Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to be a CPA to earn a certificate?
2. Are there any prerequisites I need to take prior to starting the NFP Certificate programs?
3. How is the course material presented?
4. How long will it take me to complete?
5. What period of time do I have to complete the program?
6. Can I complete the program in any order?
7. How will I receive my certificate?
8. Once I complete the program and obtain my Certificate, how long is it valid?
9. Is there any cost savings in purchasing the entire certificate over buying tracks individually?
10. If I were to purchase one course or track, and then decided to purchase the entire certificate, will I still get the full bundled price savings?
11. If I am unable to complete the entire NFP Certificate Program, will I receive CPE credit for the courses I do complete?
12. Am I required to obtain a certain number of CPE credits annually for the Certificate to remain current and active?
13. I have prior experience working with NFPs. Will I be allowed to test out of certain courses while still earning the certificate?

1. Do I have to be a CPA earn a certificate?

You do not have to be a CPA to obtain a certificate. The certificates are designed to benefit CPAs and non-CPA alike, including anyone who works for, or with, a nonprofit. Those who obtain a certificate will receive the recommended CPE / CAE credits.

2. Are there any prerequisites I need to take prior to starting the NFP Certificate programs?

NFP Certificate I: While the program is designed to provide a foundational level of learning, individuals will benefit from having a basic understanding and awareness of financial reporting, auditing, governance and tax terminology and practices.

NFP Certificate II: There are no required prerequisites, but a foundational knowledge of NFP accounting, such as can be obtained from taking the first in the Not-for-Profit Certificate series, is recommended.

3. How is the course material presented?

Designed to be highly interactive, these programs offer multiple opportunities for learning, including case study analysis and several gaming scenarios. Participants will be offered the opportunity to apply their new NFP knowledge in a simulated real-world environment. Tests are presented after each course to allow you to apply what you just learned. There are no additional tests at the end of tracks or when you’ve completed the certificate.

4. How long will it take me to complete?

This varies from individual to individual and is completely dependent upon the time the participant allocates to completing the coursework. A commitment of approximately 40 hours (NFP Certificate I) or 28 hours (NFP Certificate II) will be required for most individuals to successfully complete the programs.

5. What period of time do I have to complete the program?

You have twenty-four (24) months from the date of purchase to complete all the courses. You are encouraged to complete the program within a twelve (12) month period or less.

6. Can I complete the program in any order?

There are no limitations on the order in which you can take the courses.

7. How will I receive my certificate?

You will receive your certificate both in printed format and as a digital badge. For more information on the digital badge, please see the Digital Badge FAQs. You will receive your print certificate in the mail 6-8 weeks after completing the program.

8. Once I complete the program and obtain my Certificate, how long is it valid?

The NFP Certificates are not a professional credential or license, therefore they do not expire. However, we anticipate that some individual courses may be updated every 1-3 years to reflect changes in the industry. For your certificate to remain current, you will need to successfully complete those updated courses. However, updates are likely to be at a fraction of the cost of the original certificate. Plus, you have access to the program for 24 months from purchase, if the courses are updated during that period, you will have access to the updated courses at no additional cost. Completion of these updated courses will earn a new Certificate, with the current year’s date.

9. Is there any cost savings in purchasing the entire certificate over buying tracks individually?

Individual courses are priced higher than the bundles, so buying the governance track is less expensive than buying the individual courses separately, and buying the certificate is less expensive than buying each of the 3 tracks separately.

10. If I were to purchase one course or track, and then decided to purchase the entire certificate, will I still get the full bundled price savings?

Yes, as long as you haven’t already paid more than the full certificate price. The price you paid for the courses or tracks you have already taken will be deducted from the total certificate price.

11. If I am unable to complete the entire NFP Certificate Program, will I receive CPE credit for the courses I do complete?

You are not required to complete the entire program to earn CPE credit. The courses are offered individually, so you will earn CPE credit for each course you take and successfully complete. However, you must successfully complete all courses in the program in order to receive a certificate.

12. Am I required to obtain a certain number of CPE credits annually for the Certificate to remain current and active?

There are no specific annual requirements for maintaining your certificate. However, we anticipate that some individual courses may be updated every 1-3 years to reflect changes in the industry. For your certificate to remain current, you will need to successfully complete those updated courses. However, updates are likely to be at a fraction of the cost of the original certificate. Plus, you have access to the program for 24 months from purchase, if the courses are updated during the access period, you will have access to the updated courses at no additional cost.

13. I have prior experience working with NFPs. Will I be allowed to test out of certain courses while still earning the certificate?

Actual completion of the courses is required to earn the NFP Certificate. CPE credit is being awarded for the courses, and the CPE standards do not allow for “testing out of” a course as a way to earn credit.