CFP Board, Please Act Professional

Tuesday, February 02, 2016 17:21
CFP Board, Please Act Professional

Tags: CFP Board | CPA | NAPFA | PFS | supervision

I've previously written about my unhappiness with NAPFA for recognizing the CFP® designation as the only designation allowed for membership.

As I pointed out in the article, CPA Personal Financial Specialists (PFS) must meet tougher qualifications to receive their designation and adhere to more arduous annual requirements. Let’s not forget that the organization for CFPs®, the FPA, recently dropped its standards of care and ethics requirements.

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What recently frustrated me further is the following. I have an employee who has worked for me for two years, under my guidance, preparing financial plans and learning about the entire process along with related areas of competency.

He has a degree in finance from Notre Dame and has passed the CFP® exam. During the past two years, I have had two senior financial advisors who happened to be CFP®s. When the first one left, it took me about four months to find a new senior advisor.

What is the issue? I just found out that my employee has to wait four more months to get his CFP® designation because during that four month break, his “only” supervisor was not a CFP®!

I am a CPA/PFS with over 35 years of experience and an MBA in Finance. Yet the CFP Board feels that I am not qualified to supervise a CFP® candidate.

Rather, a person with less than five years of experience who holds that designation, is the only one who can sign off!

Of course, the CFP Board offers a three-year track without the supervision requirement. This means that even someone working in a related area (like a finance writer) can become a CFP® (and presumably would be better qualified to supervise my employee). But, why should my employee be forced to wait the extra time?

I wrote to the CFP® Board asking for a waiver. I got an automated response that said they would get back to me in approximately 30 days.


(Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and do not represent the position of Morningstar, Inc.)

Comments (1)

Save And Give
It makes no sense at all.
But then, many CFP Board actions make no real sense nowadays - for instance, the dropping of the standards of care most recently.
As a CPA who became a CFP, I agree with you completely about the PFS credential. I simply chose the CFP because the CE requirements are easier, and I already do more than 40 hours a year to maintain my CPA license
Save And Give , February 10, 2016

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