Personal Financial Planning Process

  • Thursday, August 15, 2019 – Thursday, April 30, 2020

  • 1.5
    Specialized Knowledge

This CPE course covers elements of the overall planning process, including gathering data, establishment of financial objectives, and identification of constraints. Personal financial planning (PFP) is a process that uses a series of purposeful and deliberate steps to accomplish a personal financial plan for an individual or family. The seven steps in the PFP process, which are referred to in various ways depending on the source of the information, are Engage, Discover, Analyze, Recommend, Implement, Monitor, and Update. For the CPA/ PFS, the first four steps are required for a PFP engagement. The remaining three steps are not required but are often included. The last three steps may also be offered as stand-alone engagements. Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services (SSPFPS) No. 1 personal financial planning services include the following:
Cash flow planning
Risk management and insurance planning
Retirement planning
Investment planning
Estate, gift, and wealth transfer planning
Elder planning
Charitable planning
Education planning
Tax planning

The foundation for all personal financial plans is the spending plan and the statement of financial position. In this course, the personal financial planner will gain a deep knowledge of these documents to best serve their personal financial planning clients.


Recall the steps in the personal financial planning process.
Select the step in the personal financial planning process that defines the client's responsibilities.
Recall the requirements of the Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services No. 1, in the case of a conflict of interest.
Identify the step in the personal financial planning process that addresses scope limitations.
Recognize the type of data that indicates the client's hopes, fears, values, preferences, and attitudes regarding financial and nonfinancial goals.
Identify the life cycle phase in which clients are usually able to invest in higher risk asset classes and pursue a more aggressive investment strategy.

Additional Information

Designed For

CPAs and financial planners with basic knowledge of financial planning and an interest in personal financial planning


American Institute of CPAs


1.50 Specialized Knowledge

Course Number


Level of Knowledge


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