Application Materials

Application Process

The Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) recognizes excellence and best practices in school district financial reporting.

The following guidelines will help you submit your application successfully.

Your COE application packet must include:

  1. Completed COE application form.
  2. Cover letter specifying any COE criteria that do not apply to your school district.
  3. COE checklist.
    • Mandatory if the school district is applying for the first time, has received a conditional or denied award from most recent submission, or did not submit the previous year.
    • Optional if the school district does not fit the criteria above, but still highly recommended (even if your school district received the award the previous year).
  4. Reviewer comments from the previous year and your school district’s responses (if applicable).
  5. Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) document.

Submit your COE application packet:

BY EMAIL (preferred)
  • Include one copy of each item listed above attached as a PDF.
  • Include payment information. (If you submit your application packet by email, you must pay by credit card.)
  • Email
  • Include three copies of each item listed above in one of the following formats:
    • PDF (saved on three separate CDs or flash drives)
    • Hard copy
  • Include payment information. (If you submit your application packet by mail, you may pay by check or credit card.)
  • Mail to:
ASBO International
Certificate of Excellence
11401 North Shore Drive
Reston, VA 20190-4232


As a COE recipient, your district receives

  • Professional recognition.
  • Comprehensive feedback about your CAFR that you can apply to improve the quality of the report.
  • A prestigious COE plaque.
  • A COE award certificate.


Any school entity in the United States (including school districts, charter schools, educational service units, and colleges and universities) that incorporates the COE criteria into its CAFR is eligible to apply.


Application fees are based on your district’s total revenue.

Total Revenue ASBO International Member Non-Member
Under $10 Million $660 $975
$10 - $25 Million $885 $1,200
$25 - $50 Million $985 $1,300
$50 - $100 Million $1,085 $1,400
$100 - $250 Million $1,185 $1,500
$250 Million - $1 Billion $1,285 $1,600
Over $1 Billion $1,385 $1,700

If this is your first time applying for the COE and your district does not meet the requirements, we encourage you to reapply next year. In fact, ASBO International will waive your COE application fee for the next year!

Deadlines & Extensions

All COE application materials are due within six months of your district’s fiscal year close.

Fiscal Year End Application Deadline
June 30 December 31
August 31 February 28

Need an extension? Submit a request to