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We strive to bring our clients world class service by adhering to the principles of lifelong learning. The staff at Ray CPA have achieved various specialized credentials throughout their careers. The individuals at our Firm have been carefully selected to bring together a team that will maximize your chances for success. You can read about our Credentials below.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) CPAs are licensed and regulated by their state boards of accountancy.  The state of Texas requirements for licensure as a CPA include minimum college education (150 credit hours with at least a baccalaureate degree and a concentration in accounting), at least one year of experience providing services that involve the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills, all of which must be achieved under the supervision of or verification by a CPA, and successful passage of the Uniform CPA Examination.  In order to maintain a CPA license, Texas requires the completion of 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each year.  Additionally, all American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) members are required to follow a rigorous Code of Professional Conduct which requires that they act with integrity, objectivity, due care, competence, fully disclose any conflicts of interest (and obtain client consent if a conflict exists), maintain client confidentiality, disclose to the client any commission or referral fees, and serve the public interest when providing financial services. The vast majority of state boards of accountancy have adopted the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct within their state accountancy laws or have created their own.

The Juris Doctorate (J.D.) represents professional recognition that the holder has a doctoral degree in law. Professional Juris Doctor (J.D.) programs require roughly 80-90 semester credits of graduate study. J.D. programs typically take three years of full-time study. Programs begin with core courses on topics such as criminal procedure, contract law, torts and constitutional law. The second and third years allow for more flexibility, giving students the opportunity to take elective courses almost exclusively. 

Admission into a J.D. program requires a bachelor's degree in any field, or prospective students must be in the final year of undergraduate study when they're applying. Students must also have a qualifying score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). 

Master of Science in Taxation (MST) A Master of Science in taxation degree typically consists of approximately 30 courses covering general and specialized tax subjects such as estate and gift tax; partnerships; C corporations; LLCs and S corporations; multi-state tax; international tax; retirement plans; tax issues for individuals; and tax research.

Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) A Master of Science in Accounting degree typically consists of approximately 30 courses covering general and specialized subjects such as Accounting Information Systems; Auditing; Taxation; and Management Accounting.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a postgraduate degree that is awarded to students who have mastered the study of business. The MBA degree is thought to be one of the most prestigious and sought after degrees in the world. 

Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) The PFS credential demonstrates that an individual has met the minimum education, experience and testing required of a CPA in addition to a minimum level of expertise in personal financial planning.  To attain the PFS credential, a candidate must hold an unrevoked CPA license, fulfill 3,000 hours of personal financial planning business experience, complete 75 hours of personal financial planning CPE credits, pass a comprehensive financial planning exam and be an active member of the AICPA.  A PFS credential holder is required to adhere to AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct, and is encouraged to follow AICPA’sStatement on Responsibilities in Financial Planning Practice.  To maintain their PFS credential, the recipient must complete 60 hours of financial planning CPE credits every three years. The PFS credential is administered through the AICPA.

A CPA/PFS can provide you with services ranging from an informal personal consultation to a comprehensive financial plan, carefully tailored to your needs and circumstances. These highly individualized professional services will help you to:

  • Manage cash flow.
  • Build retirement savings.
  • Develop an estate plan.
  • Minimize tax liability.
  • Maximize the return on investments.
  • Manage financial risk.
  • Determine insurance needs.
  • Build education funds.
  • Plan for the care of elderly parents.
  • Purchase a vacation home.
  • Make the most of real estate investments

You've invested countless hours and hard earned dollars to achieve all that you now have. But getting ahead is getting harder every day. The world of financial planning is becoming more complex: Tax laws keep changing, the real estate market is in transition and a winning investment is more difficult to predict than ever before. That's why the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has created the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) program.

CPAs who have earned the PFS designation have demonstrated their ability to guide you through the confusing financial environment. Whether you need to build college funds for your newborn or develop investment strategies for retirement, a CPA/PFS is the one who can best maximize the effectiveness of your personal financial plans.

Personal financial planning is a process. It begins with an initial plan that is based on your current financial situation. The plan is then monitored so that it changes along with your lifestyle and the financial marketplace.

Financial planning means more than just choosing the mutual fund with the best current yield or deciding to buy a particular life insurance policy. It is the successful integration of your goals, resources, stage of life, and tolerance for risk.

In today's volatile economy, you cannot afford to leave your financial plans to chance. Invest in yourself...select the best. Select a CPA/PFS..

CPA/PFS....The Mark of Distinction

When you select a PFS, you are entrusting your financial well-being to a highly qualified professional who has pledged to upload a strict code of conduct -- mandated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Candidates for the PFS designation must first be CPAs. The CPA credential, in and of itself, implies a great deal of education, experience and technical skill. Furthermore, a CPA/PFS must:

  • Be an AICPA member in good standing and agree to comply with continuing professional education and reaccredidation requirements.
  • Have at least three years of personal financial planning experience, which must be documented with letters from clients and peers.
  • Demonstrate special competence by passing a comprehensive financial planning examination.

Once a CPA earns the PFS designation, he or she must work to keep it by becoming reaccredited every three years. This process includes taking continuing professional education to stay abreast of the latest developments.

In addition, CPAs with the PFS designation must periodically evaluate and document the professional quality of their practices to ensure that they meet the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. The CPA/PFS must also continue to practice personal financial planning. If the nature of the CPA's practice changes and the number of financial planning hours drops below the minimum required, the CPA will lose the PFS designation.

All Financial Planners are Not Created Equal

Find out whether your financial planner has earned the right to use the initials "CPA" for certified public accountant. These letters are your assurance of competence, objectivity and integrity.

After completing the various levels of higher education, CPA candidates must pass a rigorous examination. In most cases, they must also work under a CPA's supervision for a specified period of time required by the CPA's state board of accountancy.

The CPA also is qualified to work with other professional advisers, such as attorneys, insurance agents, stockbrokers, and bankers, to help you secure the best possible financial future.

For more than 100 years, CPAs have been trusted financial advisers to businesses as well as to individuals. Therefore, they come to the financial planning marketplace with broad-based knowledge, including tax, audit, financial consulting, and small business expertise. CPAs who are financial planning professionals understand the framework of finance and the business world far beyond your personal financial planning needs.

The AICPA is the national professional association of CPAs and has more than 300,000 members. AICPA members are committed to the highest standards of quality, objectivity and ethics. In its continuing efforts to serve the public interest, the AICPA sets audit standards, upholds the profession's code of conduct, provides continuing professional education, implements peer review and quality review programs, and prepares and grades the Uniform CPA and Personal Financial Specialist examinations.

The Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) is a specialty designation that identifies CPAs with the unique ability to bridge between business and technology while meeting the strict requirements for a CPA license as well as additional training and experience in Emerging Trends, IT Assurance and Risk, Business Solutions, Data Analytics and Security and Privacy.

The CITP Body of Knowledge represents the fundamental concepts of information management and technology assurance.  The qualifying areas of knowledge for CITP credential holders consist of:

·         Risk Assessment

·         Fraud Considerations

·         Internal Control and IT General Controls

·         Evaluate, Test and Report

·         Information Management and Business Intelligence

Today’s business must be lean. Systems and processes must operate in the most efficient and effective manner possible while maintaining compliance with strict regulatory requirements. The CPA has always served as a trusted adviser to the business marketplace, but as business processes become even more dependent on information technology, companies rely on financial professionals who can bridge the gap between business and technology. That’s where CPA.CITPs come in. IT experience and an astute understanding of financial transaction workflows and the financial reporting supply chain makes the CPA.CITP ideally suited to help organizations streamline business processes, maximize productivity and manage risk.

CPA.CITPs help organizations:

Implement and use workflow applications and process alerts to streamline operations, automate controls and improve managerial oversight.

In addition, the knowledge and experience CITPs gain as part of their CPA training gives them the skills they need to effectively:

Evaluate risk and manage the security of digital assets and information systems

Mitigate threats originating within or outside an organization’s security perimeter.

Consider the value of consulting with a CPA.CITP to ensure your business is taking advantage of the true benefits that IT promises, but often can’t deliver without appropriate guidance, current knowledge and experience.

CPAs who hold the Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) Credential are recognized for their technology expertise and ability to bridge the gap between business and technology. Unlike other certifications, the CITP credential recognizes technical expertise across a wide range of business technology practice areas. This unique, multi-disciplinary perspective enables the CPA.CITP to help employers or clients better navigate IT-related risk and the opportunities that technology affords. CPA.CITPs deal with key business initiatives that require deep business process knowledge and strong IT expertise. They help ensure the technology being implemented supports the organization’s strategy and its technical architecture and integration framework. Other professionals lack the experience in both areas necessary to bring a balanced perspective and optimized solution to the table.

Why Partner with a CPA.CITP?

CPA.CITPs have a strong background in understanding and implementing internal controls, and are in tune with regulatory and compliance standards critical in today’s business environment.

CPA.CITPs understand that information is a valuable business asset that can help organizations make informed decisions while mitigating loss.

CPA.CITPs are knowledgeable about information systems architecture, financial information flows and how to pull together important data from disparate IT systems to create valuable business intelligence. CPA.CITPs understand business process improvement and can help organizations implement and support efficient and compliant business processes and reporting procedures.

Working with CPAs who understand and help design core systems and processes will ensure proper controls are in place, and systems and processes are designed with business value in mind. You don’t implement systems just to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ – you do it because it adds value to the business.