Chartered financial consultant is an independent certification issued by The American College of Financial Services (ACFS). A chartered financial consultant (CFC) is a person who is employed by a bank, building society, or other money lending organization and is trained to offer advice and assistance to accountants, estate planners, solicitors, and other professional financial services professionals on the financial products and services offered by a particular company.
There are many different types of chartered financial consultants. They include investment bankers, debt specialists, estate agents, international finance specialists, wealth advisers, personal financial planners, real estate brokers, insurance underwriters and mortgage brokers.
A chartered financial consultant can also be called a professional designations or rating service. These professional designations are also known as:
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Certified Real Estate appraiser
- Registered Retirement Income
- Professional (RRI). Some professional financial advisors also use the term ‘designated accountant’ or ‘registered professional financial advisor.’
The most common certifications are the following: Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Registered Retirement Income Professional (RRI). These three designations are recognized by most professional associations. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designations require completion and a third examination from among fifty percent of the certified accountants registered in the United States. These designations of a chartered financial consultant are usually a means of promoting a certain set of financial advisors.
The next designation after CMA is the CFP (Certified Financial Planner), which requires completion of at least fifty percent of the CMA examination and a qualifying exam from among fifty percent of the planners practicing in the United States. The designation of CFP is for a person whose profession is focused upon planning and retirement. The next designation is the RPI (Registered Retirement Income) planner, who must have at least two years of experience plus two years of study at an RIA (Registered Investment Advisors) institution. The last designation is the CFA (Certified Financial Analyst), which requires completion of a professional degree from an accredited university or any other institutes approved by the US Department of Education.
In addition to the professional experience requirements, many organizations of chartered financial consultants specify the number of hours of training their counselors should have. Chartered financial consultants working for different insurance companies have different experience requirements. The minimum requirement is five years of relevant experience. In addition to experience requirements, the professional conduct or ethical standards of the chartered financial consultant are examined. In United States, these professionals are required to meet certain ethical standards, including:
In general, a chartered financial analyst are required to have a master’s degree in finance or accountancy, or to have passed the CFA exam. Some states also require the individual to have a minimum of three years of experience in financial planning or securities market investment. Chartered financial planners working for brokerage firms are required to have at least a master’s degree in finance or accountancy and at least three years of experience in financial analysis. In United Kingdom, these professionals are required to have at least a master’s degree in accountancy and at least two years of experience in financial analysis or securities market investment.
The United States, Canada and UK offer various chartered courses, which offer the knowledge and skills employers look for in a financial planner. These courses include courses on basic finance, taxation, public health, risk management and ethics. They also offer courses in estate planning and asset protection. The CFPA (Certified Financial Planner), a professional body similar to the FPA (Food and Drug Administration), is a test that the prospective chartered financial planner has to pass before being given a CFPA certification. The certification proves that the planner has completed a 3-year course in accounting, finance, public health and insurance and risk management. Only the most experienced and specialized financial planners can get a CFP (Chartered Financial Professional) certification.
There are many chartered financial professionals in the US and UK with a wide range of experience. Some of them specialize in wealth management, pension fund administration, asset protection, estate planning and portfolio management. Many financial professionals also provide consulting services to medium and large companies. They organize interdepartmental and interprofessional communications and strategic planning, along with client-driven strategies and financial solutions. They can help you plan and manage your retirement accounts, payables, mortgages and annuities.