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It's Never Too Early (or Too Late) To Specialize: Is a Career in Personal Financial Planning Right for You? [presenter name/business name] [presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "It's Never Too Early (or Too Late) To Specialize: Is a Career in Personal Financial Planning Right for You? [presenter name/business name] [presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 It's Never Too Early (or Too Late) To Specialize: Is a Career in Personal Financial Planning Right for You? [presenter name/business name] [presentation date]

2 Personal Financial Specialist Introduction About the PFP Section & PFS Credential The AICPA PFP Section provides information, resources, advocacy and guidance for CPAs who specialize in providing estate, tax, retirement, risk management and investment planning advice to individuals and their closely held entities The CPA/Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential distinguishes CPAs as subject-matter experts who have demonstrated their financial planning knowledge through experience, education and testing 2

3 Personal Financial Specialist Introduction My background in accounting My story about becoming a CPA/PFS 3

4 Personal Financial Specialist Agenda What is personal financial planning (PFP) & what is a CPA financial planner Why specialize in PFP What are the business opportunities in the profession How to pave your own unique career path as a CPA financial planner How to gain the experience you need within the CPA profession 4

5 Personal Financial Specialist Traditional Areas Provide the Base for Specialization CPA Tax Provider Financial Planning CPA engages in tax, estate, retirement, insurance and/or investment planning services BASESpecializationCredential Clients ask about planning Clients ask about gift & estate valuations Business Valuation CPA provides business valuation expertise for taxes, M&A, expert witness, and other engagements Demonstrates expertise through exam, experience and education Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) CPA Auditor Financial Forensics CPA engages in forensic work around fraud investigations, etc. Fraud suspected or found during audit Audits leveraging automated tools, IT audits, application control reviews, SOC Information Technology CPA works on information management & business intelligence engagements Demonstrates expertise through exam, experience and education Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) Audits resulting in valuation requests 5

6 Personal Financial Specialist What is financial planning? RISK MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT RETIREMENT ESTATE TAX 6

7 Personal Financial Specialist What is a CPA financial planner? CPA financial planner who practices in one or more of the following areas of financial planning: Cash flow planning Risk management and insurance planning Retirement planning Investment planning Estate, gift, and wealth transfer planning Elder planning Charitable planning Education planning Tax planning Enhance your technical credentials with the CPA Personal Financial Specialist (CPA/PFS) More on this later in the presentation 7

8 Personal Financial Specialist Why specialize? Client retention Added revenue and profits Staff retention Balance workload throughout year 8

9 Personal Financial Specialist Why specialize? The most significant challenge facing CPA firms of all sizes across the nation today is client retention and firm growth. Jim Metzler AICPA vice president for small firm interests. Another significant challenge to CPA firms is staff retention and succession. Many in the younger generation are eager to develop a broader expertise that includes financial planning. 9

10 Personal Financial Specialist What do younger CPAs want professionally? Less compliance/routine work (Type 1 work) More Future oriented and Value driven work (Type 2) such as: Financial planning Strategic planning Profit improvement planning Benchmarking Key performance indicator (KPI) monitoring 2020 Survey, Chris Frederiksen, CPA/PFS, Chairman 10

11 Personal Financial Specialist Why specialize? A study by CEG International found more than half of wealthy individuals are likely to obtain financial services from their CPAs Financial planning is too important to be left in the hands of unqualified professionals CPAs are quite possibly the single most important decision makers for individuals and businesses, and it is time to realize that we do more than just taxes 11

12 Personal Financial Specialist Specialization will drive accounting sector growth Sources:1 IBISWorld 20122 Deloitte 12

13 Personal Financial Specialist Why specialize? % of major firms growing their practices in these disciplines…. Source1 Accounting Today 13

14 Personal Financial Specialist Why specialize? Findings from 2013 AICPA Compensation Survey Median total compensation for CPAs is $160,200. That is, exactly half of all CPAs earn more and half less. The average total compensation is $236,600. The data show that total compensation is higher among credential holders. On average, specialty credential holders receive a total compensation $26,700 higher than non-credential holders. Many CPAs believe credential holding leads to higher compensation and hiring and promotion opportunities. -31% say holding a credential leads to increased compensation -51% say holding a credential makes a difference in being promoted, and -66% say holding a credential makes a difference in being hired 14

15 Personal Financial Specialist What qualities make a good CPA financial planner? Interpersonal skills Working with a variety of client personalities Communicate complex financial concepts in easy-to-understand language Willingness to help others. Analytical mind/detail-oriented Desire for life long learning Strong ethical responsibility 15

16 Personal Financial Specialist How to become a CPA financial planner Education College level Beyond (CPE, web seminars, conferences, PFS exam review courses and education) Become a CPA Bolster your CPA credential with the PFS credential Experience Develop soft skills Develop technical skills Understanding the business Engage with other successful CPA financial planners 16

17 Personal Financial Specialist Year 1-2 10+ Years Expert (continue specialized training – advanced) CPAtraining - intro / beginning level specialized work experience obtain specialized credential specialized training - intermediate work experience specialized training - advanced articles/ speeches/ seminars Years of Experience Job Position Manager Director Partner / Managing Director Specialized Credential Career Path / Goals Year 3-4Senior work experience training - general Years 5-7 Years 8-10 work experience CPA Staff 17

18 Personal Financial Specialist Why does being a CPA matter? True, you can be a financial planner without being a CPA BUT CPAs are the “most trusted advisor” CPAs are required to be objective CPAs have a broad base of knowledge CPAs must follow the Code of Professional Conduct AND The CPA/PFS credential demonstrates your expertise and clearly differentiates you from other CPAs and non-CPA financial planners. 18

19 Personal Financial Specialist The CPA as the Personal Financial Planner Legacy of the CPA profession & multigenerational perspective Century of experience sets the CPAs apart the trusted adviser Independence & objectivity hallmarks of the CPA profession Informal advice morphed to formal profession CPAs wrote the book on college planning, tax planning and generational wealth planning. CPA is the personal CFO, simplifying the complexity that wealth brings & often “quarterbacking” other advisers Taxes an integral part of all PFP decisions Overall picture of a client’s financial situation Tax returns offer details of cash flow/income situation Planning decisions have tax implications 19

20 Personal Financial Specialist Business models 20

21 Personal Financial Specialist Business Opportunities Endless! You are already the trusted advisor in most cases CPA credential Familiar with tax strategies and tax law Impacts all areas of PFP advice Know the client situation Tax returns Diversify your client base and revenue streams 21

22 Personal Financial Specialist Scope of Services Segmented financial planning Comprehensive financial planning Financial planning with assets under advisement Financial planning with assets under management Financial planning with assets under management and product sales 22

23 Personal Financial Specialist PFP Entity Structure Service within CPA firm or separate practice dedicated to PFP CPA firm affiliated separate entity (RIA) Separate entity (RIA) not affiliated with CPA firm Referral partner 23

24 Personal Financial Specialist Investment Advisory Business Models Investment Adviser Investment Adviser Representative Broker-Dealer Registered Representative Solicitor/Referral Portfolio Manager Compensation Models Fee-Only Financial Adviser (RIA – fiduciary) – most CPAs use this model Fee-Based Financial Adviser Commission Payments The CPA's Guide to Investment Advisory Business Models 24

25 Personal Financial Specialist Where to look for a job as a CPA financial planner There is no “right” path – almost everyone’s looks different CPA firms (Tax department) Wealth management firms Banks and brokers Start your own financial planning practice 25

26 Personal Financial Specialist Creating Your Own Career Path Unlike public accounting firms, personal financial planning firms come in all shapes, sizes, and areas of specialization Determine where your strengths lie and the work you really want to do Find the firm that most closely matches your goals or… Create your own firm to fulfill your vision 26

27 Personal Financial Specialist Bolster your CPA license with the CPA/PFS credential Distinguish yourself from other CPAs and non-CPA planners Affirm your expertise independently by the largest and oldest association of accounting professionals Demonstrate dedication to continual professional improvement in financial planning Enhance your image as a trustworthy adviser to your financial planning client’s with the AICPA’s Professional Code of Conduct 27

28 Personal Financial Specialist Know your client and, as their trusted advisor, help them plan and make decisions with their entire financial picture in mind Be a leader for your client by initiating advice and coordinating other advisors to your client Be an advocate for your client, to help your client achieve his/her goals Be a coach and educator to your client, to empower your client to make informed decisions Navigate complex issues that your client faces on a regular basis Gain personal satisfaction from working with clients on their path to achieving their goals Why choose to be a CPA/PFS? 28

29 Personal Financial Specialist Who can benefit from being a CPA/PFS? The CPA/PFS credential demonstrates the expertise and experience that a CPA has in personal financial planning. This can benefit many CPAs who practice financial planning: Tax practitioners who also focus on estate and retirement planning with their clients CPAs providing broad-based comprehensive financial planning services CPA planners focusing on niche areas like wealth management or risk- management planning Young CPAs with qualifying experience to gain recognition The CPA/PFS credential validates the CPA’s understanding of the overall financial planning issues faced by his or her clients. This allows CPAs to meet their client’s needs and expectations regardless of how their financial planning business model is structured. 29

30 Personal Financial Specialist CPA/PFS Qualifications A CPA license and AICPA membership Education 75 hours of PFP-related education in the last five years Examination PFS exam, CFP exam, or ChFC exam Experience Two years of full-time PFP-related experience (3,000 hours, can include 1,000 tax compliance work) 30

31 Personal Financial Specialist Next Steps Join the PFP Section See Sarah Bradley at the AICPA booth for a special conference discount. Website dedicated to upcoming and newly minted CPAs CPA profiles, career tools, info CPA exam and licensure Social Media Search Young CPA Network on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter Contact us: 31

32 Personal Financial Specialist Resources for CPAs to take next steps… PFP Practice Center ( The CPA’s Guide series ( Includes guides on developing and managing a PFP practice, technology in PFP, investment advisory business models, etc. Join the PFP Section (; Become a CPA/PFS ( Forefield Advisor ( PFP Pathway: From Tax Preparer to Financial Planner ( 32

33 Personal Financial Specialist Using a tax return for developing personal financial planning Visit to access this checklist and other free resources. 33

34 Personal Financial Specialist Questions? Visit RISK MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT RETIREMENT ESTATE TAX 34

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