CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP®
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing rigorous certification requirements, including completing education and examination requirements. When properly used, they represent standards of excellence for personal financial planning and demonstrate commitment to uphold these standards.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA®)
CPA is a title awarded in the United States to accountants who meet stringent professional qualifications. State authorities confer the title on those who satisfy the experience requirement of the particular state and those who pass the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The objective of the examination is to provide reasonable assurance to Boards of Accountancy that candidates passing the examination possess the level of technical knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to protect the public interest. CPAs must maintain a certain amount of professionally logged hours per the state within which they are certified.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)
CFA is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute (formerly AIMR), that measures the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Candidates are required to pass three levels of exams covering areas such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management and security analysis. Before you can become a CFA charterholder, you must have a minimum of three years of investment/financial career experience. To enroll in the program, you must hold a bachelor’s degree.
Registered Financial Consultant (RFC®)
RFC is the professional designation for persons in the field of financial planning. The designation is awarded by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC) to those financial advisors who meet the required high standards of education, experience and integrity. The IARFC is a nonprofit professional credentialing organization of proven financial professionals formed to foster public confidence in the financial planning profession, to help financial advisors exchange planning techniques, and to give deserved recognition to those practitioners who are truly committed to ethical standards and continuous professional education. A Registered Financial Consultant has met the qualifications required to serve the public effectively and, moreover, is committed to continuing his or her professional education.
Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
PFS is a designation granted to CPAs only after demonstrating experience in personal financial planning services and meeting other accreditation requirements established by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). PFS credential holders have specific experience, education and examination requirements that set them apart from other CPAs and financial planners.