|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.
Primary ResourcesSFO Candidate Handbook
provides details about the application process, test day procedures, special circumstances, and other important information about SFO certification.
SFO Policy and Procedure Manual
outlines the governance, procedures, and code of conduct for SFO certification.
SFO Exam Application Guide
reviews the SFO certification program, eligibility requirements, exam application steps, and other additional information.
Skills Refresher Videos
Prepare for the SFO exam with these skills-refresher videos that address each area of the exam!
Certification Overview and Application Process
Management of Accounting Systems
Management of Accounting Functions Part I
Management of Accounting Functions Part II
Financial Planning and Analysis
Budgeting and Reporting Activities
Risk Management Activities
Management of School Facilities
Management of Information Systems
Management of Human Resource Functions
Management of Ancillary Services
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Authoritative Reference List
ASBO International’s Certification Commission provides a general guide for references and publications to use as a study aid in preparation for the SFO exam. The list is not an endorsement of the specific references, nor are the test questions necessarily taken from the sources listed. The Certification Commission will review and update the list on an on-going basis.
Standards of Excellence in Budget Presentation, Association of School Business Officials International. Reston, VA: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.
Financial and Managerial Accounting for School Administrators: Superintendents, School Business Administrators, and Principals, Fourth Edition, Ronald E. Everett, Raymond L. Lows, and Donald Johnson. Reston, VA: Association of School Business Officials International, 2003.
Planning Educational Facilities: What Educators Need to Know, Third Edition, Glen I. Earthman. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009.
School District Budgeting, Second Edition, William T. Hartman. Lanham, MD: ScarecrowEd, 2003.
Ethics for School Business Officials, William T. Hartman and Jacqueline A. Stefkovich. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.
Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Forum on Education Statistics, NCES 2003-347, prepared by T. Szuba, R. Young, and the School Facilities Maintenance Task Force, Washington, D.C., 2003.
ASBO International’s certification program is governed by the Certification Commission, a semi-independent certifying body of the Association of School Business Officials International. In adherence to the best practices for certifying bodies, Certification Commission volunteers and certification staff are not involved in the development of any preparatory program, and no preparatory program is endorsed by the Certification Commission nor is a prerequisite to earn the certification. The Certification Commission and its staff are solely responsible for the policies and administration of the certification program, including application procedures and qualification requirements.