How often are the checklists and flowcharts updated?

Members frequently ask, “How does fpPathfinder update checklists, flowcharts, and summary guides?” The following explains how we approach guide updates.

The Team

Let’s start with the most important part of the guide update equation: The team. Without a doubt, there’s no substitute for having CFP®-credentialed advisors annually review and audit the checklists, flowcharts, and summary guides to ensure accuracy. When the fpPathfinder team updates guides, members receive a notification of the change. What’s more, the team will mark the guides as updated in the member section. 

The Updates

The following are the notable changes that will kick off review and updates: 

  1. Legislation or regulations are proposed but not finalized: We may make a note on the guide description page to alert fpPathfinders' members that a guide may be affected by proposed laws and regulations. In this scenario, the team will refrain from materially updating the guides until proposals are finalized. In certain cases, the team may create a guide purely on the proposed regulations if the change is expected to ignite a lot of planning questions. 
  2. Legislation signed into law: When there is new legislation, the team will take one of the following steps:
    • Make a note on the guide description page that the new regulations or laws may affect the guide.
    • If the new legislation is significant, the team may prepare a guide that addresses any new planning issues that relate to the legislation.
    • Generally, however, because most legislation that passes does not become law immediately, the team will wait until Q1 to incorporate new legislation. This helps mitigate any last-minute changes before the team begins the process. 
  3. Annual limits: As the various annual limits are published, the team identifies the checklists, flowcharts, and summary guides they affect and queues them for updates before the end of the year.  

The Timeline

It takes time, clarity, and organization to update and maintain the guides. The following offers insight into the process the fpPathfinder team follows:

  1. During Q1 of each year, the team focuses on reviewing the guides to incorporate any new laws or legislation that went into effect in the new year.
  2. During Q2 and Q3, the team reviews the existing guides to ensure they are accurate and have incorporated member feedback. While our audit process occurs throughout the year looking for critical errors, this is when we may address non-urgent issues (such as enhanced clarity or additional planning points).
  3. During Q4, the team reviews all guides and updates the annual limited as needed. The Important Numbers guide is the first guide to be updated as soon as the annual limits are published. The team then updates the remaining guides by the end of the year.

Our Purpose

All of us at fpPathfinder are here to facilitate more diligent communication between you and your clients about financial planning topics. To support you, our team creates checklists, flowcharts, and summary guides so you can navigate client communications with confidence. The process our team follows speaks to the purposeful craftsmanship with which we approach every guide. 

If you are an fpPathfinder member, you already understand how important the updates are. It’s wonderful to have what you need at your fingertips. You’ll never wonder if you’re looking at the most current, relevant information, and you can proceed with confidence.

Not yet an fpPathfinder member? We can help you with that. You can visit the Become A Member page to explore Premier, Deluxe, and Essentials membership and select the one that moves you closer to your goals. If you’d like a more personalized experience, register for a live demo with the fpPathfinder team. Bring your questions and we’ll be happy to answer them on the spot. 

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