Texas Tech and AICPA Announce New Personal Financial Planning Program

The Beta Personal Financial Specialist Program is designed to help CPA planners attain financial planning credentials.

Written by Cory Chandler

A PFS Pathway test program will be held Nov. 10-14 in Dallas. The official launch will be June 2009.

A test of the new program will be held Nov. 10-14 in Dallas. The official launch will be June 2009.

The Division of Personal Financial Planning and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) announces a joint agreement to develop a new educational program that will lead to the AICPA’s Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential.

Designed specifically for CPA planners who want to attain a financial planning credential, the new PFS Pathway program will officially launch in June 2009.

“Building the educational pathway to the PFS credential is an extraordinary opportunity for the university to partner with AICPA. We believe this goes a long way towards increasing professionalism in the financial planning industry,” said Vickie Hampton, program director of the Division of Personal Financial Planning.

In advance of the 2009 rollout, the AICPA and Texas Tech will conduct a PFS Pathway beta program, or test program, Nov. 10 - 14 at the AICPA offices in Dallas. The five-day program will consist of a four-day, hands-on financial planning case study and an eight-hour multiple-choice exam of approximately 200 questions.

The PFS content will include 12 technical areas, including estate planning, employee benefits, investment planning, financial independence and income tax planning.

Participants will receive approximately 32 continuing professional education credits.

The AICPA introduced the PFS credential in 1987. It is the only financial planning credential available exclusively to CPAs.

“The PFS Pathway reinforces the AICPA’s commitment to this important credential,” said Steve Winters, the institute’s director of specialized communities and practice management.  “As our personal financial planning community continues to grow, we want to support those seeking to obtain the PFS by providing them with a strong educational path specific to their needs as CPA financial planners. We’re very excited about working with Texas Tech, which is widely recognized for its financial planning education.”

The Division of Personal Financial Planning is the only program in the nation to offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in financial planning.

“With its comprehensive approach to personal financial planning, the Texas Tech faculty is uniquely qualified for this partnership with AICPA,” Hampton said.

Applications to participate in the beta program will be accepted until Aug. 31. For further information about the PFS Pathway beta, visit the PFS Credential Beta Program Web site.