Reimbursement costs now available to CMFOs

Tennessee Comptroller released information about new funding that is available to qualified CMFO candidate
Beginning July 1, 2022, cities that have employees actively participating in the Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO) program may be reimbursed for costs associated with their employees obtaining the CMFO certification. These costs include travel-related expenses and class fees. In addition, a one-time stipend of $1,000 will be awarded to eligible city employees who successfully complete the program after July 1, 2022.

The Tennessee Comptroller has released information about new funding that is available to qualified CMFO candidates.

Beginning July 1, 2022, cities that have employees actively participating in the Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO) program may be reimbursed for costs associated with their employees obtaining the CMFO certification. These costs include travel-related expenses and class fees. In addition, a one-time stipend of $1,000 will be awarded to eligible city employees who successfully complete the program after July 1, 2022.

For the past several years, TML has worked with the Comptroller and members of the General Assembly to provide city officials a stipend and reimbursement of expenses associated with the participation of the CMFO program.  The final budget adopted for the 2022-2023 fiscal year included funds for those city officials who are actively participating in the program.

“This new funding for the CMFO program comes after several years of championing additional resources for Tennessee’s municipalities. I’m so pleased that our partnerships with the Comptroller’s Office will continue to ensure our cities and towns are set up for success,” said TML Executive Director Anthony Haynes.

Policies and procedures related to these incentive programs, including eligibility requirements, can be found in the CMFO Policies and Procedures ManualCMFO Policies and Procedures 2022 (tn.gov)

Since its inception in 2007, the CMFO program, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 6-56-401, et seq., has successfully provided city financial officers in Tennessee an opportunity to learn about accounting and financial reporting principles, understand how city governments are structured, and enhance their skills in order to carry out their responsibilities for the fiscal affairs of their city or department.

"These newly funded incentive programs will allow for city employees to obtain this prestigious certification at no cost to the city, while continuing to comply with the statutory requirements of the CMFO Act," said  Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower.

TML supported the introduction of legislation to bring the Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO) program into alignment with the county program and worked with Comptroller Mumpower to advance this purpose.  In 2020, the TML Board directed the introduction of legislation to reduce the continuing education requirements for a CMFO, to establish a $1,000 stipend upon successful completion of all examinations, and to authorize reimbursement for qualifying expenses related to fulfilling course requirements. 

The TML team worked with the Comptroller to identify funding; however, the onset of COVID shortened the session and stalled efforts Last year, Comptroller Mumpower took the lead and included legislation aimed at addressing these areas in his annual legislative agenda. The General Assembly adopted a reduction in the continuing education requirements from 24 hours to 16 hours, but did not include the desired stipend or reimbursement. This session we again worked with the Comptroller to pursue funding to provide for a stipend and reimbursement of expenses.