Certification

Annual CPE and GFOA Engagement Credit Reporting Requirements

Starting in 2021, CPFO members will report maintenance information on an annual basis. The new requirements decrease the annual continuing professional education (CPE) credits to fifteen (15) and add a new component that focuses on collaboration and engagement with CPFOs.

CPFOs will report three (3) GFOA Engagement Credits (EC) every year, in addition to 15 CPEs.

Below is a list of ways to earn ECs:

Option

Credits Awarded

Three Points

Serve on GFOA Executive Board

Serve on GFOA Committee

Serve as Leadership for State/Provincial GFOA Association

Serve as Leadership for Peer Association

Serve in Leadership Capacity in GFOA Member Forum

3

3

3

3

3

Two Points

Serve on GFOA Local Conference Committee

Speak at the GFOA Annual Conference

Speak at Other Conference on Public Finance

Serve as Presenter for GFOA Training

Serve on GFOA Research Task Force

Publish Article in GFR

Complete Case Study Write Up of Own Experience

Document Best Practice Implementation in Your Government

Serve as a mentor for GFOA program

Participate as Volunteer Reviewer for GFOA Award Program

Participate as Volunteer Reviewer for CPFO Program

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

One Point

Review GFOA Research Paper

Attend GFOA Conference

Participate in GFOA Virtual Networking Sessions

Member of Black Caucus

Member of WPFN

Member of Small Government Forum

Member of Urban Forum

Attend a GFOA State/Provincial or Peer Association Conference

GFOA Research Challenge Submission

GFOA Research Challenge Judge

GFOA Research Challenge Winner

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

More opportunities will be added to the list as they become available and as CPFOs recommend them.


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of CPEs count towards the required fifteen?

CPFOs must commit to staying current in the field of public finance by participating in continuing professional education (CPE) registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). All CPFOs must earn at least fifteen CPE credits beginning with the first full calendar year after achieving certification.

I volunteer in a leadership role with a peer organization or state/ provincial association; will that count as three engagement credits?

Yes. GFOA expects that all CPFOs engage with the organization or other similar peer associations to share knowledge, network with peers, and advance the profession. Peer organizations are those such as GASB, NASBA, AGA, GFA, AICPA, AASHTA, any GFOA state or provincial association, and more.

I’ve already earned the CPFO certification. Do I have to report engagement credits?

Yes. All CPFOs are required to earn at least fifteen (15) CPEs and three (3) engagement credits each calendar year starting in 2021.

I’m still working towards the certification. When will I report CPEs and ECs?

Beginning with the first full calendar year after earning the certification.

Examples: If you earn the certification at any time in 2021, your first annual reporting window will start on 1/1/22 and ends on 12/31/22. If you earn the certification in 2022, then your first annual reporting will start on 1/1/23 and end on 12/31/2023, and so on.

I’d prefer only to report CPEs. Do I have to participate in the GFOA Engagement Credit aspect of the program?

Yes. We know that CPFO members are already active with GFOA and various peer organizations, including state and provincial chapters, so we expect three ECs to be easy to complete.

How will I report this information?

GFOA staff are always looking to improve the reporting and tracking process. We will track CPEs that you earn through GFOA and most GFOA volunteer activities, such as being on a committee, in a networking forum, or attending a conference. For activities outside of GFOA, we will have a simple form for you to complete at the end of each calendar year.

What is the CPFO Membership Fee?

Individuals earning the certification will start paying the $175 CPFO renewal fee following the first full calendar year after obtaining the certification. Ongoing renewal fees for CPFOs will be invoiced at the beginning of the calendar year. For 2021, the amount will be prorated based on when it is billed.

For example, if you earn the certification in 2022, you will initially be invoiced in January 2024. Earn it in 2023; the first invoice is in January 2025.

The benefits included with the annual membership fee will include:

Benefit

CPFO

Discount on GFOA Publications

25% off Member Price

Complimentary CPFO Webinars

Yes

GFOA Webinars

(2) Complimentary Per Year

GFOA Ethics e-Learning

Complimentary Subscription

Access to CPFO Online Forum - New in 2021

Yes

Access to CPFO Networking Events

Yes

Access to Exclusive CPFO Collaboration Tools

Yes

Access to CPFO Volunteer Assignments at GFOA

Yes

I have a recommendation about a new Engagement credit activity. How can I submit the information?

Please email us at certification@gfoa.org. We will work with the CPFO oversight committee to evaluate recommendations.