AGA offers CGFM study guides in two convenient formats – hard copy and online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy a one-year subscription to the online study guide or should I buy a print version?
Since each candidate studies differently and has his or her own preferences, we cannot determine which is best for you. However, the online version is automatically updated when a new edition or revision is released, which many candidates find appealing. This ensures that the candidate always has the most current information. AGA also sells “bundles,” which include both the print and the online version.
What is the latest edition of CGFM study guides?
To ensure its publications are up-to-date, AGA periodically revises the three CGFM study guides. Below is the most current information on the study guide updates:
- Study guide 1: “Governmental Environment” The latest edition is 2016. This edition has been modified to include some updates in response to recent regulations, including the DATA Act and Uniform Guidance. The majority of the content is the same as in the previous (2014) edition.
- Study guide 2: “Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting and Budgeting” The latest edition is 2016. Several updates and revisions were made, including changes in response to recent GASB statements, DATA Act and Uniform Guidance. While much of the content is the same as in the previous (2014) edition, candidates should be aware of the new regulations, including a terminology change.
- Study guide 3: “Governmental Financial Management and Control” The latest edition is 2016 (this edition will be available by the end of June 2016). Several updates and revisions were made, including changes in response to updates to GAO's Green Book, DATA Act and Uniform Guidance. While much of the content is the same as in the previous (2014) edition, candidates should be aware of the new regulations.
Do you sell just the updated pages of the printed study guides?
Since the updates often revise and move a large number of pages throughout the study guides, AGA does not offer specific updated pages.
If I plan to use the study guide to prepare for the CGFM examination, when should I buy the study guide?
AGA recommends that CGFM candidates obtain the most current edition of the study guide within 6 months of their planned examination date. If you are a current CGFM candidate and you bought a 2014 edition in 2016, please contact AGA’s Office of Professional Certification by June 30, 2016 for more information on how to get access to the 2016 edition. Please see CGFM Examinations Requirement for more information on the July 2016 exam update.
Are CGFM study guides required for CGFM examinations?
No. Neither CGFM study guides, nor CGFM courses are required to sit for the CGFM examinations. CGFM study guides and courses are separate from CGFM examinations and are based on the publicly-available examination content outlines.
Do the 2016 CGFM study guides reflect the latest regulation updates to the CGFM examinations?
Yes. If any changes in regulations necessitate a revision to the CGFM examinations, those changes are posted on the respective examination content outlines. (See information on the July 2016 update.) CGFM study guides are usually revised prior to updating CGFM examinations and reflect changes in the field, and to the examinations content outlines.
Do the study guides cover all of the CGFM examination questions?
No. To ensure the CGFM examinations are fair and follow international certification standards, AGA separates the education (study guides and courses) from the certification (examinations) functions. The authors of the three study guides have no access to, or information about, the CGFM examination questions, except for what is specified in the publicly-available examination content outlines. The AGA study guides are not intended to offer answers to individual examination questions, but, instead, provide a general review of the topics covered in the examination content outlines.
Are CGFM study guides sufficient to study for the CGFM examinations?
While many CGFM candidates find the study guides to be sufficient preparation for the CGFM examinations, some may need to go beyond the study guides and review additional materials. Conveniently, reference materials are listed at the end of each study guide. In addition, the AGA website provides a list of study references — these publications were used as references by the writers of the CGFM examination questions. Whatever preparation method is used, AGA recommends that CGFM candidates start by reviewing the examinations' content outlines, as well as the list of acronyms and sample examination questions. The reinforcement quizzes and end-of-course review found in the study guides are not designed to serve as sample CGFM examination questions, but as a self-assessment tool to help in the preparation. AGA also offers practice exams.