Financial Planning Specialisation CPA (FPS)

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1 Financial Planning Specialisation CPA (FPS) 2012

2 Why become a CPA Australia Financial Planning Specialist? The CPA brand is an established sign of excellence. Members of CPA Australia are recognised as leaders in business, finance and accounting advice. The right to use the CPA designation is only given to degree-qualified professionals who have undertaken rigorous and comprehensive postgraduate study and obtained relevant practical experience in the CPA Program. The CPA Australia Financial Planning Specialisation builds on the expertise gained during your progression to CPA status, and specifically recognises members who specialise in financial planning with a high level of experience and knowledge in the financial services industry. The benefits Attaining the Financial Planning Specialisation has a number of benefits to CPA Australia members working in financial planning, including that it: + + enhances the image of CPAs as competent and trustworthy financial planners + + achieves a greater level of confidence from clients, both internal and external + + demonstrates a commitment to enhancing skills and expertise through ongoing specialised continuing professional development + + facilitates client referrals among practitioners + + creates the opportunity for smaller firms to become more competitive in specialty areas of practice; + + encourages closer ties within the profession, as members with similar interests are brought together. Ability to promote the Financial Planning Specialisation Once awarded the specialisation you will be issued a Financial Planning Specialisation Certificate in recognition of your high level of skills. You can then add FPS to the CPA or FCPA designation, which can be promoted via your business cards, letterheads and other business stationery written in one of the following forms: Mary Smith (F)CPA (FPS) or Mary Smith (F)CPA (Specialist in Financial Planning) Also produced exclusively for CPA Australia Public Practice Certificate holders is the Take a CPA with you brochure series. This series addresses a range of financial situations that your existing and potential clients may face, including Looking for the best in financial planning? and Searching for the best retirement plan?. Please note that obtaining the Financial Planning Specialisation does not in itself entitle members to use the CPA Australia CPA logo and other branding materials, including branded letterhead. This is a privilege reserved for public practitioners only. CPA Australia s Find a Financial Planner website facility CPA Australia members who hold the Financial Planning Specialisation also have the option to register for CPA Australia s Find a Financial Planner facility. This is similar to the Find a CPA facility but is expanded to cover financial planning practitioners as well as principals in practice. By registering for the referral service on your application for the specialisation, you will receive maximum benefit from the Find a Financial Planner facility. This includes details of the type of clients serviced so suitable matches can be made (e.g. area of expertise). The Find a Financial Planner facility is also promoted via other websites including MoneySmart, a website run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to help people make smart choices about their personal finances. Your completion of the application to be listed on the referral service indicates your agreement to maintain the currency of your listing. This includes notifying CPA Australia if you change your licence* details. CPA Australia does not levy any ongoing additional membership fee for CPA (FPS). * Throughout this document licence refers to either an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence or authorised representative of an AFS licence. 2

3 The CPA Australia Financial Planning Specialisation The CPA Australia Financial Planning Specialisation is a mark of excellence in financial planning. As such, you must demonstrate you meet specific education and experience requirements to be awarded the specialisation. Recognised financial planning qualification Recognised taxation studies (if not completed within recognised financial planning qualification) Three years approved financial planning experience (in the immediate past five years) CPA Australia Financial Planning Specialisation CPA (FPS) Education To meet the education requirements for the Financial Planning Specialisation, you must successfully complete a recognised financial planning qualification and specific studies in taxation. Recognised financial planning qualifications The following list of qualifications are recognised for the purposes of the Financial Planning Specialisation: + + Degree major in financial planning* + + Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning + + Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning + + Masters of Financial Planning + + Bachelor of Financial Advising + + Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning) + + Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning) + + FPA s CFP Certification Program (Units 1-4)* + + FPA s CFP Certification Program (Units 1-5)* * Please note these are the only two programs offered by the FPA which meet the recognised financial planning qualifications for the Specialisation. Recognised taxation studies The following courses are recognised for the purposes of the Financial Planning Specialisation: + + Advanced Taxation or Taxation segment from the CPA Program professional level + + appropriate undergraduate studies in tax + + appropriate postgraduate studies in tax or + + the Tax module from the Chartered Accountants Program or the Tax Institute. An exemption from this requirement will be granted if you hold current registration as a Registered Tax Agent in Australia. 3

4 Experience To meet the experience requirements, you must have a minimum of three years experience in financial planning in the immediate past five years, with specific experience in at least the first four of the following areas: + + personal financial planning process + + personal income tax planning + + risk management planning + + investment planning + + retirement planning + + estate planning. Testimonials Two testimonials must be supplied with your application for the Financial Planning Specialisation. The purpose of the testimonials is to validate your experience. The testimonials must be specific to the core areas listed above - a general testimonial letter will not be accepted. Testimonials must be provided by two of the following: + + your current AFS licence holder / Responsible Manager of the AFS licence + + your current employer + + your former employer / AFS licensee + + CPA or FCPA (Fellow) but this person cannot be an Associate member of CPA Australia + + full member of a recognised International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) professional body listed on ifac.org/about/member-bodies. A checklist has been included on page 6 of this handbook to help you assess your eligibility for the Financial Planning Specialisation. Additional requirements for members in public practice CPA Australia s definition of Public Accounting Services includes Financial Planning (By-Laws definition). Therefore, if you are a principal in practice, under the By-Laws you must hold a public practice certificate. This requirement applies to both holders of an Australian Financial Services Licence and authorised representatives of a licensee who fulfil a principal role within their practice. Applying for a public practice certificate requires completion of CPA Australia s Practice Management distance learning program and other requirements as stated in the By-Laws. Further, public practice certificate holders are subject to CPA Australia s Quality Review Program. Information about the Practice Management distance learning program can be found at cpaaustralia.com.au/publicpracticeprogram. Information about public practice By-Laws and the Quality Review Program can be found at cpaaustralia.com.au/practicemanagement. 4

5 How to apply for the Financial Planning Specialisation The application form The Financial Planning Specialisation application form can be downloaded from the CPA Australia website. Application fee There is an initial application fee of AUD$138 to apply for the Financial Planning Specialisation. The fee can be paid by cheque or credit card. There is no ongoing additional fee to maintain the specialisation. Supporting documentation References A hard copy of the following reference material must be submitted with your application form: + + a certified copy of your academic transcripts for all courses referenced in the application form (originals will not be returned) + + evidence that you are currently licensed either through holding an Australian Financial Services Licence or as a representative / authorised representative of a licensee + + a copy of your Registered Tax Agent status (where applicable). Testimonials Two detailed testimonials must be provided to validate your financial planning experience. The testimonials must be provided by two of the following: + + your current AFS licence holder / Responsible Manager of the AFS licence + + your current employer + + your former employer / AFS licensee + + CPA or FCPA (Fellow) but this person cannot be an Associate member of CPA Australia + + full member of a recognised International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) professional body listed on ifac.org/about/member-bodies. A checklist has been included on page 7 of this handbook to help you prepare your application for the Financial Planning Specialisation. 5

6 Are you eligible for the Financial Planning Specialisation? The following checklist will help you assess whether you currently meet the requirements to be awarded the CPA Australia Financial Planning Specialisation. Are you a CPA or FCPA? Are you a licensed financial planner? Education Have you completed one of the following financial planning qualifications? Degree major in financial planning Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning Masters of Financial Planning Bachelor of Financial Advising Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning) Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning) FPA s CFP Certification Program (Units 1-4)* FPA s CFP Certification Program (Units 1-5)* Experience Have you had at least three years experience in the immediate past five years, including experience in at least the first four of the following areas? personal financial planning process personal income tax planning risk management planning investment planning retirement planning estate planning * Please note these are the only two programs offered by the FPA which meet the recognised financial planning qualifications for the Specialisation. Have you completed specific studies in tax through one of the following? Advanced Taxation or Taxation segment from the CPA Program professional level appropriate undergraduate studies in tax appropriate postgraduate studies in tax the Tax Module from the Chartered Accountants Program or the Tax Institute Registered Tax Agent A checklist has been included on page 7 of this handbook to help you prepare your application for the Financial Planning Specialisation. 6

7 Preparing your application References and other documentation Have you included certified copies of your academic transcript for all courses listed in your application? Have you provided evidence that you have completed the relevant tax studies through providing a certified copy of one of the following? academic transcript or registration as a Registered Tax Agent. Please note that if you have completed your tax studies with CPA Australia, you are not required to provide this evidence. Have you obtained two written detailed testimonials to validate your experience? Have your testimonials been completed by two of the following? your current AFS licence holder / Responsible Manager of the AFS licence your current employer your former employer / AFS licensee CPA or FCPA (Fellow) but this person cannot be an Associate member of CPA Australia full member of a recognised International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) professional body listed on ifac.org/about/member-bodies. Application form Have you completed all sections of the application form? Have you signed the declaration? Have you provided credit card details or enclosed a cheque for the application fee? Have you completed the Find a Financial Planner referral section of the application form? Contact details Further information about the CPA Australia Financial Planning Specialisation, including the CPA (FPS) application form, can be found at cpaaustralia.com.au/fps. Telephone: (in Australia) or (outside Australia) Have you provided evidence that you are currently licensed (Australian Financial Services Licensee or representative / authorised representative of a licensee)? 7

8 CPA227266_WL 06/2012 CPA /2012

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