What is an Accredited Personal Financial Planning Specialist

An Accredited Personal Financial Planning Specialist is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who wants to be able to provide advice to families and individuals on organizing finances and making smart investment decisions. Specifically, a person with this designation evaluates financial history, points out areas that need improvement and recommends a revised plan for meeting goals.

Goals can be short-term such as taking a vacation or saving for a car or long-term goals such as retirement or college education.

BREAKING DOWN Accredited Personal Financial Planning Specialist

An accredited Personal Financial Planning Specialist would also conduct reviews on a regular basis to make sure a client’s financial plan remains on track. While an Accredited Personal Financial Specialist can recommend stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc. the actual trading needs to be done by the client or a broker.

Becoming an Accredited Personal Financial Planning Specialist

To become a specialist, he or she must complete personal financial planning (PFP) courses and experience requirements, pass an exam from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and be a good-standing member of the AICPA.

This designation is particularly useful for accountants who wish to focus their practice on individual and family planning. Usually, such practitioners will not actually engage in the execution of investment strategies recommended in the planning process.