DEFINITION of 'Personal Financial Specialist - PFS'

A specialty credential awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to CPAs who specialize in helping individuals plan all aspects of their wealth. Successful Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) applicants earn the right to use the PFS designation with their names, which can improve job opportunities, professional reputation and pay. Every three years, PFS professionals must complete 60 hours of continuing professional education. Annually, they must pay a fee of several hundred dollars to continue using the designation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Personal Financial Specialist - PFS'

PFS applicants study estate planning, retirement planning, investing, insurance and other areas of personal financial planning. Individuals with the PFS designation may work for accounting firms, consulting firms or run their own firms. To become a PFS, candidates must be active members of the AICPA, have at least three years of financial planning experience, meet all the requirements for being a CPA, receive reccomendations and pass a written exam.

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