How We Stand Apart



Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)

The PFS credential demonstrates that an individual has   met the minimum education, experience and testing   required of a CPA in addition to a minimum level of   expertise in personal financial planning. To attain the PFS   credential, a candidate must hold an unrevoked CPA   license, fulfill 3,000 hours of personal financial planning   business experience, complete 80 hours of personal   financial planning CPE credits, pass a comprehensive   financial planning exam and be an active member of the   AICPA. A PFS credential holder is required to adhere to   AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct, and is encouraged   to follow AICPA's Statement on Responsibilities in   Financial   Planning Practice. To maintain their PFS   credential, the recipient must complete 60 hours of   financial planning CPE credits every three years. The PFS   credential is administered through the AICPA.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

CPAs are licensed and regulated by their state boards of   accountancy. While state laws and regulations vary, the   education, experience and testing requirements for   licensure as a CPA generally include minimum college   education (typically 150 credit hours with at least a   baccalaureate degree and a concentration in accounting),   minimum experience levels (most states require at least   one year of experience providing services that involve the   use of accounting, attest, compilation, management   advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills, all of   which must be achieved under the supervision of or   verification by a CPA), and successful passage of the   Uniform CPA Examination. In order to maintain a CPA   license, states generally require the completion of 40   hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each   year  (or 80 hours over a two year period or 120 hours   over a three year period). Additionally, all American   Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) members   are required to follow a rigorous Code of Professional   Conduct which requires that they act with integrity,   objectivity, due care, competence, fully disclose any   conflicts of interest (and obtain client consent if a conflict   exists), maintain client confidentiality, disclose to the   client  any commission or referral fees, and serve the   public interest when providing financial services. The vast   majority of state boards of accountancy have adopted the   AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct within their state   accountancy laws or have created their own.