New program provides national certification option for business managers

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New program provides national certification option for business managers

By Bill Lynch


A Professional Goal of mine has been achieved with the establishment of the SFO program by Associated School Business Officials International. SFO stands for the Certification in Administration of School Finance and Operations. I was fortunate and take a lot of pride in being one of the first members of the Commission that established this long overdue program.


SFO Certification Commission - 07

ASBSD CFO Bill Lynch pictured with SFO Commission Chair Christine Lee.


SFO Certification demonstrates fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency with high standards and ethics of the professional School Business Manager.


A school business manager can now document that they are more than a “Bean Counter” – which will instill a stakeholder’s confidence in their school system. The SFO Certification recognizes the experience and expertise school business managers utilize every day in performing their job.


Economic challenges continue to impact our schools and force difficult choices upon us. In complex financial situations, it is important to demonstrate to your community that the school’s finances are managed by a knowledgeable and ethical business manager.

Here are just a few reasons to obtain the SFO designation:

  • Demonstrate initiative, professionalism, and dedication to school business management.
  • Measure knowledge and skills against the professional standard.
  • Continues professional development through the SFO recertification requirements.
  • Recognition for professional accomplishments.
  • Instill stakeholders’ confidence in your school system.

Three South Dakota school business managers passed the required examines, which measure knowledge and skills against a National Professional Standard, and can proudly add the distinction of being a National Certified SFO to all reports and correspondence.


I am confident in saying there are many more South Dakota school business managers who would pass the certification examines and would love to see the other 148 business managers take the examines.


I encourage school boards to be proactive in promoting this program so your district’s business manager, as well as the district, can get the national recognition they deserve.


You can learn more about the certification program by visiting and clicking the Learning and Career Development link.  Become the next South Dakota SFO.


I am coming close to the end of my professional career as a business manager and I am proud to have been a part of establishing this measure of excellence in school finance and operations (SFO) so school business managers can be recognized for their skills and knowledge in school Business Management.

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