The CGFM (Certified Government Financial Manager) credential is recognized as the standard by which financial management professionals in the government sector are measured. The high standards of ethics, education, and experience required by this designation serve to assure potential employers of the value of candidates who have earned it.
Candidates who have already earned a four-year (bachelor’s) degree with 24 units in financial management or related topics are eligible to apply for the CGFM program. The 24 units must come from one or more of the following areas: accounting, auditing, budgeting, economics, electronic data processing, finance, information resources management, public administration, or other financial management or related topics.
To achieve CGFM certification, a candidate must pass three comprehensive, computerized examinations, as follows:
Examination 1: Governmental Environment
This CGFM exam has 115 multiple-choice items and lasts two hours and 15 minutes. It covers the organization, structure, and authority of government (15%), legal and other aspects of the government environment (25%), the government management system (15%), governmental financing process (25%), public accountability (5%), ethics in government and ethical practice as a government financial manager (5%), and financial management responsibilities and skills (10%).
Examination 2: Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting, and Budgeting
This CGFM exam has 115 multiple-choice items and lasts two hours and 15 minutes. It covers general knowledge about governmental financial accounting, reporting, and budgeting (40%), state and local financial accounting and reporting (30%), and federal financial accounting and reporting (30%).
Examination 3: Government Financial Management and Control
This CGFM exam has 115 questions and lasts two hours and 15 minutes. It covers internal controls (25%), internal and external auditing (25%), performance measurement reporting (13%), financial and managerial analysis techniques (7%), and financial and managerial concepts, controls, and techniques (30%).
Each of these exams is designed to allow a candidate to demonstrate his or her general familiarity with, appreciation for, and understanding of the subject area. In addition, portions of each exam (especially Examination 2) require more detailed and specific knowledge of the procedures and practices unique to either state and local governments or the federal government.