Financial Planners Tackle Global Standards

Financial planning practices have developed rapidly in recent years in the U.S. and around the world. The AICPA has already established an accreditation designation for CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning (PFP). Now, an effort is underway to set global standards. The standard-setting initiative is being undertaken by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Peter Lefferts, former managing director of American Express Financial Advisors, has been tapped to chair a key working group.

Altogether, the ISO plans to establish four working groups, two of which are operational now. Each is led by a specific country.

The United States is taking the lead on the following projects:

  • Definition of financial planning (chaired by Mr. Lefferts).
  • Process of personal financial planning.
  • Personal financial planning practice management.

Germany is taking the lead on these projects:

  • Requirements for core competencies of a personal financial planner.
  • Demonstration of initial competencies.
  • Demonstration of continuing competency.

Other areas under consideration and groups still to be formed involve standards on the financial planning experience requirements and the ethical requirements of financial planning.

For more information about the ISO and a list of committee contacts, see Technical Committee 222. For information about the tools, training, and support available from AICPA to help CPAs become competent in the personal financial planning disciplines, see the Center for Personal Financial Planning Professionals.

-Rosemary Schlank

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