What Is the CDFM/CDFM-A and Who Should Pursue It?

The CDFM is a test-based certification for financial management professionals who are civilian or military members of the Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, or employees of defense contractors and suppliers.

Earning and maintaining the CDFM credential requires meeting education and experience criteria, passing three multiple-choice exams, and recertifying every two years.

The certification exams cover three primary areas as defined by the CDFM Competency Model:

  1. Resource Management Environment
  2. Budget and Cost Analysis
  3. Accounting and Finance

Individuals who meet all of the requirements earn the right to display the CDFM designation after their names. CDFMs who also pass the Module 4 exam, which tests defense acquisition competencies, earn the CDFM-A: CDFM with Acquisition Specialty.

View and share our CDFM brochure and one-pagers:

CDFM Brochure
Benefits of CDFM Certification
CDFM for Career Progression
Funding and Reimbursement

OUSD(C) Now Accepts the CDFM™ as an Alternative to DFMCP Certification!

In January 2021, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense released a Policy Memorandum announcing the CDFM as one of five professional certifications that can serve as an “Alternative Professional Certification” to any of the three DFMCP certification levels. This exception to policy means you can now “present and maintain” the CDFM to meet any of the three DFMCP certification levels—earning the CDFM gives you a transferable, test-based credential that can be used anywhere in Federal service or the private sector!

The Value of CDFM™/CDFM-A™ Certification


  • OUSD(C) accepts actively-maintained CDFM or CDFM-A certification as an alternative to any level of DFMCP certification
  • The CDFM (to include the CDFM-A) is one of the DoD-approved professional certifications that the DoD Financial Management Certification Program “Recommends” at DFMC Level 2 and “Strongly Recommends” at DFMC Level 3
  • Certificants are listed on ASMC’s website registry
  • New certificants are listed in the Armed Forces Comptroller (AFC), ASMC’s quarterly journal
  • Marketable, recognized credential to prospective employers and clients
  • Shows growth and advancement within the profession
  • Pride at being a part of a prestigious organization that supports the profession
  • Earning a voluntary, professional certification indicates your level of initiative and distinguishes you from others in the field
  • A beautiful, high-quality wall certificate displays your accomplishment
  • Possible ASMC Chapter and/or on-the-job recognition
  • Enhances your career and reputation
  • Certification maintenance requirements necessitate your continuing professional development and ensure that you stay current with industry trends and changes

Celebrating 20 Years Strong!

The Certified Defense Financial Manager certification program turned 20 in 2020!  We congratulate and celebrate those who have earned a CDFM or CDFM-A.  They have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in defense financial management and joined an elite group of highly qualified professionals.

The CDFM is the Sign of Distinction in Defense Financial Management!

CDFM Program Background

The CDFM is a professional, assessment-based certification originally developed by ASMC in partnership with the Department of Defense and the Chauncey Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Educational Testing Service. The CDFM exams went live in the year 2000. The CDFM Program is governed by the ASMC Certification Commission, and the ASMC Certification Department runs the day-to-day operations.

ASMC is proud to be a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence in show of our support of the credentialing community and our commitment to strive for excellence in our CDFM certification program.

View Active CDFMs

ASMC provides a list of all currently active and Certified Retired CDFMs and CDFM-As here.

Reimbursement Resources

Most employers offer reimbursement for pursuit of a professional certification. Some resources for seeking reimbursement can be found here.