GNAC offers professional development certification for local officials

Radford University’s Governmental and Nonprofit Assistance Center (GNAC) has just completed offering a new professional certificate program to 51 participants. The Virginia Government Accounting Certificate is offered through a joint training program with the Treasurers' Association of Virginia (TAV).  

The professional development training program is designed for officials working in local government treasure’s offices.

All courses were taught by faculty from Radford’s College of Business and Economics (COBE). The certification program requires participants to complete three levels of courses and successfully pass exams at each level.

Level 1 – Accounting: Basic Governmental Accounting

Level 2 – Understanding Governmental Accounting

Level 3 – Financial Reporting and CFAR

Each course was offered in Roanoke and Newport News this year. GNAC Director Bruce Chase, a professor of accounting at Radford University, said that the joint certificate program will be offered annually.

The courses are part of the TAV professional Certification Program which is administered by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia.

The newly developed certification program is the second for Radford’s GNAC. For more than a decade it has partnered with the Virginia Government Finance Officers Association (VGFOA) to design and provide a certificate training program for finance professionals who work or aspire to work in the Commonwealth's state and local governments.

The program provides professional training in accounting, budgeting, cash management, debt, administration, internal controls, Virginia law and various other topics pertinent to state and local governments.

Ten classes – eight mandatory and two electives – are required to complete the program. More than 16 of these courses are offered across the state each year.

Individuals receive a certificate upon completion of the program. Nearly 200 individuals have completed the program during the 10-plus-years partnership.

"If you go to any sizeable local government office, you're likely to find one of our certificates hanging up," Chase said. "We have provided professional training for many government finance officials, mainly local government finance officials, in Virginia."

In addition to its partnership with VGFOA, GNAC provides quality professional financial education and technical assistance to governmental and not-for-profit organizations. It has developed alliances, partnerships and other arrangements with other selected professional organizations and associations, such as the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

The purpose of these relationships is to identify educational and training needs and to provide programs and delivery systems to meet those needs. This approach allows GNAC to complement the programs of existing professional organizations, Chase said.

GNAC offers a variety of workshops and online seminars throughout the year, covering topics about public sector finance and management that are of interest to local government finance officials.

GNAC has been operating for about 12 years and is one of COBE's major outreach projects, Chase said.

To learn more about GNAC, contact Chase at 540-831-6734 or

Sep 13, 2016
Chad Osborne