PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATIONS

 

The Accredited Asset Management Specialist® (AAMS®)
Garett Folkers / Julie Olander

The Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®) is a professional designation awarded by the College of Financial Planning® (CFP®). Individuals who hold the designation have completed a course of study encompassing investments, insurance, tax, retirement, and estate planning issues. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations. All designees have agreed to adhere to the Standards of Professional Conduct outlined by the CFP® and are subject to a disciplinary process. Designees renew their designation every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct, and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

 

The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
Jason Buchanan / Rebecca Dammann / Ryan Lovett / Karen McDade / Jay Penney

The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation represents a thorough knowledge of and ability to apply fiduciary practices. Through fi360′s AIF® Training programs, AIF® designees learn the Practices and the legal and best practice framework they are built upon. AIF® designees have a reputation in the industry for the ability to implement a prudent process into their own investment practices and assist others in implementing proper policies and procedures.

 

The Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®)
Amy Kane / Karen McDade

The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™ (IDFA™) was founded in 1993 to provide specialized training to accounting, financial and legal professionals in the field of pre-divorce financial planning. The Institute provides comprehensive education using a variety of knowledge and skill-building techniques. Candidates will learn how to help their clients with financial issues that will affect the rest of their lives. After successfully completing the course, candidates receive the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) designation. To attain the right to use the CDFA® certification, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements: Education CDFA® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical understanding and knowledge of the financial aspects of divorce by completing a comprehensive course of study approved by the IDFA™. Examination CDFA® practitioners must pass a four-part Certification Examination that tests their understanding and knowledge of the financial aspects of divorce. In addition, the practitioner must demonstrate the practical application of this knowledge in the divorce process. Candidates must also be in good standing with their Broker-Dealer (if applicable) and the FINRA/SEC or other licensing or regulatory agency Experience CDFA® professionals must have three years minimum experience in a financial services capacity and a four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university before earning the right to use the CDFA® certification mark. Ethics As a final step to certification, CDFA® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct known as the IDFA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients, employers, and other professionals. The IDFA™ may perform a background check during this process and each candidate for CDFA® certification must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings relating to his or her professional or business conducts. Ongoing Requirements Once certified CDFA® practitioners are required to maintain technical competence, fulfill ethical obligations, and remain a member of IDFA in good standing. Every two years, they must complete a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of continuing education specifically related to the field of divorce.

 

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)
Jay Penney / Michael Wong

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute that measures the competence and integrity of financial analysts. The CFA Program is a graduate-level self-study program that combines a broad-based curriculum of investment principles with professional conduct requirements. Candidates are required to pass three levels of examinations covering areas such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management and security analysis. Before a candidate is eligible to become a CFA charter holder, he/she must meet minimum experience requirements in the area of investment/financial practice. To enroll in the program, a candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree.

 

The Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®)

Jason Buchanan / Bradley Burr / Rebecca Dammann / Bratton DuBose IV / Brienne Dylewski / Amy Kane / Ryan Lovett / Karen McDade / Julie Olander / Jay Penney

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. * Certified Financial Planners must attain a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university and have three years of full-time personal financial planning experience or the equivalent part-time experience (2,000 hours equals one year full-time). Certified Financial Planners must also complete a CFP-board registered program, or hold one of the following: CPA, ChFC, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), CFA, Ph.D. in business or economics, Doctor of Business Administration, or an Attorney’s License.

 

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Amy Kane / Michael Wong

The Certified Public Accountant designation is a national professional certification. The State Boards of Accountancy determines the laws and rules for each state/jurisdiction. Educational requirements vary by state. The Georgia State Board of Accountancy licenses certified public accountants and public accounting firms. Applicants for CPA licensure must meet sufficient requirements for education and experience and pass a national examination. Education and Examination 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. Ongoing Requirements 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 APPENDIX A — 8 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.

 

The Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®)
Richard Garber

The Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) designation signifies that an individual has met initial and ongoing experience, ethical, education, and examination requirements for the professional designation, which is centered on private wealth management topics and strategies for high-net-worth clients. Prerequisites for the CPWA® designation are a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or one of the following designations or licenses: CIMA®, CIMC®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC®, or CPA license; have an acceptable regulatory history as evidenced by FINRA Form U-4 or other regulatory requirements and five years of experience in financial services or delivering services to high-net-worth clients. CPWA® designees have completed a rigorous educational process that includes self-study requirements, an in-class education component, and successful completion of a comprehensive examination. CPWA® designees are required to adhere to IMCA’s Code of Professional Responsibility and Rules and Guidelines for Use of the Marks. CPWA® designees must report 40 hours of continuing education credits, including two ethics hours, every two years to maintain the certification. The designation is administered through Investments & Wealth Institute.

 

The Certified Retirement Services Professional (CRSP)
Michael Wong

The Certified Retirement Services Professional (CRSP) certification is the undisputed professional credential Issued by ABA Institute of Certified Bankers for financial services professionals whose primary function and expertise focus on the provision of employee benefit and/or retirement plan services. The CRSP designation signifies that an individual working in this field has attained comprehensive training in the following professional knowledge areas: Plan Type & Design, Laws & Regulations, and Investments.

 

The Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®)
Lance Knight

Individuals who hold the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠ or CRPC® designation have completed a course of study encompassing pre-and post-retirement needs, asset management, estate planning and the entire retirement planning process using models and techniques from real client situations. The program is designed for approximately 120-150 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment. The CRPC® designation is offered by The College for Financial Planning, a regionally accredited institution of higher education accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The College offers a Master of Science degree with a Personal Financial Planning major and two Master of Science in Finance degrees, several proprietary APPENDIX A — 7 professional designations, and the CFP Certification Professional Education Program. Founded in 1972, the College is the country’s oldest provider of financial planning education and has over 158,000 graduates from its Masters and non-degree programs. Individuals are required to pass an online, timed and proctored end-of-course examination with a 70% score or higher. The examination tests the individual’s ability to relate complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations. After successful completion of the end-of-course examination, individuals apply for authorization to use the designation. The application includes: Adherence to Standards of Professional Conduct Integrity Provide professional services with integrity, honor, fairness, and dignity and maintain client trust and confidence. Objectivity Maintain objectivity and impartiality with respect to services rendered and advice given. Competency Maintain an adequate level of knowledge and skill and effectively apply that knowledge while recognizing its limitations. Confidentiality Keep client information confidential, disclosing only when authorized or compelled by law. Professionalism Comply with all laws and regulations as required and applicable, refraining from actions that bring dishonor to you or your profession. Self-Disclosure Applicants must disclose any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization, or governmental agency inquiry, investigation, or proceeding relating to their professional or business conduct. Conferment of the designation is contingent upon the College for Financial Planning’s review of matters either self-disclosed or which are discovered by the College that are required to be disclosed. Adherence to Terms and Conditions The Terms and Conditions outline designees’ rights to use the College’s Marks and acknowledge the rights of the College to protect the Marks from unauthorized use by individuals or entities.

 

The Personal Financial Specialist (PFS™)
Michael Wong

A Personal Financial Specialist  (PFS™) is a certification for certified public accountants (CPAs) that allows them to expand their expertise and offerings to include financial planning and wealth management. The requirements for the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS™) credential are established by the Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Division staff at the AICPA, the National Accreditation Commission, along with the PFS Credential Committee, and accurately reflect the depth and breadth of experience and technical expertise required to obtain this credential. A PFS candidate must hold a valid and unrevoked CPA permit, license or certificate issued by a legally constituted state authority. You must also be a current Regular member of the AICPA.