Guide for Obtaining CPE Credit


Applicable topics

In order to be considered an Active CPFO, a CPFO is required on an annual basis to obtain 30 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), or 60 hours of CPE credit if the CPFO files over a two year period. CPE credits for the CPFO designation may be earned in one or more of the six topic areas of the Certified Public Finance Officers Program listed below:

  • Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting
  • Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy, including “Economic Development and Capital Planning”
  • Governmental Debt Management
  • Managerial Skills and Ethics
  • Retirement and Benefits, Risk Management, and Procurement
  • Treasury and Investment Management

Applicable programs and calculating CPE credit

  • One CPE Credit Hour is earned for each 50 minutes of active participation.
  • CPE earned that meets the requirements of a state board of accountancy to maintain a CPA designation can also be used as CPE credit to maintain the CPFO designation.

In instances where a state board of accountancy does not recognize CPE credit for maintaining a CPA designation, CPE credit to maintain the CPFO designation may be obtained in the following manner:

  • Training. This may include training seminars, annual conferences, and internet training—for example training offered by the national GFOA or state GFOAs, or other applicable training. The number of CPE hours granted should be based on the CPE provider’s recommended number of CPE hours for the program.
  • Self-study programs. The number of CPE hours granted should be based on the CPE provider’s recommended number of CPE hours for the program.
  • Curriculum of a University, college or other educational institution. CPE course credit awarded at the rate of 15 hours for each semester hour and 10 hours for each quarter hour of school credit awarded.
  • Reviewing reports for the GFOA Awards ProgramsTwo CPE credit per report can be earned specifically for maintaining the GFOA CPFO designation when reviewing a report in the CAFR program, Budget program or Popular Reporting program.  The maximum number of CPE that can be earned on annual basis is 6 CPE credit hours.
  • GFOA Standing Committee. Committee members of GFOA’s national standing technical committees can earn a maximum of 4 hours on annual basis for attendance to the committee meetings in Washington DC and in conjunction with the annual conference.
  • Instructor, speaker or discussion leader of an approved course. CPE credit is allowed for actual presentation time, plus actual preparation time up to 2 hours for each hour of presentation. No preparation or presentation time allowed for presentations of the same course within two-year period; no more than 40 hours for any two-year period.