AICPA Announces Successful Launch of Personal Financial Planning Program for College Accounting Students

August 15, 2017

NEW YORK (August 15, 2017) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) today announced the successful introduction of the University Program in Personal Financial Planning (PFP Program). The coursework focuses on estate, retirement, risk management/insurance, investment, and tax planning and targets accounting majors who plan to become CPAs.

To date, the AICPA has worked with multiple colleges and universities to launch the coursework on campus as well as with several schools whose new or existing coursework aligns with the PFP Body of Knowledge and the PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) credential exam. The Institute plans to expand the program in the coming year. The introduction of the PFP Program is timely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal financial planners is projected to grow 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, this is primarily due to an aging population with a longer life expectancy. In addition, trillions of dollars will be transferred from one generation to the next in the coming decades, increasing the need for a strong pipeline of CPA financial planners. The PFP Program is a way for universities to help their accounting students position themselves to meet this rising demand.

“The AICPA is encouraged by the successful launch of the PFP Program,” said Andrea Millar, CPA/PFS, AICPA director of financial planning. “We’ve partnered with a great group of colleges and universities to help prepare students to enter the accounting profession equipped with the skillset they’ll need to provide clients with top quality, integrated personal financial planning services.”

The AICPA Personal Financial Planning Division provides support to help universities incorporate the program into their curriculum. In addition to working directly with the school to answer questions about the course materials, the AICPA helps to identify leaders within the state who are subject matter experts for purposes of teaching a course or providing guest lectures.

To date, the program has been implemented and coursework aligned with the PFP Body of Knowledge and PFS credential exam at eleven universities, with plans for increased expansion. Universities with the PFP Program incorporated into their curriculum include:

  • Albertus Magnus College
  • Arizona State University
  • Chapman University
  • East Central University, Oklahoma
  • Long Island University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Washington University in St. Louis

A comprehensive course, “Essentials of Personal Financial Planning,” introduces the fundamentals of all the major topics of personal financial planning, demonstrating their interconnectivity and the professional opportunities available for CPA financial planners. The accompanying textbook and instructor support materials highlight the integrated nature of the core areas of financial planning with tax planning. In that regard, the course path covers material that aligns with the PFP Body of Knowledge and the PFS  exam administered by the AICPA.

“CPAs, with their foundational understanding of tax and well-earned reputation as trusted advisors, are extremely well positioned to offer their clients integrated tax and financial planning services,” said Jeannette Koger, CPA, AICPA vice president of Advisory Services and Credentialing. “We know that approximately 120,000 CPAs currently provide financial planning services to some degree. The PFP Program will play a central role in providing the next generation of students with a path to become CPA financial planners and CPA/PFS credential holders.”

Courses in the PFP Program help students satisfy the accounting hours needed to meet the CPA education requirement. As an added benefit, students enrolled in the PFP Program and their professors are eligible to take the PFS exam at no charge. Visit to learn more about this program.