Certified Public Finance Officer

Candidates can find a complete list of exam host sites and register to take an exam at http://www.gfoa.org/cpfo-testing-schedule.

The IGFOA PEC/CPFO Team has drafted a Study Plan which is available for download at https://www.igfoa.org/content/documents/cpfo_study_plan_as_of_september_2018.pdf.  Please note that the Study Plan is current as of September 2018. 

The IGFOA PEC/CPFO Team offers CPFO exams across Illinois in 2018.  The role of the Professional Education Committee/CPFO Team is to support IGFOA members seeking the CPFO Certification. In addition to evaluating options for materials and review support for CPFO candidates, the Team is hosting the CPFO exam at various dates and locations throughout the State in 2018.
• Friday, April 20: Village of Vernon Hills, Village Hall 
 Thursday, May 31: City of Springfield, Wyndham Springfield - Conference Center 4 
 Monday, July 9: Village of Woodridge, Village Hall
 Saturday, September 15: Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette
 Sunday, September 16: Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette
 Friday November 16: Village of New Lenox, Village Hall

Although IGFOA is approved to host the CPFO exam, the National GFOA, in conjunction with Radford University, administers the CPFO program. Registration forms can be found at the links below. Candidates should mail registration forms and documentation of eligibility to the address on the application. The fee for taking the first exam in the program is $295. The fee for subsequent exams is $145.
2018 Application for GFOA Certification Examinations – New Candidate
2018 Application for GFOA Certification Examinations – Continuing Candidate

The exams are based primarily on a suggested reading list. CPFO candidates can purchase the publications from the GFOA at a 50 percent discount.  For more complete information on the CPFO program, please refer to the 2018 Candidates Guide to becoming a Certified Public Finance Officer, which can also be found at www.gfoa.org.

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) created the Certificated Public Finance Officer certification program in 1997. It is a self-study program designed to standardize the core knowledge needed for government finance with a focus on best practices and latest trends.To achieve the CPFO designation, a candidate must meet the eligibility requirements and successfully complete a series of certification exams. The eligibility requirements are summarized below. 

1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. 
2. Accept and observe the GFOA Code of Professional Ethics. 
3. Be employed primarily by a government (or if unemployed, most recently employed by a government and actively seeking employment.) 
4. Have a minimum of three years of experience with a government as the primary employer (at least 32 hours per week.) 
5. Be an active member or eligible to be an active member of GFOA.

While there are five eligibility requirements to receive the designation, only the first two must be met to take the certification exams. The five exams must be successfully completed within seven years. Each exam is comprised of 175 multiple choice questions with 3-1/2 hours to complete. A candidate must achieve at least 75 percent to pass. The exams cover the following subjects: 
• governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting; 
• operating and capital budgeting; 
• debt management; 
• treasury and investment management; and, 
• retirement and benefits, risk management, and procurement.

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