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What’s Inside the New Guide to CFP Board’s Technology Standard?

Matt Schulte April 24, 2024

A financial professional working on their laptop.

Technology is a critical tool in every financial planning firm, and it is important for financial professionals to use it competently and ethically. CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct outlines Duties When Selecting, Using, and Recommending Technology (the “Technology Standard”) that a CFP® professional must comply with. Given the swift pace of technological advancements, navigating the technology landscape and complying with these duties can feel like a daunting task for financial professionals.

CFP Board recently published the Guide to CFP Board’s Technology Standard, a comprehensive resource for CFP® professionals to use in complying with the Technology Standard.

I had the privilege of being part of the team of CFP board staff and industry leaders that participated in the creation of the guide and I’m excited to share this valuable resource with you.

Introducing The Guide to CFP Board’s Technology Standard

We worked hard to develop a valuable resource with practical insights for the financial planning community. The guide focuses on financial planning software, but it can be applied to all technology that a CFP® professional selects, uses, or recommends, including advanced artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

Inside the guide, you’ll find an in-depth review of six key considerations for satisfying CFP Board’s Technology Standard. Those key considerations are:

  1. Reasonably understand the technology platform and how each component is used to provide professional services.
  2. Monitor and assess the technology platform for any issues or gaps that would prevent you from acting in your clients’ best interests.
  3. If responsible for selecting technologies or vendors, conduct appropriate due diligence.
  4. Have the relevant knowledge and skill to use the technology when providing professional services to a client.
  5. Know which assumptions are embedded in the technology and whether these assumptions are appropriate.
  6. Review the reliability, accuracy, and objectivity of the technology’s outcomes against the client’s information and underlying assumptions.

In addition to the guide, CFP Board developed practical resources that you can reference and adapt to meet your needs when you are evaluating technology. They include:

  • Four sample questionnaires that can be used to evaluate core financial planning technologies, common features and capabilities of technology, technology and vendors, and financial planning software’s assumptions and outcomes.
  • A technology evaluation checklist that can be used when determining whether to add or replace technology, or when selecting vendors.

The technology landscape changes rapidly, which means you will need to regularly monitor and evaluate your existing tech stack and new technology to stay up to date.

When you are relying on memory or a few rules of thumb to complete these tasks, it can be easy to accidentally miss important questions. By utilizing this guide and implementing the questionnaires into your processes, you will ensure that you are thorough in your evaluations and ask the appropriate questions when implementing new technology.

Implement the Technology Guide in Your Practice

I’m excited that the financial planning community has access to this comprehensive resource to help them make good, informed technology decisions.

This guide is not something that you will consume once and never think about again, but a practical tool that you will be able to pull out of the drawer to review and reuse whenever you are bringing on new technology or thinking about changing your tech stack. Visit CFP Board to download the guide, sample questionnaires, and checklist.

DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.

Image of Matt Schulte
About the Author

As Head of Financial Planning, Matt focuses on helping clients fully utilize eMoney's dynamic financial planning tools. As one of the founding employees of eMoney Advisor, he has made significant contributions towards the feature-set definition of the platform. With over 20 years of experience in financial services, Matt and his team of Certified Financial Planners help clients implement practice management strategies on an in-depth level to collaborate and achieve business results.

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