Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (COA) Program

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (COA) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments, but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves.

Program Information

Learn More

View Criteria


GFOA Takes Policy Stance on Terminology

Effective immediately, GFOA is asking all industry affiliates to stop using the four-letter acronym commonly associated with the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Learn More

We try to complete reviews within six months of receiving applications. GFOA’s efforts to deal with COVID-19 and to ensure a successful implementation of the AMS have temporarily lengthened the turnaround time for the Certificate award decisions. Our current turnaround time is approximately nine months, but we are working hard to reduce that time frame back to the normal time of six months. Thank you for your patience as we resolve this temporary backlog.

Using GFOA’s Awards Management System

Certificate applications are processed through GFOA’s Awards Management System (AMS). Each government submits its comprehensive annual financial report and application in the AMS and retrieves its results in the system once the review is completed.






Please note:

  • Registering a government in the AMS is a one-time event. Once a government has registered, it will not need to do so again.
  • For logging in to the AMS, the government’s username is its GFOA member number. See FAQs for more information.
  • Emails from the AMS will come from [email protected] Ask your IT department to add this email address to your allow list to ensure you receive password reset and other important emails about your COA submission.

Reviewer Information

Learn More

View Instructions



Please note:

  • For logging in to the AMS, a volunteer reviewer’s username is his or her GFOA member number. See FAQs for more information.

GFOA congratulates the more than 4,300 governments that annually receive the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

View Award Winners

If you have questions about the Certificate Program or about the AMS, please contact GFOA.


Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter


Share on LinkedIn

Share via e-mail