CGFM Candidates: Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the CGFM Designation

CGFM highlights your achievements, serves as a tangible indicator of your experience and knowledge and stays with you throughout your career. In addition, the CGFM may:

  • enhance your marketability throughout all levels of government.
  • provide networking opportunities with other government financial managers.
  • support continued education to keep you informed of the latest developments and cutting edge technologies.
  • provide increased employee value, both real and perceived.
  • increase confidence on the job.
  • encourage employer incentives—raises, promotions and bonuses.

CGFM Certification Process

My Path to CGFM is designed to assist CGFM candidates in tracking their progress toward completing their CGFM certification. Candidates will be able to see which steps they have completed, and view their eligibility letter, end of eligibility and exam status. To access My Path to CGFM, candidates must log in using their My AGA username and password.

Go to Certification Process for more information on application requirements and applying online.

The non-refundable CGFM application fee is $70 for AGA members ($33 for student members) and $99 for nonmembers. You can pay it online when submitting your CGFM application form.

Please check with your HR department to see if your agency or company has a professional certification reimbursement policy. If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for reimbursement, as the CGFM certification examinations have been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs for reimbursement — go to the VA website for more information.

No. AGA membership offers many valuable benefits, but it is not required for the CGFM designation.

You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Please see Education Requirement for more information.

The bachelor’s degree requirement is not waived. Please see Education Requirement if you are within one year of graduation with a bachelor’s degree.

A copy of your official transcript from an accredited college or university is required before any CGFM examinations can be taken. The official transcript must clearly state your name, the name of college or university, the fact that a degree (bachelor's or higher) was conferred, and the date the degree was awarded. You can upload your transcript in My Path to CGFM. Please see Education Requirement for more information.

Certification candidates must have at least two years of professional-level experience in government financial management prior to designation as a CGFM. The experience requirement is not necessary to sit for the examinations; however, documentation of professional experience must be filed and approved by AGA before the CGFM designation can be granted, and the certificate is issued. For more information, please see Professional Experience Requirement.

Yes. The experience requirement does not have to be satisfied at the time of application. CGFM Work Verification Form can be submitted after passing the CGFM examinations.

Wait for your eligibility letter from AGA. It is usually sent out within one to two weeks of receipt of your CGFM application. Please see Certification Process for more information.

You have three years from the date your application is processed to pass the three CGFM examinations. Please see Certification Process for more information.

If your eligibility period ends before you pass all three CGFM examinations, you will need to reapply and pass all the examinations again. Extensions of eligibility may be granted to individuals who passed some, but not all, of their examinations before the end of their eligibility period. Extensions are not designed to establish a new eligibility period but to give 1-2 months to individuals who have not been able to complete all of their exams before the eligibility deadline. No extensions will be granted to individuals who have not passed any of their CGFM examinations. To request an extension of eligibility, contact AGA’s Office of Professional Certification 30 days before the expiration of your eligibility period via email at agacgfm@agacgfm.org or mail (AGA, 2208 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria VA 22301).

While we understand your desire to let potential employers know about your success, please be careful as to not present yourself as a CGFM until you’ve completed all of the CGFM requirements and received an official AGA award letter. It must be clear from your resume that you are not yet a CGFM. Therefore, any mention of CGFM should read: “Passed three CGFM examinations, in the process of completing the final requirement towards the CGFM certification.”

While we appreciate the excitement of completing the last CGFM requirement, please note that the CGFM designation may not be used until you’ve received an official AGA award letter. If you have not heard from AGA within three weeks, please contact the Office of Professional Certification at agacgfm@agacgfm.org or 800.AGA.7211.

Studying for CGFM Examinations

The best way to study depends on your knowledge, experience, time, individual preferences and location constraints. Start by reviewing the contents of each examination in the Examination Requirement section. Then review each of the choices in Preparing for Examinations section.

No, you can take instructor-led courses at any time.

AGA has three study guides to help you study for the three CGFM examinations: Examination 1: Governmental Environment, Examination 2: Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting and Budgeting and for Examination 3: Governmental Financial Management and Control. See CGFM Study Guides for FAQs about the study guides. For an additional list of resources, go to CGFM Study References.

Yes, sample CGFM examinations questions are available in the Examination Requirement section.

Purchasing and Taking CGFM Examinations

The cost is $125 per examination. There are three examinations: Governmental Environment Examination; Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting and Budgeting Examination; and Governmental Financial Management and Control Examination. You can pay the examinations online or over the phone. Go to Examination Scheduling and Procedures section for more information.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer financial assistance. If you are an AGA member, your chapter may be able to offer you partial support through their scholarship fund. Contact your local chapter.

They are offered all year round through a network of Pearson Professional Testing Centers. Some centers offer evening hours for testing. See Examination Scheduling and Procedures section for more information.

Follow the instructions on your eligibility letter or on Examination Scheduling and Procedures page to register with Pearson VUE, pay your examination fees and schedule your testing appointments.

On AGA’s page of the Pearson VUE website, click on the button called “Find a Test Center”. Enter the city and state or zipcode you are looking for – you will be presented with a list of the closest Pearson Test Centers.

Yes. All applicants are required to take all three examinations regardless of their other credentials or past experience.

No. You may take up to three years to complete all three examinations. Examinations can be taken in any order.

Each examination has 115 questions. You are given two hours and 15 minutes to complete each exam.

If you wish to cancel or reschedule your testing appointment, you must contact Pearson VUE at 888.846.6948 or by logging into your account and changing your appointment at least 24 hours prior to your originally scheduled testing appointment date and time. Canceling or rescheduling an exam within 24 hours of your appointment time is subject to a same-day forfeit exam fee. Exam fees are due for no-shows.

If you do not pass the exam the first time, you must wait 30 days before you can retake this examination. Please follow the same steps as with the original purchase. The cost is the same ($125). If you don't pass a second time, there is a 90-day waiting period between retakes. There is no limit to how many times you can retake the exam, as long as you are within your eligibility period.

Upon completing each CGFM examination, you will receive an immediate pass/fail result. Individuals who passed an exam will receive a report that states "you have passed"; individuals who did not pass will receive a report that lists their scaled score and their level of performance in each content area. A scaled score reports an examination score on a scale that is linked to the raw score. CGFM examinations are using a scale of 200-700, with 500 as the passing score.