CGFO Program


A CGFO Designation:

  • Distinguishes you as a business professional who is committed to a strict code of ethics
  • Confirms substantial knowledge of accounting, finance, and important related fields and demonstrates the ability to integrate this information into the business decision process
  • Demonstrates your commitment to personal professional development
  • Provides an opportunity to assess and demonstrate capabilities and expand knowledge base
  • Distinguishes you from peers and proves your commitment to excellence and lifelong learning
  • Expands career options
  • Identifies you as a motivated professional for hiring, recognition, and advancement purposes
  • Personal satisfaction


Minimum Qualifications

  • Active member of FGFOA
  • Apply for admission into certification program
  • Fulfill educational credentials
  • Satisfy the three year experience requirement
  • Successfully complete an open book Ethics Exam (achieve a minimum score of 75%)
  • Pass all five parts of the certification exam
  • Comply with FGFOA Code of Ethics


How do I apply?

  • Complete the online application
    • Application must include a minimum of two letters of recommendation
    • Once approved by the committee, the candidate will be sent an open book Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees Examination, which must be completed within 30 days. After the candidate has successfully passed the Ethics Exam, the candidate may sign up for one or more of the CGFO examinations.


What is the cost of the program?

There is a $50.00 non-refundable application fee and a $30.00 sitting fee for each exam. 


What type of continuing education is required to maintain a CGFO?

After certification, the program requires 80 hours of CPEs every two years.  Some of these credits may be earned by professional involvement with the FGFOA or the GFOA or similar associations.  


After becoming a qualified candidate, when do I sit for the exam?

When you have qualified to sit for the exam, including successfully passing the Ethics Exam, and have paid for your exams in advance, you may sit for the exam. A deferral of the exam is good for one session only, and it is assumed that you will take the exam at the next available date.  If no advance notice is provided, exam fees are forfeited. 


How frequently is the exam given and when?

The exam is given three times a year:

  • Spring (at various locations)
  • FGFOA Annual Conference
  • FGFOA School of Governmental Finance


What if I don’t pass the exam on the first try?

You have up to five years to pass all five parts of the exam before you must reapply and re-pay the $50.00 application fee.  Each time you take an exam, you must pay the $30 exam fee.  This fee is to help defray administrative costs of the program.


What are the application deadlines?

Applications must be received 60 days prior to an exam date in order to sit for exams.  For example, for March 30th exam date, your application must be received by January 30th.


How many times are review sessions offered?

The CGFO review sessions are held twice a year.  Prior to spring exams they are offered via webinar.  In the fall, they are offered in person in conjunction with the School of Governmental Finance, usually in October.  Review course webinars are $25.00 per session and in-person review courses are $45.00 per session.


Do I need to take the exam review sessions?

Review sessions are recommended but not required.  The candidate should study sufficiently on their own using the suggested review material to help them pass the exam. The review classes are not intended to be a substitute for proper preparation for the exam.  Prepare by making a personal commitment to self-study, sharpen knowledge of exam topics, and restore test-taking skills.  

For additional assistance, please contact
Karen Pastula at (850) 701-3618.