Designation certifies advanced education, training and experience in financial planning.
Hanover, PA – Karl A Lehman, a CPA, managing partner of Rager, Lehman & Houck, P.C. (RLH) in Hanover, PA, Westminster, MD and Frederick, MD has been awarded the Personal Financial Specialist (PFSSM) credential by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, joining an elite group of professionals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge of tax, estate, retirement, investment and insurance planning.
The PFS credential, established in 1987 by the AICPA, is awarded only to CPAs with extensive training and experience in financial planning. To earn the credential, CPAs must have at least 80 hours of personal financial planning education and 3,000 hours of planning experience within the previous five year period. They also must pass a comprehensive exam covering nine topic areas and be a member in good standing with the AICPA, binding them to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.
“Given their formal education and technical training in the areas of accountancy and taxation, CPAs are the most qualified, knowledgeable and objective financial planning professionals,” said Jeannette Koger, the AICPA’s director of specialized communities. “Supplementing this background with the PFS credential demonstrates a CPA’s commitment to providing the highest level of expert financial planning services. For clients, that translates to financial planning that is CPA strong -- comprehensive financial strategies that put their needs and interests first.”
Currently, more than 5,000 CPAs hold the PFS credential nationwide and many regularly appear on lists of top financial planners. In addition to meeting rigorous requirements to join this elite group, Lehman must meet recertification requirements every three years to maintain the credential.
“I am pleased to have been recognized by the AICPA with this credential and will work to continue to provide meaningful comprehensive planning services to our clients.” said Lehman.
Lehman is president and managing principal of RLH and has 39 years of experience in planning for businesses, individuals, not-for profit entities, estates and trusts in taxation, entity selection, succession and exit planning, mergers and acquisitions, business planning and projections, technology, retirement funding, education funding, investment analysis, and business profitability improvement strategies.
Carli D. Lehr, CPA, CVA, a Tax and Consulting Supervisor at Rager, Lehman & Houck, P.C. (RLH) in Hanover, has recently earned the professional designation of Certified Specialist in Estate Planning™ (CSEP). This designation was awarded by The National Institute for Excellence in Professional Education, LLC, in conjunction with various state societies of CPAs and Surgent McCoy CPE, LLC.
To earn this designation, Lehr was required to complete a curriculum of eight courses, meeting core and elective obligations ranging from basic ideas to advanced concepts. At the completion of each course, each candidate must earn a passing grade on a rigorous timed exam. Designation candidates are also required to meet prerequisites of education and experience and to meet high ethical standards. Lehr will also be required to meet ongoing standards of continuing education to retain this designation in good standing.
A 2005 graduate of Juniata College, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting, Lehr began work with RLH the same year. Since then, she has accumulated eight years of experience in the areas of estate and trust, business, individual, and not-for-profit taxation, business valuation, and management advisory services. In 2007, Lehr was awarded the designation of Certified Public Accountant by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy and in 2010, she was awarded the designation of Certified Valuation Analyst by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts.
The program is designed not only to promote professional competence in estate planning and trust taxation, but also to provide the public with a high standard by which estate-planning professionals may be judged. Those who have successfully earned the Certified Specialist in Estate Planning™ (CSEP) designation have achieved this goal through completion of an intensive series of integrated courses in this subject area, and thus have earned the practical knowledge necessary to provide the best possible service to the general public.