Review Process

Once your Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) application and supporting materials are received and approved by ASBO International, the application materials are forwarded to a COE review team. The review process takes approximately 4–6 months to complete.

Who Reviews My Submission?

Your application materials and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) are reviewed by a team of professional accountants and government auditors who have received additional COE-specific training from ASBO International.

Award Categories

Award – The review team concurs that your CAFR has met or exceeded the criteria on the COE checklist. CAFRs should contain accurate and detailed information about the various funds and their use, as well as clear and concise spreadsheets, charts, and graphs.

Conditional Award – The review team notes that a number of the previous year’s review comments were not answered, the submission was not as strong as the previous year’s, or there was sufficient deviation from the COE criteria. Conditional award status is noted internally only—your district’s name is included in the final COE award list posted on our website and in press releases.

Deny – Your district may be denied the award if many of the required COE criteria have not been met.

If a first-time applicant is denied the award, ASBO International will waive the COE application fee for the following year. Compliance with the review team’s comments is essential to be considered for the award the next year.

Award Packets

All final COE award packets, including review comments, are delivered electronically to the submitting official.

Award and Conditional Award packets include

  • Award letter
  • Final comments
  • Award certificate
  • Press release
  • Press release suggestions

Your engraved COE plaque is mailed to the submitting official and will arrive approximately 6–8 weeks after the award packet.

If a school district is denied the award, the following is mailed to the submitting official:

  • Participation letter
  • Final comments
  • Participation certificate

Appeals Process

Only school districts that are denied a COE award may request an appeal.

A submitting official must make a request for an appeal in writing to COE@asbointl.org within 30 days of receiving the denial packet.

The appeal is reviewed by the COE Appeals Committee, comprised of three members of the COE Advisory Committee. The original review team does not participate in the appeals process. The COE Appeals Committee has 60 days to review the appeal documentation and write its final decision.

After receiving a school district’s request for appeal

  • A response letter is sent to the district explaining the appeals process.
  • The district’s CAFR, supporting documentation, and the initial review team’s final comments are forwarded to the COE Appeals Committee.
  • The COE Appeals Committee reviews the documentation and writes its response.
  • The committee’s final decision letter is sent to the school district.