Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) is a professional certification offered by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). CGFM demonstrates that an individual is competent in government audit, accounting, financial reporting, budgeting and internal controls at the local, state and federal. On the other hand, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional certification that is awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to individuals that meet the work experience and pass the exam requirements. However, in Minnesota the qualified certified public accountants belong to the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA). To qualify for CGFM the general requirement, which also applies in Minnesota is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited collage or university. On the other hand, the general education requirement for CPA is an undergraduate degree, whereas in Minnesota the education requirement depends on the accreditation level of the college or university from where it was earned. The other education requirement is 150 hours semester and it is applicable as a general requirement and also in Minnesota.
The general experience requirement for CGFM is at least 2 years of professional level experience within the government financial management; this is also applicable in Minnesota. However, the individual must provide the CGFM Work Verification Form and it must be submitted to AGA within five years from the date of enrollment. In relation to the general experience requirements for CPA is two years work experience in public accounting, where one must demonstrate the ability to offer any type of service or advice that involves the utilization of management advice, accounting, consulting, tax and financial advice. However, in Minnesota the experience requirement for CPA is one year in the field of accounting, finance and management as well as taxation. The general exam requirements for CGFM, which are also applied in Minnesota, are passing three comprehensive CGFM examinations; the examinations include Examination 1: Government Environment (GE), Examination 2: Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting and Budgeting (GAFRB) and Examination 3: Governmental Financial Management and Control (GFMC). On the other hand, the general examination requirements for CPA, which are also similar to those in Minnesota, are completion of the four sections of examination, which include Auditing and Attestation (AUD); Business Environment and Concepts (BEC); Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulation (REG). However, the examination format is different in that whereas the general requirement has three parts; multiple-choice, task-based simulations and written communication tasks; in Minnesota the examination format has two parts; multiple choice testlets and task based simulation testlets.
The general ethics requirements for CGFM is reading and agreeing to abide by the Code of Ethics as stipulated by AGA. One is thereby required to observe four fundamental principles, which include integrity, confidentiality, objectivity and professional competence and due care. These ethical requirements apply in Minnesota CGFM. The general ethical requirements for CPA, which also apply in Minnesota, are CPE three year reporting period that must include 8 credits on behavioral and regulatory ethics, which are within the 120 CPE credits. In order to maintain CGFM certification, one must be a member of AGA, on the other hand, the general membership requirement for CPA is joining the American Institute of CPA, while in Minnesota after receiving the CPA licensure one become a member of the MNCPA.
From the evaluation of the two courses I would chose CGFM because it is applicable across the country and it covers more units than those covered in CPA.
AGA, (2017). CGFM Certification. Retrieved from < https://www.agacgfm.org/CGFM-Certification/About-CGFM.aspx >.
AICPA, (2017). Become a CPA. Retrieved from < http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/LICENSURE/REQUIREMENTS/Pages/default.aspx >.
MNCPA, (2017). Becoming a CPA. Retrieved from < http://www.mncpa.org/becoming-a-cpa/process.aspx >.
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