What Is the Association of Government Accountants (AGA)?

The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) is an organization dedicated to serving the needs of financial professionals employed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency.  

The association works to further the interest of its members in various capacities, such as through publications, events, training, awards, and community-building efforts. It also provides professional education and sets professional standards for governmental accounting competence.

Key Takeaways

  • The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) is an organization for financial professionals that work for the U.S. Government or any governmental agency.  
  • The association works to further the interest of its 15,000-plus members in various capacities, such as through publications, events, training, awards, and community-building efforts.
  • It also provides professional education and sets professional standards for governmental accounting competence.

How the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Works

The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) offers its members a variety of professional resources, including certifications, conferences, continuing education, access to research and publications and other opportunities to help advance their skills, networking, and career goals. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the organization and its membership have a commitment to transparency and accountability, which is employed in the development of accounting and auditing standards, and improving the organization and administration of government financial management. 

1950

The year the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), then known as the Federal Government Accountants Association, was founded.

Members interact and network through local chapters, national events, and by taking leadership roles within the organization. Over 2,000 financial professionals attend the association's professional development conference each year.

Among other things, the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) is particularly renowned for its Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) credential. This certification, which it has issued since 1994, measures an individual's competency in governmental accounting, auditing, financial reporting, internal controls, and budgeting at the federal, state, and local levels over the course of several examinations. Candidates who pass the test are deemed to have the specialized knowledge and experience required to be an effective government financial manager.

Another popular service provided by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) is its Journal of Government Financial Management. The quarterly publication, produced by the organization since 1950, features insights on government financial management from experienced practitioners and academics.

Types of Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Members

The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) claims to have over 15,000 members from a broad range of backgrounds. According to the organization’s website, participants consist of elected officials, senior executives, mid-level managers, entry-level employees, and students. Other subscribers include those who work in government financial management professions, such as accounting, auditing, budgeting, financial reporting, performance reporting, grants management, contract management, and information systems.

The type of membership and price financial professionals pay to join the association depends on their employment status and which sector they work in. On its website, the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) lists the following membership types:

  • Government ($100/year): Available to individuals who work directly for a government entity, academia or nonprofit organizations (NPOs), but not including contractors who work for such groups.
  • Private sector ($160/year): Available for sole proprietors and those working for private companies, corporations, or partnerships.
  • Young professional ($45/year): For younger workers with less than three years of any kind of experience.
  • Student (free): Free electronic membership for full-time college students who are not employed.
  • Retired ($35/year): For current AGA members who are permanently retired.
  • Lifetime (free): Awarded to individuals who have 40 consecutive years of AGA membership. Such memberships are awarded each January to recognize their service.
  • Groups: Government groups of five or more people may be available for discounts for AGA training events.   

As of May 2020, financial professionals working in state and local government made up the bulk of the association, accounting for 42 percent of total membership. Individuals employed by the federal government and in the private sector, meanwhile, accounted for 28 percent and 18 percent, respectively, while academics, students, and retirees represented 12 percent of the association’s roster.