and confidence.
The FAQ document, which is meant to be used in conjunction with the standard, provides nonauthoritative guidance to assist practitioners. The FAQs originally were published in January 2014 along with the standards, which apply the AICPA’s rigorous code of professional conduct and enable oversight in this growing area of practice.
A year later, Questions 11–13, 31–34, 36–47, and 51–54 were added to the document. The new questions:
- Help practitioners evaluate whether the standard applies to them in various circumstances, including non-CPA AICPA members and CPAs licensed by state boards of accountancy.
- Provide clarity on documentation and disclosure requirements, including acceptable formats for documentation and written agreements with and communications to the client.
- Clarify when the practitioner crosses the line from tax to personal financial planning through the additional questions on personalized recommendations.
- Help practitioners understand the definitions of terms such as “affiliate” and “professional judgment” as described in the standard.
The standard and FAQs are free resources available to all professionals. The Compliance Toolkit is included as part of membership for PFP Section members and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential holders. The toolkit is also available for purchase by nonmembers. More information on the PFP standards is available on the AICPA website. Questions and feedback can be submitted to Sarah Bradley at firstname.lastname@example.org.