First cash-flow designation launches

By Melissa Shin | November 12, 2013 | Last updated on November 17, 2023
2 min read

There’s now a designation for advisors who work on debt and cash planning with clients: Certified Cash Flow Specialist (CCS).

It’s the first in Canada, says Stephanie Holmes-Winton, the designation’s founder and CEO of The Money Finder Financial Services Training Inc. “This program will give financial professionals a process, skill set and tools that are practically non-existent in the financial services world today,” she adds.

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The CCS is worth 30.75 CE credits from the Institute for Advanced Financial Education and requires a 70% average on all tests to pass. Participants have 12 months from the date of enrollment to complete the designation’s requirements.

To renew the designation, advisors must complete six CCS CE credits and six other financial CE credits each year. They must also complete an annual case study and prove they’ve done a minimum number of cash-flow plans per year.

“We don’t give the [exact] formula we use to determine how many plans is enough,” says Holmes-Winton, “because we don’t want [designation holders] just to do enough plans to qualify. We want cash-flow planning to be an active part of their businesses.”

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She says the formula involves the number of clients seen per year, the number of clients in the book, and the number of cash-flow plans that are “reasonable to do in a month.”

Such requirements are deliberately tough, says Holmes-Winton. “We’ll have greater credibility if we enforce a higher standard and do not make exceptions. I’d rather it be more work and have fewer CCSs in Canada, than have hundreds more CCSs and have to live with the fact that most of them aren’t doing cash-flow planning.”

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The CCS organization expects to certify 30 people by the end of 2013 and 100 more by the end of 2014, with a 10% to 15% increase per year after that. Fifteen people are already enrolled in the designation.

The certification costs $5,000 for self-directed learning or $500 per month for 12 monthly module lessons.

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Melissa Shin

Melissa is the editorial director of and leads Newcom Media Inc.’s group of financial publications. She has been with the team since 2011 and been recognized by PMAC and CFA Society Toronto for her reporting. Reach her at You may also call or text 416-847-8038 to provide a confidential tip.