Considering the GFOA's Certified Public Finance Officers Program

By Jadali, Joan | Government Finance Review, August 2012 | Go to article overview

Considering the GFOA's Certified Public Finance Officers Program


Jadali, Joan, Government Finance Review


The Certified Public Finance Officers Program (CPFO) reached a milestone in summer 2012, when the 500th person completed the requirements to be a CPFO. The Government Finance Officers Association's CPFO certification program is designed to prepare government employees for financial leadership positions in local and state government. This self-study program provides a broad overview of five major disciplines in public finance: treasury and investment management; governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting; operating and capital budgeting; retirement and benefits, risk management, and procurement; and debt management. Obtaining the CPFO designation is an important step in a finance officer's career.

HOW IT WORKS

Candidates have three opportunities a year to test their knowledge in the area they are studying; eventually, they are tested in all five disciplines. Many state associations host the CPFO testing as part of their annual conferences. For example, the GFOA of Missouri offers a testing session in all five exam areas at its annual spring conference. In addition, the GFOA now allows individuals to take the test in local jurisdictions, after pre-registering. To maintain the certification, CPFOs participate in 60 hours of continuing education every two years. The continuing education requirement keeps CPFOs up to date on current trends and innovations in government finance.

The CPFO designation says that an individual has demonstrated competencies in the major disciplines of public finance. One CPFO said this was the only program she had found that helps candidates learn the specific and practical aspects of governmental accounting. This certification gives finance professionals a large volume of resources to use in delving into and strategizing in areas they doesn't normally address. Another CPFO noted that the broad spectrum of knowledge gained through the study process is invaluable, regardless of one's position in government finance.

THE EXAM AREAS

Each examination requires individuals to demonstrate knowledge of specific subject matter. The treasury and investment management examination is arranged around three main topics: investing, managing banking services, and general treasury management. Recommended reading material for these core areas provides important information on processes for establishing an investment policy, investment economics (such as the yield curve, strategy, monitoring financial markets, and interest rates), and bank depository and custodian selection. Other topics in this category are cash flow forecasting, short-term borrowing methods and instruments, internal controls, and use of technology. In my own experience, this core area provided a more comprehensive understanding of investment policies and parameters that helped me improve the investment policy for the City of Webster Groves, Missouri.

The governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting category focuses on three main areas for testing: accounting and internal control, auditing, and financial reporting. The main source of reading material is Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting, also known as the Blue Book. More specific topics include evaluating control-related policies and procedures, internal control and fraud prevention, auditing standards, independent auditor's reports and findings, fund accounting and fund financial statements, measurement focus, and basis of accounting. Mastering this material means a candidate thoroughly understands the required components of the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Considering the GFOA's Certified Public Finance Officers Program
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.