The Government Finance Officers Association of Louisiana (GFOA) program of professional education and development leads to the designation of qualified persons attaining the Certified Government Finance Officer (CGFO) designation.
The program is open only to GFOA members employed full-time by a Louisiana government agency. To qualify, candidates must accumulate a designated number of points in three of four areas and meet other basic requirements.
Four basic requirements must be met in order to attain the CGFO designation in Louisiana:
- The applicant must earn 300 points based on experience, academic credentials, leadership involvement, and/or test scores, using the values attached to the rating categories.
- Points must be earned in at least three of the four categories listed (i.e., exam, credentials, experience, and professional development).
- Applicant must have been a member of GFOA of Louisiana for at least three calendar years prior to the date of application.
- Applicant must currently be employed by a Louisiana government agency on a full-time basis.
An applicant who has accumulated the 300 points through credentials, experience, and professional involvement and who meets the other basic requirements may attain the CGFO designation without taking any of the exams.
Any applicant who has not accumulated the necessary 300 points through credentials, experience, and professional involvement may attain certification by undertaking an extensive program of study, training, and testing. After completing the prescribed series of readings and self-study using GFOA of Louisiana study guides, an applicant may undertake written examinations in one or more of the following four areas:
- Accounting and Financial Reporting
- Cash Management
- Public Finance (Finance Administration)
To retain the Certified Government Finance Officer (CGFO) status, each CGFO designee is required to earn a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education credit-hours each year.
One hour of continuing education is equal to 50 minutes of continuous participation in a group program that conforms to CGFO standards and has been approved as a recognized sponsor of CGFO continuing education by GFOA of Louisiana. Only courses relative to public finance and government accounting and administration are allowed.
Each CGFO is required to report continuing education hours accrued from January through December of the year following certification.
Failure to meet the continuing education hour requirements will lead to revocation of the CGFO designation.
GFOA of Louisiana will actively work with the national GFOA, Louisiana colleges and universities, the state CPA society, and other organizations to promote and sponsor training programs that will reinforce this program. In addition, through attendance at both the annual GFOA of Louisiana conferences, one may be able to earn the required hours of continuing education.