The Value of Membership

"I could not have survived 30 years in school business without the support I've received from ASBO. No matter how much you may think your problem is unique, it's not. I've always found support from colleagues facing the same issues no matter where they work, and I've shared solutions. We have a lot to learn from one another, so I value my memberships in Tri-State ASBO, New Hampshire ASBO, Vermont ASBO, and ASBO International."
 
—John Aubin, South Burlington School District, South Burlington, Vermont
Member since 1992

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Exam Information

The SFO exam has been updated based on a nationwide job analysis of school business job functions. Along with the new exam, exciting changes are coming that will simplify the certification application and renewal processes: 1) applicants will take one exam instead of two and 2) there will no longer be annual renewal requirements—all SFOs will only be required to recertify every three years to maintain their designation. The new exam and process will be instated February 1, 2018. Interested candidates have until January 31, 2018, to become certified under the current process. Learn more here.

Scheduling, Taking, and Passing the Exams

Once you’ve met eligibility requirements for the Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations® (SFO®), you’re ready to move forward to certification by passing two exams.
 

Exam Part 1:
Accounting
Exam Part 2:
School Business Management

Format

  • 70 multiple-choice questions
  • 120 minutes
  • Computer-based exam in English only

Content

  • Manage Accounting Systems (28%–33%)
  • Manage Accounting Functions (67%–72%)

Format

  • 100 multiple-choice questions
  • 150 minutes
  • Computer-based exam in English only

Content

  • Conduct Financial Planning and Analysis (27%–32%)
  • Conduct Budgeting and Reporting Activities (15%–20%)
  • Manage Human Resource Functions (15%–20%)
  • Conduct Risk Management Activities (10%–15%)
  • Manage School Facilities (7%–12%)
  • Manage Ancillary Services (7%–12%)
  • Manage Information Systems (4%–6%)

Scheduling the SFO Exams

To apply to take the exams, log into My SFO® Manager and

  • Complete the Exam Part 1 application and/or the Exam Part 2 application.
  • Look for an authorization email to arrive within 10 business days of submitting your exam application.
  • Using your SFO candidate ID number found in the authorization email, schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE SFO testing center
  • Take the exam within five months of receiving your authorization email.*
*You must take both exams within one year of submitting your initial SFO application.

Taking the SFO Exams

  • Arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time.
  • Present two valid forms of identification:
    • Government-issued photo ID
    • Signature ID, with matching full name and signature
Review acceptable forms of ID and details on test center rules in the SFO Candidate Handbook.

Passing the SFO Exams

  • Scores are available immediately after taking the exam.
  • Candidates who pass the exam receive a grade of “Pass” only. No numeric score is provided.
    Candidates who do not pass receive a grade of “Fail” and a scaled numeric score, ranging from 250 to 599. (Scores of 600 or more are passing scores.)
  • Official score reports are sent from Pearson VUE via email within five business days of taking the exam.
 
Refer to the SFO Candidate Handbook for important details on test procedures, special accommodations, and retesting.

Using Your Credential

Once you’ve passed both exams, congratulations—you’ve earned your SFO! Now, make the most of your prestigious credential with these essential tips for SFO certificants