Exam Specs

To become familiar with the content areas on the examinations, candidates are encouraged to review the specifications to assess their level of knowledge in each content area and identify the areas in which they believe they need additional preparation.

The Module 1-3 exam blueprints can be downloaded here or found in Appendix M of the CDFM Candidate Handbook here.

The Module 4 exam blueprints can be found in Appendix M of the CDFM Candidate Handbook here.

CDFM™ Module 1-3 Exam Reference List

The following is the list of references that SDFM’s CDFM exam subject matter experts used to develop the exam questions. Download the pdf version here.

  • Budget Concepts and Budget Process (FY 2016)
  • CFR—Code of Federal Regulations (All)
  • 5 CFR 1315—Prompt Payment (1 Jan 2002)
  • 5 CFR 2635—Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (1 Jan 2011)
  • DoD FMR / DoD 7000.14-R—Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation (DoD FMR Volumes)
  • DoD Issuances (All, including Directives and Instructions)
  • DoDD 1404.10—Emergency-Essential (E-E) DoD U.S. Citizen Civilian Employees (10 Apr 1992)
  • DoDD 5010.42—DoD-Wide Continuous Process Improvement (CPI)/Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Program (15 May 2008)
  • DoDD 7045.14—The Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) Process (25 Jan 2013)
  • DoDI 1100.19—Wartime Manpower Mobilization Planning Policies and Procedures (20 Feb 1986)
  • DoDI 1400.32—DoD Civilian Work Force Contingency and Emergency Planning Guidelines and Procedures (15 Jan 1987)
  • Financial Report of the U.S. Government (2015)
  • GAO Comptroller General Reports and Decisions (All)
  • GAO-14-704G / The Green Book—Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government (10 Sep 2014)
  • GAO-16-464SP / The Red Book—Principles of Federal Appropriation Law, Third Edition & 1st two Chapters of Fourth Edition
  • GAO-12-331G / The Yellow Book—Generally Accepted Government Audit Standards (GAGAS) and Annual Updates (1 Dec 2011)
  • How Our Laws Are Made found on congress.gov website (Google key phrase: “How Our Laws Are Made congress.gov”)
  • OMB Bulletins (All)
  • OMB Bull 15-02—Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements (4 Aug 2015)
  • OMB Circulars (All)
  • OMB Cir A-11—Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget (30 Jun 2015)
  • OMB Cir A-94—Guidelines and Discount Rates for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Federal Programs (29 Oct 1992)
  • OMB Cir A-123—Management’s Responsibility for Internal Control (21 Dec 2004)
  • OMB Cir A-136—Financial Reporting Requirements (4 Aug 2015)
  • Public Laws (All)
  • PL 103-62—Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (3 Aug 1993)
  • PL 103-356—Government Management Reform Act of 1994 (14 Oct 1994)
  • PL 111-204—Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (22 Jul 2010)
  • PL 111-352—GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (4 Jan 2011)
  • US Codes (All)
  • 5 USC—Government Organization and Employees
  • 10 USC—Armed Forces
  • 18 USC—Crimes and Criminal Procedure
  • 31 USC—Money and Finance
  • 32 USC—National Guard
  • 37 USC—Pay and Allowances of the Uniformed Services
  • 41 USC—Public Contracts
  • 50 USC—War and National Defense
  • U.S. Constitution—The Constitution of the United States of America

SDFM Textbooks

The textbook used in SDFM’s Enhanced Defense Financial Management Training Course (EDFMTC) provides extensive information on all the competency areas addressed in the Module 1, 2, and 3 CDFM exams. (Note that there is fiscal law content in all 3 exams but all fiscal law material is in the 3rd textbook module.) The textbook used in SDFM’s Module 4 Acquisition Business Management Course—the “Module 4 Addendum”—provides detailed information on the competency areas addressed in the Module 4 CDFM exam. View more information on SDFM textbooks here.

Step 3: Enroll in the CDFM™ Program

Initial Enrollment

Take the first step to becoming a CDFM today by enrolling in the CDFM Program here, which gives you 2 years of testing eligibility and is non-refundable ($40 for SDFM Members and $75 for Non-Members). The act of enrolling in the CDFM Program indicates agreement to abide by the SDFM Pledge of Professionalism (view here) and the CDFM Certification Agreement (view here).

Note: You do not have to become a member of SDFM to enroll or take the CDFM exams, but we encourage you to consider the advantages of membership (view here).

With a two-year eligibility window, a practice test, and at-home testing options, the CDFM program is designed to suit your needs and schedule. Demonstrate your mastery of financial management competencies and be prepared to lead your organization into the future.

Your enrollment is active as soon as payment is processed, and you can move forward immediately to purchase the CDFM Module Exams.

Enrollment Extension

If your enrollment has expired and you need more time to complete the examination process, you can extend your enrollment for an additional 2 years here. ($75 for SDFM Members and $85 for Non-Members).

Questions should be directed to certification@sdfm.org or (703) 549-0360.

Step 4: Pay for Exams

Purchase a Pearson VUE CDFM exam here. All CDFM Exams are $99 each and NON-REFUNDABLE except in the case of duplicate purchase.

Testing Options:

  • Pearson VUE Online Proctored At-Home Testing (OnVUE)
  • Pearson VUE In-Person Test Center
  • Special Arrangement Testing (contact certification@sdfm.org)

After purchase, you should receive an email in 24-48 hours with your Pearson VUE Candidate ID and scheduling directions. When scheduling your exam on the Pearson VUE test scheduling site, you will select either At-Home (OnVUE) Testing or Test Center Testing. Conduct a Pearson VUE System Test here to see if your computer meets the requirements for OnVUE at-home testing.

Step 5: Schedule Exams

View information on CDFM and Pearson VUE testing policies, such as Exam Scheduling, Cancelling, and Rescheduling here.

Get a copy of the CDFM Candidate Handbook here to review CDFM Program Policies, including SDFM’s Non-Discrimination Policy, Contact Information Changes, Name Changes, and ADA Accommodations.

ADA Accommodations

SDFM complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and wants to ensure that no eligible individual is deprived of the opportunity to take the exam solely by reason of a disability as defined under the ADA (or equivalent), as long as the disability is not one which would render the individual incapable of performing the duties of a certified position.

Candidates must identify their need for special accommodations at least 5 weeks before the desired testing date by making a request in writing to certification@sdfm.org, to include a letter reporting a formally-diagnosed, ADA-recognized disability from a qualified professional who has provided evaluation or treatment to the applicant.

See the CDFM Candidate Handbook for detailed requirements here.

Step 6: Take Exams

Visit SDFM’s landing page on the Pearson VUE test scheduling site to learn what to expect in a Pearson VUE test center and review testing policies, such as the Candidate Rules Agreement, accepted IDs at the testing appointment, No Shows, Inclement Weather, and Candidate Emergencies here.

Get a copy of the CDFM Candidate Handbook here to review CDFM Program Exam Policies, including the Exam Retake Policy and waiting periods, Life of Passed Examinations, the Certification Process Time Limit, Exceptions to Policy, Refund Policy, as well as information about Exam Results, Scoring, Exam Score Reports, and Appeals.

Step 7: Submit Experience Form

Candidates must submit a qualifying Verification of Financial Management Experience (VFME) form signed by a supervisor to earn the CDFM. It can be submitted at any time during the certification process. View the experience requirements and download the VFME form here.