The financial planning & analysis profession has experienced rapid growth over the past decade and there is a significant amount of knowledge required to perform at the highest level. 

The FP&A credential establishes a set of core competencies for the profession and addresses areas that are not necessarily covered by a traditional degree, such as an MBA. And it’s the only credential that is specific to FP&A – it is forward looking and assesses technical skills as well as the ability to see the big picture.

Earning a certification credential is a voluntary activity, but it demonstrates that you have the proper knowledge and skills, as well as a high level of dedication to your profession.  

AFP®, a not-for-profit, individual membership association, sponsors the FP&A credential program on behalf of the entire FP&A profession. The certification program was launched in 2013 and will continually evolve to reflect the changing responsibilities of today’s FP&A professionals. AFP is committed to ensuring that the FP&A credential is developed and maintains a distinctive high standard of excellence.

The Caviart Group provides technical assistance to AFP in test development and Pearson VUE administers the delivery of the computer-based FP&A examination through a network of more than 5,000 test centers across the globe.

In order to earn your FP&A Certification, you must meet certain work and/or education requirements in addition to passing both parts of the test. However, a candidate can submit their application to the FP&A program prior to meeting the full requirements as long as the entrance requirements have been met. 


Before your enrollment in the FP&A program is accepted and you can register for your first exam, you must meet the entrance requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s or equivalent degree OR be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program with a finance related major (finance, accounting, economics or business) and be on track to graduate within two years.
  • Understand the professional conduct requirement (you will be asked to agree to comply with the AFP Standards of Ethical Conduct).

Education and Experience Requirement

Candidates may enroll in the FP&A program and begin taking the exams before the Education and Experience Requirements have been fully satisfied but will not be awarded the credential until requirements have been met.

Undergraduate Education Graduate education Supplemental Education Credential Work experience
Category A Bachelor’s or global equivalent in accounting, finance, economics or business None None None 3 years of FTE experience performing FP & A job tasks
Category B Bachelor’s or global equivalent in any subject matter Master’s degree or higher or global equivalent degree in a finance, accounting, economics or business related field None None 2 years of FTE experience performing FP&A job tasks
Category C Bachelor’s or global equivalent in a non-finance subject None Three semester hours of college-level course work or equivalent in finance and six semester hours of college-level course work or equivalent in financial accounting or managerial accounting None 3 years of FTE experience performing FP & A job tasks
Category D Bachelor’s or global equivalent in a non-finance subject None None An approved accounting or finance related credential 3 years of FTE experience performing FP&A job tasks


*Two years of FTE college/university teaching experience in budgeting, forecasting, financial modeling, corporate financial planning, strategic planning or financial analysis can be substituted for each year of work experience.

Approved Accounting or Finance Credentials (Eligibility Category D)

  • Certified General Accountant (CGA)
  • Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)
  • Chartered Accountant (CA)
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) Chartered Accountant (ACA)
  • Professional Business Accountant (PBA) Canada

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Experience

FTE experience is defined as those positions involving at least 35 hours of work per week. At least 50% of the individuals time must be spent performing/managing or supervising those who perform/manage the following finance tasks:

  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Financial modeling
  • Corporate financial planning/strategic planning
  • Financial analysis

Positions such as internships, vacation/holiday employment or volunteer positions do not provide the appropriate experience to qualify in meeting the full-time experience requirement.

FP&A Exam Part I

Financial Acumen: Gathering, Interpreting, Understanding and Communicating Business and Financial Information

Domain A

Gathering and Interpreting Information: 40% of Exam Part I


I.A.1 Knowledge of sources of historical information and historical financial data about an organization and its industry

I.A.2 Ability to understand corporate structure and functions (e.g., hierarchy, corporate groups, the value of the group to the organization, etc.)

I.A.3 Knowledge of sources of information about a company’s business environment, including sources of tax policies, economic indicators, business models, financial ratios, and industry metrics I.A.4 Ability to read and interpret corporate annual reports

I.A.5 Ability to determine peer groups and competitors

I.A.6 Knowledge of basic macro-economic concepts used in financial planning (e.g., consumer price index, gross domestic product, exchange rates, interest rates, inflation rates, economic indicators, etc.)

I.A.7 Knowledge of implications of tax policies on projections

I.A.8 Knowledge of risk factors and risk management concepts (e.g., value at risk, hedging, insurance, interest rate risk, diversification, etc.)

I.A.9 Ability to define, incorporate, and report on financial and/or non-financial key performance/results indicators

I.A.10 Knowledge of strategic planning concepts and frameworks (e.g., SWOT [strength, weakness, opportunity, threat] analysis, Porter’s five forces model, growth share matrix, etc.)

I.A.11 Ability to determine information needs of and gather information from internal/external stakeholders and business partners (e.g., operations, sales, and marketing departments; senior management; customers; etc.)

I.A.12 Ability to create and maintain tools for information gathering (e.g., templates, surveys, etc.)


Domain B

Understanding Financial Concepts and Communicating/Coordinating Work with Other Professionals: 60% of Exam Part I


I.B.1 Knowledge of finance principles and processes (e.g., financial management concepts, corporate finance activities, etc.)

I.B.2 Knowledge of general financial concepts and common financial formulas (e.g., time value, opportunity costs, debt structures and covenants, earnings per share, cost of capital, etc.)

I.B.3 Knowledge of financial accounting concepts, principles, and practices

I.B.4 Knowledge of the interactions/interrelationships of common financial statements

I.B.5 Knowledge of basic micro-economics (e.g., marginal costs, pricing, price elasticity of supply and demand, etc.)

I.B.6 Knowledge of managerial accounting/reporting and cost accounting concepts (e.g., costs throughout the production process, fixed and variable costs, cost allocation, contribution margins, etc.)

I.B.7 Knowledge of types of budgets/forecasts (e.g., zero-based budgets, annual budgets, rolling forecasts, etc.) and their application

I.B.8 Knowledge of the financial close process, including the resulting financial reporting activities, and the role of the FP&A function in the close/reporting process

I.B.9 Knowledge of general business terminology, practices, and processes (e.g., compensation structures, performance management, stock options, etc.)

I.B.10 Ability to define, coordinate, and communicate project/work flow elements (e.g., deadlines, deliverables, expectations, etc.)

I.B.11 Knowledge of effective communication and presentation techniques (e.g., building alliances with internal/external stakeholders and business partners, resolving communication issues, determining appropriate presentation techniques for various audiences, preparing reports, using charts/graphs, etc.)


FP&A Exam Part II

Financial Analysis: Building and Interpreting Financial Projections

Domain A

Analyzing Information: 35% of Exam Part II


II.A.1 Ability to determine the applicability/acceptability of tools, processes, models, etc.

II.A.2 Ability to test and validate a model (e.g., cross-footing, consistency testing, reasonableness assessment, etc.)

II.A.3 Ability to determine the information that is needed to complete a task

II.A.4 Ability to identify outliers in data and determine the causes

II.A.5 Ability to develop assumptions, draw conclusions, assess the reasonableness of assumptions/conclusions, and test conclusions against various scenarios

II.A.6 Ability to perform a financial ratio analysis (e.g., debt/equity, accounts receivable days, liquidity ratios, etc.)

II.A.7 Ability to perform variance analysis and reporting (e.g., actuals versus prior periods, actuals versus plan, actuals versus forecast, etc.)

II.A.8 Ability to perform competitive analysis (e.g., benchmarking, peer group analysis, ratios, etc.) II.A.9 Ability to determine and assess the seasonality of an industry or business

II.A.10 Knowledge of common statistical concepts

Domain B

Building Financial Projections: 35% of Exam Part II


II.B.1 Ability to create financial statement projections (e.g., income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, etc.)

II.B.2 Ability to create a capital expenditure/investment analysis (e.g., discounted cash flow analysis, return on investment projections, net present value projections, etc.)

II.B.3 Ability to create sales volume/revenue projections

II.B.4 Ability to create expense and head count (staffing) projections

II.B.5 Ability to create specific customer/deal/product projections

II.B.6 Ability to create “what-if” scenarios

II.B.7 Ability to perform a sensitivity analysis

II.B.8 Ability to perform a risk analysis

Domain C

Using Technology/Software: 30% of Exam Part II


II.C.1 Ability to use basic spreadsheet functions

II.C.2 Ability to use advanced spreadsheet functions (e.g., financial functions, pivot tables, value lookups, macros, integration with other common software, etc.)

II.C.3 Ability to perform common statistical calculations (e.g., standard deviation, expected value, correlation, regression, means, modes, etc.) using a spreadsheet

II.C.4 Ability to document and maintain models (e.g., understand documentation concepts, document assumptions, create supporting information and protocols, document functionality and structure, use software/data version control concepts and techniques, etc.)

II.C.5 Knowledge of common database structures, common database functions, and structure/ functions of common financial software/systems (e.g., business intelligence software, enterprise resource planning systems, general ledger systems, etc.)

  1. The FP&A Exam is a two-part examination – each part has 125 questions.
  2. There are two testing windows: February/March and August/September.
  3. Once your application is approved and you receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) email, please contact Pearson VUE to schedule your appointment.
  4. Every new application is valid for ten consecutive testing windows (or five years), which means you have multiple opportunities to take and pass both parts of the examination before you have to submit a new application.
  5. During those ten testing windows, you can submit a re-examination registration, transfer request, and/or deferral request in order to move or re-take each part.
  6. After your tenth and final testing window you will be required to submit a new application in order to test again.
Early Deadline Standard Deadline
Fees $1420  $1520


New applicant fees cover both parts of the examination.*Your fees application fee includes membership for one year.


FP&A Examination Testing Window: August 1, 2018 – September 30, 2018
Early Application Deadline May 11, 2018
Final Application Deadline June 22, 2018
Cancellations/Refund Request Deadline July 6, 2018
Transfer/Deferral Request Deadline September 30, 2018


FP&A Examination Testing Window: February 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019
Early Application Deadline November 16, 2018
Final Application Deadline December 14, 2018
Cancellations/Refund Request Deadline January 4, 2019
Transfer/Deferral Request Deadline March 31, 2019

Applications received after the final postmark deadline will automatically be deferred to the next available testing window.

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