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Continuing Education Programs

Common Questions

Look inside the most successful county, city and government agencies and you'll find skilled, credentialed government finance officers. Find the answers to determine if this training program is right for you.

Who should attend?

In order to be eligible to participate in this program, you must be:

  • A finance officer for a state, county, municipal or special purpose government, school district, institution of higher education, public authority, planning council or council of government
  • A person who holds a supervisory or professional position in a state or local government, public authority, council of government, school district, college or university, with administrative responsibility for one or more financial functions (i.e., audit, cash management, investments, budget, accounting, or inventory control)

What are the required qualifications?

To qualify for certification, you must:

  • Be a member of the GFOASC
  • Hold a position as a government finance officer
  • Meet minimum education and experience requirements
  • Complete the five core courses of this training
  • Pass five certification exams offered as a part of this program

What is the cost of the training?

You may register for all five courses and exams for $1,250 or register for each course individually.

Financial Planning and Budgeting ($350/course and $55/ exam)
Capital Planning and Forecasting ($190/course and $40/exam)
Financial Management ($190/course and $40/exam)
Governmental Accounting ($350/course and $55/exam)
Financial Reporting and Auditing ($190/course and $40/exam)

Are books included in the tuition?

No, students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks and classroom materials for each of the courses. Details are provided on each course webpage.

How many students are there in cach class?

Course enrollment is limited to 24 participants and must have a minimum of 15 participants. 

Is there an attendance policy?

Yes, in order to receive credit for completion of the course and a certificate of participation, participants must attend a minimum of 75% of the course. Attendance is closely monitored.

Where will the training and exams take place?

Classes will be held at the University of South Carolina - Columbia campus located at 1600 Hampton Street, Room 402, Columbia. Parking information will be sent with your registration confirmation approximately one week prior to the beginning of the course.

What is the daily schedule?

Check-in: 8:30 am – 9:00 am
Sessions: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Lunch (on your own): 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

The instructor has the right to adjust the starting and ending times after the first day of class.

What is the registration policy?

The registration deadline is no later than seven calendar days prior to the first day of each course. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. First-time participants will be given priority over individuals wishing to audit the course.

You may register for all five courses and exams for $1,250. The deadline to take advantage of the discounted rate and register for all courses and exams at one time is September 8, 2017.  

Are there scholarship opportunities?

The GFOASC will offer one certification assistance award to a member of the GFOASC who enrolls in one or more core courses. Please email for more information.

Can I audit a course? 

Participants who have previously attended the core courses and have unexpired test scores for any of the courses may audit those same courses on a space-available basis. The cost for auditing a course is $50 per four-day course and $40 per two-day course. Please contact us at 803-777-9444 or email us at for auditing registration. 

What is the cancellation policy? 

Refunds, minus a 20% administrative fee, may be issued if notifications are received in writing at least seven calendar days before the start of the course/exam. There will be no credits or refunds for class time missed by a participant and refunds will not be given for “no shows." Participants may transfer without penalty to a future course or exam within one year of the original program, with program advisor approval. Transfers are limited to one occurrence and must be a program of identical format.

What are the policies regarding the exams?

The examinations are challenging and designed to assess mastery of course material. All exams must be successfully completed within three years from the date you take the first exam. You may take an examination up to six times in an attempt to pass. Once you have achieved current passing scores for all five examinations, you may apply for certification. The examinations are administered at the Office of Continuing Education and Conferences, 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 403, Columbia, SC   29208.  

The examinations are graded “blindly” by the course instructors. In other words, the instructors do not know whose exam they are grading. Any examination that is within five points of a passing grade is automatically reviewed by the instructors grading that examination.

Is there a registration deadline for the exams? 

The registration deadline is November 3, 2017 for the November exams and April 27, 2018 for the May exams.  

Please be on time for exams. The doors to the exam room will be closed at the advertised starting time for the exam. No late admittances will be allowed! No exceptions! 

What are the exam dates and times?

Exam I: Financial Planning and Budgeting
Date: November 13, 2017 or May 14, 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Check-in: 8:00 a.m.        
Fee:  $55         

Exam II: Capital Planning and Forecasting
Date: November 13, 2017 or May 14, 2018
Time: 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Check-in: 12:30 p.m.  
Fee:  $40              

Exam III: Financial Management
Date: November 13, 2017 or May 14, 2018
Time: 3:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Check-in: 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  $40

Exam IV: Governmental Accounting
Date: November 14, 2017 or May 15, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Check-in: 8:30 a.m.
Fee:  $55

Exam V: Financial Reporting and Auditing
Date: November 14, 2017 or May 15, 2018
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.     
Check-in: 1:00 p.m. 
Fee:  $40