SFO Program FAQs
are the benefits of certification?
Earning your certification has many benefits on a professional and personal level. Whether you want to strengthen your career by demonstrating your professional competencies, continue your professional development, or show your stakeholders that you have the know-how to support them, you might consider this program. And don’t forget, this certification will follow you anywhere in North America.
How much does it cost to apply for the program
or to take the exam?
There are three sets of fees: application, exam, and renewal.
- The application fee is $150 for ASBO International members or $225 for non-members.
- The exam fees are $195 for Part 1: Accounting and $295 for Part 2: School Business Management; each registration fee includes a five-month authorization to test window.
- Once certified, the SFO annual renewal fee is $125, due when the renewal application is submitted at the end of each one-year period.
The certification period is for three years. At the
end of that time, certificants are required to submit a recertification
application; no additional fees are collected at this time.
Here's more information:
Can new school business officials become certified?
It depends. There are prerequisite qualifications for part 1 and part 2 of the exam. You can view the eligibility criteria to see if you qualify.
How can I prepare for the exam?
For the most part, the certification exam prep will be conducted as a self-study. Check out the content that the exam will cover, and watch for announcements about test prep courses from ASBO International and other organizations.
Do I have to take specific courses in order to prepare for the certification exam?
No. There are education and professional development eligibility requirements, but they are not associated with a specific organization, program, or course.
Where and when is the exam being offered?
Candidates take the exam at a computer-based testing center through the Pearson VUE network in the United States and parts of Canada. There are 300 testing sites that offer the SFO exam year-round. More than likely, there is a testing center within driving distance of your home.
What supporting materials do I need to submit for the application and exam registration process?
ASBO is using the online SFO Credential Management System for submitting applications and maintaining your SFO program needs. For the most part, minimal supporting documents are needed for the application and exam registration process. ASBO will audit a percentage of applicants and expect that all supporting materials are available at that time. ASBO expects the candidates to maintain these files throughout their certification process.
Will I have to renew my certification? If so, how often and what are the requirements?
To maintain the use of the credentials, you will need to renew your certification annually and apply for recertification every three years. View the details here or in the Candidate Handbook.
Is the Certification Commission separate and different from the ASBO International Board of Directors?
Yes, the Certification Commission is an independent commission of the board of directors whose purpose is to create a viable, credible, and defensible certification program. The ASBO International Board of Directors has budgetary authority over the certification program and the Certification Commission has governance authority over the certification program.
How can I get involved?
ASBO International will post public announcements of various volunteer opportunities associated with the program. If you are interested in volunteering, you can respond to a public request or contact ASBO’s Pam Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org.