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Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP)


What is the CNAP program?

The Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) is sponsored by member firms of the National Association of Nonprofit Accountants & Consultants (NPAC). CNAP is a national initiative developed by the member firms of NPAC designed to recognize excellence in the nonprofit industry through comprehensive qualification, training, and examination.

The program is beneficial for bookkeepers, staff accountants, and any professional charged with the financial management of a nonprofit organization. Through a minimal time commitment, you will receive intensive training from individuals dedicated to serving nonprofit organizations. Best of all, you do not have to be a CPA to achieve this designation.

Achieve the CNAP Designation and Offer our Nonprofit a Financial Edge

CNAP: Professional Benefits

  • National industry recognition
  • Enhanced industry knowledge and skills via specialized training
  • Access to industry resources via participating NPAC member firms and other CNAPs
  • Increased value to your nonprofit organization

Click here to read comments from CNAP Program participants.

Why Provide CNAP Training in Your Community?

Providing CNAP training in your community provides an excellent opportunity to promote your commitment to serving the nonprofit community as well as your firm's expertise in government and nonprofit accounting professional standards. CNAP offers your nonprofit clients and other nonprofit entities in your community the financial training and information needed for accurate reporting and sound management. Training providing practical techniques that can be applied right away in their day-to-day work.

CNAP ~ Specialized Training: The First of Its Kind in the Nonprofit Sector

Whether you use this as a refresher course or as a means to gain specific knowledge, our unique hands-on curriculum includes ideas to improve the profitability of your nonprofit as well as standardized accounting practices that can be implemented in your organization immediately. The curriculum includes basic and intermediate nonprofit accounting, as well as in-depth training on more advanced topics such as internal controls, current tax issues, IRS audits, lobbying, technology, and budgeting for nonprofit organizations.

Who is NPAC?

We are a nationwide network of CPA firms specifically selected for their experience in, and commitment to, serving the nonprofit community. NPAC members combine their expertise to provide the highest quality services to improve the performance of nonprofit organizations. Through NPAC's educational programs and the continuous exchange of ideas and information, NPAC members stay on the forefront of developments in the industry.

Certification Process

  1. To obtain the registration form, contact one of the NPAC member firms offering the CNAP program NPAC Firms offering the CNAP Program
  2. Submit the registration form and $95 registration fee to receive the full registration packet from the NPAC member firm
  3. Submit application form with tuition fees
  4. Pass the exam at the end of each training course (two exams total)
  5. Have at least 18 months experience in a financial position of a non-profit organization
  6. Submit a letter of recommendation from either a past or present employer to verify work experience
  7. Receive certificate of completion

Certification Fees

$935 total program cost, which includes:

$840 Tuition Fees payable in full to the NPAC member firm hosting the program. Includes registration, tuition and meals and does not include travel expenses. (All fees must be paid 30 days prior to attending Phase I.)

$95 CNAP Registration Fee: This is a one-time fee paid to NPAC for national accreditation at the time you register or apply as a CNAP candidate

CNAP Curriculum

CNAP's curriculum provides an overview of nonprofit financial accounting, including:

  • effective fiscal systems
  • budgeting for nonprofit organizations
  • internal controls - accounting and financial policies and procedures
  • preparing nonprofit financial statements
  • nonprofit accounting and tax issues
  • understanding the role of the independent certified public accountant

There is an examination at the end of each phase. To gain certification, participants must attend all sessions and pass both examinations.

Download a membership application  Download a complete curriculum outline (PDF)