CFP stands for Certified Financial Planner certification. Obtaining a certificate is not an easy task, it is necessary to fulfill several requirements and pass a difficult exam. It takes several years to fulfill all the requirements. The CFP certificate opens the door not only to large companies. It is also useful for small companies, banks, audit offices.
Certificates are issued by member organizations of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB). As of 01/01/2018, 24 national organizations are members of the FPSB, which are delegated powers in terms of receiving and considering applications, organizing exams and issuing certificates. In the USA it is the Certified Financial Planning Standards Board (CFP Board), in the UK it is the Securities and Investments Institute (CISI).
Having a certificate means that the specialist is a professional in the field of finance, he has a specialized higher education, at least 2 years of work experience, he constantly improves his educational level.
Certification is in demand among financiers, auditors, accountants, investment management consultants, financial risk managers, analysts, tax managers. The bulk of applicants are residents of the USA, Canada, Australia, countries of Western Europe and East Asia.
In Russia, CFP is not popular, given that it is necessary to study and take exams abroad and in a foreign language (usually in English). On the other hand, CFP status is necessary for those who plan their activities in America, Europe or East Asia.
For initial certification, a candidate must meet three categories of requirements (education, experience and ethics) and pass an exam.
You must have a bachelor's degree or higher, or its equivalent from an accredited university. Accreditation must be recognized by the Ministry of Education of the country in which the application is made. International diplomas can be replaced by a bachelor's degree from the respective country if they are validated by an independent evaluation agency - a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
It is necessary to complete a course at a college or university in a program registered with the FPSB, with term paper writing. The course focuses on topics such as property, insurance, tax planning and investment activities.
Holders of international qualifications CPA, ACCA, CFA have the right to register and take the exam without taking the course.
This is a 6-hour exam divided into two two-hour sessions with a 40-minute break in between. The exam consists of 170 questions: tests, independent questions, case studies, mini-cases.
The candidate must demonstrate work experience in the field of financial planning:
3 years (minimum 2000 working hours per year) or 2 years Apprenticeship Experience (activities under the direct supervision of a professional from the FPSB).
The application for certification has a separate section on ethics. Here the candidate must provide information about all precedents of bankruptcy, liquidation, internal and external investigations during his activities.
From the moment of successfully passing the exam, the candidate has 5 years to confirm work experience, a bachelor's degree and submit a package of documents to the FPSB national center. Therefore, the minimum period for obtaining a certificate is 5.5 years, taking into account the completion of the FPSB course (4-8 weeks) and preparation for the exam.
The cost of a CFP depends on which national organization the applicant is studying under. For example, in the USA the cost of a 4-8 week course varies between $695-1285. Plus registration fees and fees for study materials ($100-200). More details on the CFP Board website.
The cost of the final exam in the US is $100. In addition, CFP holders pay an annual fee. In the US, this amount is $325.
CFP has a number of alternatives: