Awards

Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (COA) Program

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (COA) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare annual comprehensive financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments, but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves.

Please note that GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award Program (COA) will begin requiring all applicants to submit the calculation of the net investment in capital assets they report for governmental activities and business-type activities, as applicable, on their government-wide statements of net position. The requirement will be effective for all COA applications submitted on or after March 1, 2022. For more information, please see the letter that was recently sent to program participants.

The calculation of the net investment in capital assets submission may be made in any appropriate format and a calculation template is available.

Program Information

Eligibility

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Award Criteria - Checklists

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Fee Schedule

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The COA program’s objective is complete reviews within six months of receiving applications. However, a backlog had developed as a result of the implementation of the Awards Management System and due to unusual submission and review patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic that have lengthened the turnaround time for our award decisions. Our recent turnaround time has been averaging up to and sometimes over nine months; however we are now successfully working through the backlog. While it is expected to take a few years to completely eliminate the backlog, please know we progressing toward – and are committed to – timely award decisions.

Thank you for your patience as we resolve this temporary backlog.

Using GFOA’s Awards Management System

Certificate applications are processed through GFOA’s Awards Management System (AMS). Each government submits its annual comprehensive financial report and application in the AMS and retrieves its results in the system once the review is completed.

Register Your Government in the AMS

Register

Submit an Application

Submit

Request an Extension

Request

Check Status of an Application

Check

Retrieve Result Documents

Retrieve

New AMS Login Procedures

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FAQs

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Please note:

  • Registering a government in the AMS is a one-time event. Once a government has registered, it will not need to do so again.
  • For logging in to the AMS, the government’s username is its GFOA member number. See FAQs for more information.
  • Emails from the AMS will come from notifications@lf.gfoa.org. Ask your IT department to add this email address to your allow list to ensure you receive password reset and other important emails about your COA submission.

Reviewer Information

Become a Reviewer

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Update Your Volunteer Profile and Preferences

Update

Completing Reviews Using GFOA's Awards Management System

View Instructions

Current members of the Special Review Executive Committee

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List of Current Reviewers

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Please note:

  • For logging in to the AMS, a volunteer reviewer’s username is his or her GFOA member number. See FAQs for more information.

Winners through March 29, 2024

Winners with a fiscal year end in 2023.

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Winners with a fiscal year in end 2023.

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If you have questions about the Certificate Program or about the AMS, please contact GFOA.