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3 Reasons to Use a Personal Financial Specialist

You need to be able to trust someone who manages your financial affairs and protects your assets for the future, so using the right professional is a must. While most people turn to a financial planner, you have good reasons to opt for a Personal Financial Specialist.

A Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) is an exam and designation that can only be applied for by a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Applicants are required to have two years’ worth of experience in business or teaching within the financial planning world as well as 75 hours of financial planning education. There are also continuing education requirements each year.

Clearly, the PFS is a certification calls for significant education and experience — but what does it bring to the table in a practical way? Here are a few key benefits of this particular specialty.

1. CPA Ethical Requirements

Because each PFS enrollee must already be a CPA, you know that your advisor is obligated to work under ethical principles. CPAs are expected to adhere to generally accepted accounting principles as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct. In addition to being responsible to the AICPA, they are also overseen by various governmental agencies.

CPAs exercise a fiduciary duty, which means that they must act in their client’s best interests rather than their own. They are even considered to be working for the public interest, so they cannot commit or condone illegal activity.

The upside of all this is that you can have confidence in a CPA’s handling of money decisions. They are generally paid to get the results you want, not to sell products to you, and their work will often consist of tasks that don’t bring about any financial benefit to the CPA.

2. Accounting Experience

Financial planners have a solid educational background but are not generally required to have accounting experience. Accounting knowledge, though, is helpful in managing your money. A CPA has income tax experience, for instance, so they are in a good position to understand how to minimize tax in all areas rather than just within your investments.

The CPA is also trained in business accounting, meaning that they understand the finances and implications of different businesses — from sole proprietorships and LLCs to landlord businesses and corporations. If your financial portfolio includes a stake, whether large or small, in business enterprises, you need someone experienced with business accounting and planning.

3. A Broad Range of Skills

Since a PFS has experience both as a CPA and in the financial planning world, they are qualified to help with a broader range of tasks than a financial planner alone.

A PFS might aid you, for example, in setting up an estate plan and preparing your heirs to manage your estate. They can help you understand the business affairs of a company you are considering investing in. They may offer tax planning, and some are licensed to actually complete personal and business income tax filing. 

A client who needs diverse services completed, then, often benefits from having a single individual do more of the work. You build a closer relationship with your fiduciary, and they can keep better tabs on how your whole financial picture is doing. You know that your advisor understands your point of view on many financial matters. 

Could a PFS be one answer to several of your financial needs? If you think so, start by consulting with an experienced service in your area. Monheit Frisch Group PLC has aided Arizona residents and businesses in financial management for more than 40 years. Call today to make an appointment with a Personal Financial Specialist. 

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