CPE Requirement FAQ

The Cycle and Number of Hours

Your first CPE cycle starts on January 1 of the year following the one in which your CGFM designation was earned. For example, if your CGFM was awarded any time in 2012, the first CPE cycle starts on January 1, 2013 and ends on December 31, 2014. See Calendar of CPE cycles for a schedule of CPE cycles. This cycle may be different from an employer’s CPE cycle or CPE cycles used by other designations.

No. The first CPE cycle starts on January 1 of the year following the one in which your CGFM designation was earned. Any hours earned during the year your CGFM is awarded do not count towards the first CPE cycle. There is also no carry-over from one cycle to another.

No. The requirement is 80 hours every two years. CGFMs are encouraged to earn CPE hours throughout their two-year cycle.

No. CGFMs do not need to submit supporting documentation of their CPE hours at the time of renewal. The renewal payment itself serves as the CGFM's affirmation of his or her compliance with the CPE requirements. CGFMs are required to maintain supporting backup documentation on CPE hours earned for a minimum of three years and provide it to AGA upon request.

Exceptions and Extensions

No. There is no need to request an exception if you plan to catch up during the grace period. CGFMs who have not completed the required number of CPE hours for any two-year CPE cycle will automatically have the three months (January 1 – March 31) immediately following the two-year cycle to make up the deficiency. Any CPE hours completed toward a deficiency in one CPE cycle must be documented in the CPE records and may not be counted toward the requirements for the next two-year cycle.

Yes. The deadline is April 30, following the completion of the two-year cycle. Please see Section 4 of the CGFM CPE Requirements for more information.

No. The Professional Certification Board may grant exceptions from the CPE requirements for valid reasons, such as ill health, maternity or paternity leave, extended family leave, sabbaticals, leave without pay absences, foreign residency, military service or disasters.  Please see Section 4 of the CGFM CPE Requirements for more information. Workload, budget or travel constraints are not considered valid reasons for a CPE exception.

No. The CGFM renewal fee serves as the CGFM's affirmation of his or her compliance with the CPE requirements.

Determining What Qualifies

Possibly, however, individual CGFMs who are members of the AICPA, IIA or who are licensed certified public accountants, are cautioned that the CGFM CPE requirements, while similar in many respects to those of the AICPA, IIA or of state boards of accountancy, are not identical. Examples of training topics that may qualify as CPE for state licensing bodies or other professional organizations, but would not generally qualify as CPE for the CGFM certification, include certain training in taxation (see Section 12 of CGFM CPE Requirements), personal financial planning and investment, taxation strategies, estate planning, retirement planning, practice management, etc.

No. The CGFM Program does not require the programs to be NASBA-certified, although that usually indicates that the organization has followed the industry standards in offering the CPE courses.

Possibly, if the CPE hours are offered by the provider of the self-study activity. CGFM participants in correspondence or individual study programs can be granted CPE hours when they satisfactorily complete the program (this often involves a test at the end of the program). The number of hours granted should be based on the CPE provider’s recommended number of CPE hours for the program, based on the provider’s pretesting of the program.

No. CGFM participants in correspondence or individual study programs can be granted CPE hours when they satisfactorily complete the program. The number of hours granted should be based on the CPE provider’s recommended number of CPE hours for the program, based on the provider’s pretesting of the program.

No. The maximum number of CPE hours that may be granted to an individual as a speaker, instructor, discussion leader or course developer may not exceed 40 hours for any two-year period. Please see Section 15 of CGFM CPE Requirements for more information on earning hours as a speaker, instructor, discussion leader or course developer.

No. The maximum number of CPE hours that may be granted to an individual for published writings may not exceed 20 hours for any two-year period. Please see Section 15 of CGFM CPE Requirements for more information on earning hours for published work.

Possibly. Basic or elementary courses in topics and subjects in which the CGFM already has the necessary knowledge and skills, and that served as the initial basis for qualification as a CGFM, generally do not qualify for CGFM CPE. However, these types of courses may be acceptable in cases where they are deemed necessary as a “refresher” course to enhance the CGFM’s proficiency. Such refresher courses may only be taken once during the two-year period.

Possibly. Some courses, such as the ones that cover individual or business taxation, may not qualify for the CGFM CPE. If the CGFMs are taking these courses to satisfy the CGFM requirement, they will need to make a connection to their job and proficiency as a government financial manager, and be prepared to provide a written explanation of the applicability of such courses.

Calculating Hours

No. Fifty minutes is the minimum number for any given individual program. At conferences and conventions where individual presentations are less than and/or more than 50 minutes, the sum of the presentations should be considered as one total program.

You need to first convert the CEUs to minutes and then divide the number of minutes by 50 to arrive at the number of CPEs. When the total minutes of a presentation are more than 50, but not equally divisible by 50, the CPE hours must be rounded down to the nearest one-half hour.

Backup Documentation

No. CGFMs are required to maintain supporting backup documentation on CPE hours earned for a minimum of three years and provide it to AGA upon request. The CPE documentation requirements are described in Section 16 of the CGFM CPE Requirements. This documentation may be requested by AGA as part of the annual audit of a random sample of CGFMs.

The CGFM's records must include the following information for each CPE program or activity attended or completed:

  • the sponsoring organization (for example, AGA National Office, a local AGA chapter);
  • the title of the program, including subject matter, field of study or a brief description of its contents;
  • the dates attended for group programs or dates completed for individual study programs;
  • the number of CPE hours earned; and
  • evidence of attendance or completion.

While a certificate of completion is preferred, other acceptable documentation includes:

  • an official letter from the event sponsor or your employer certifying that you have attended the event, which lists all of the required information (your name, sponsoring organization, title of the program, completion date and number of CPE hours earned). 
  • an official report from your employer, which has the employer's name and lists all of the required information (your name, sponsoring organization, title of the program, completion date and number of CPE hours earned). 

No. Documentation received prior to the training event, including a paid registration, is not acceptable as the supporting documentation.

No. If one document does not contain all of the necessary information, please keep additional documents that will provide the missing information (for example, the event agenda showing the number of hours).

No. If the field of study or subject matter is not explicitly listed or evident from the title, an agenda or a brief description of the training must also be kept in the CPE records.