CPFO - Accounting and Financial Reporting Outline

The Accounting and Financial Reporting exam for the CPFO program covers policies and processes recommended for states and local governments for both governmental and non-governmental funds. Tests will cover best practices in the topics below.

Accounting and Financial Reporting Outline





  • Grant Accounting
  • GASB Standards
  • Governmental and Business-type activities
  • Measurement focus and basis of accounting
  • Cost Accounting



  • Procurement
  • Audit Standards
  • Management and Auditor responsibilities
  • Single audit


Financial Reporting

  • Government-wide financial statements
  • Fund financial statements
  • Budgetary reporting
  • Transmittal and MD&A
  • Sections of a comprehensive annual financial report
  • PAFR
  • Communicating Financial Information


Interpretations and Analysis of Financial Statements

  • Assessing near-term financial position
  • Assessing net position
  • Assessing economic condition
  • Fund Balance Classification


Internal Controls

  • Comprehensive Framework
  • Audit Committee
  • Internal Audit


Resource Recommendations

GFOA recommends that CPFO candidate review the following materials to prepare for the exam.

GFOA Best Practices

Best Practice Logo

GFOA best practices are developed by GFOA's Committee on Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting and represent the organization's recommended practices in common areas related to accounting.


Publications available for purchase from GFOA to help prepare for the accounting and financial reporting exam include:

  • 2020 GAFR Blue Book
  • Chapters: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 13, 17, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33-35, 38, 39, 40-46 (See the exercises at the end of each chapter for practice questions.)

Available Training

GFOA offers the following training seminars that will help prepare for the accounting and financial reporting exam:

  • Government Accounting Intensive Series
  • Accounting Academy (In-person training)

View GFOA's Events Calendar

Additional Web Resources


As the exam development process progresses for the seven new CPFO exams, some materials may be added to this reading list. Please check back regularly for updates to this document until the new exams are launched.

Please contact Eric Roach or email GFOA with questions.

Last updated June 1, 2021