Skip to Content

Continuing Education Programs

Financial Planning and Budgeting

Uncover the basics of government budgeting processes and the design of budgeting and accounting structures.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to develop an understanding and working knowledge of:

  • Budget preparation and planning processes
  • Current efforts to improve budgeting and to link budgets to plans
  • Legislative review and approval of the budget; involvement of legislators and citizens in the process
  • Elements of effective budget documents
  • Budget execution and interim budget reviews


Required Course Materials

It is your responsibility to supply the following materials for the course:


Exam Schedule

Exam 1 - Financial Planning and Budgeting
Online Fall Exams
Option 1: Oct. 2 - 13, 2023 (1 Session)
Option 2: Nov. 6 - 17, 2023 (1 Session)

Online Spring Exams
Option 1: Jan. 29 - Feb. 9, 2024 (1 Session)
Option 2: March 25 - April 5, 2024 (1 Session)

A member of the professional education team will coordinate with students individually to schedule an online exam time during the scheduled exam period. 

System requirements for online GFOA exams: Windows: 10 (but not 10S), 8, 7, or Vista or Mac: OS X 10.5 or higher. Students must also have a web camera (internal or external), microphone and a broadband internet connection.

Students participating in online GFOA exams will be permitted to use a single-line, basic calculator, (3) dry-erase boards (12" X 9" recommended size), and a dry-erase marker during each GFOA exam. Students can use dry-erase boards to work through exam problems and will be required to show blank dry-erase boards at the end of the testing session.

Meet Your Instructor

James E. Kirk

Budget Director at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, and former Budget Director, Business and Finance Division, University of South Carolina

Jim earned the Bachelor in Arts in Economics from Vanderbilt University and the Master of Public Administration from George Washington University. Jim was the Deputy State Director for Fiscal Management at the South Carolina Department of Social Services and also served as the Deputy Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs at the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. His other government experience includes working as a Budget Analyst for the Governor’s Office, the State Auditor’s Office, and Arlington County, Virginia. Jim was a Research Associate with the University of South Carolina’s Bureau of Governmental Research and Service (now the Institute for Public Service and Policy Research) from 1977-1980 and is the author of several publications on financial management and administration.


Registration and Fees

Dates / SessionsTimesFees


Registration and Payment Notes

If you plan to pay by check or purchase order, select "register by mail." Complete the form and return a printout with payment to: USC Continuing Education and Conferences, Close/Hipp Building at 1705 College Street, Suite 591, Columbia, SC 29208. Your seat is not guaranteed until payment is received.

We accept online payment via electronic check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express through MarketPlace, a secure electronic environment that simplifies business transactions with the university. Follow the MarketPlace prompts to complete payment. Your transaction is only complete when you receive an order number, which is your receipt of payment. Your seat is not guaranteed until payment is received and you receive an order number.

Once you have paid and are enrolled, you'll be emailed location and parking information for face-to-face programs or online instructions about one week before the program begins.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.