Certification

SFO: The Mark of a Professional

Developed by school business management professionals and supported by ASBO International, the Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations® (SFO®) defines the essential skills and knowledge that every effective school business professional should possess and lets employers know that you have real-world, practical expertise that can be readily applied to the current work environment.

The SFO is a national certification, recognized in the United States and Canada.

The Value of SFO Certification

SFO certificants have the expertise, experience, and credentials school districts require. For employers looking at numerous applicants, SFO certificants’ qualifications stand out.

Certificants: Obtaining the SFO Certification—Why it’s Important

Economic challenges continue to have a huge impact on our schools and force difficult choices. In complex financial situations, it is important that you demonstrate to your community that the school’s finances are managed by a knowledgeable and ethical administrator.

Here are just a few reasons for you to obtain the SFO designation:

  • Demonstrate initiative, professionalism, and dedication to school business management.
  • Boost your career advancement by increasing your marketability.
  • Measure your knowledge and skills against the professional standard.
  • Continue your professional development through the SFO recertification requirements.
  • Be recognized for your professional accomplishments.
  • Instill stakeholders’ confidence in your school system.

Employers: Hiring Qualified School Business Officials—Why it Matters

The SFO certificant is the professional you need in this ever-changing economic environment. You are interested in employing highly qualified, experienced school business officials. During the interview process, look for applicants with the SFO designation and you’ll be talking to professionals who have met these standards:

  • Passed a two-part exam recognized in the U.S. and in Canada; Exam Part 1: Accounting and Exam Part II: School Business Management.
  • Built public confidence in their districts’ fiscal responsibility, accountability, and transparency.
  • Maintained high standards and ethics, standing out as a professional who values initiative, professionalism, and dedication to effective school business management.

Search for an SFO Professional on our Public Registry site.

Ready to Get Started?

To begin the application process, visit the SFO Credential Management System. You may also update your contact information, schedule exams, complete the annual renewal process, or submit the SFO fee through this secure, online management system.

Questions? Email us or call 866.682.2729 x7069.


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 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.

Horace Mann

The Horace Mann Companies are proud to sponsor the Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations® (SFO®) certification as part of their commitment to supporting the profession of school business.