The Association for Financial Professionals has introduced a global credential for corporate financial planning and analysis professionals.

The new Certified Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis Professional credential is aimed at FP&A professionals who have responsibility for budgeting and forecasting, data analysis and optimizing strategic business plans.  To earn the FP&A credential, candidates must pass a two-part examination, meet education and experience requirements and agree to abide by the AFP Standards of Ethical Conduct. The first part of the exam tests candidates' ability to gather, interpret and communicate financial information. The second part tests their ability to analyze financial information, build financial projections and use technology and software. Over 5,000 testing centers operated by PearsonVUE across the globe will offer the proctored computer-based FP&A certification exams.

The beta version of the examination was administered in February and March of 2014, with the first group of beta candidates being certified in May 2014. The certification involved FP&A practitioner subject matter experts who developed the certification.

“Independent research shows that more than three out of five C-level executives find the FP&A function to be the hardest finance position to fill,” said AFP president and CEO Jim Kaitz in a statement. “This certification creates a universal set of principles and standards of practice that companies can use to validate their critical FP&A hires. We are delighted to welcome the first class of Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professionals. We are seeing strong support for the FP&A certification around the world, especially in our meetings with CFOs, who are increasingly relying on FP&A professionals for their guidance and financial expertise. Our goals are to establish a core foundation of functional knowledge, prepare professionals for their critical roles and enhance recognition for this important profession."

Registration for the inaugural FP&A examination testing window for Aug. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2014 is currently open for application and closes on June 27, 2014. Interested candidates can submit applications at http://FPAcert.AFPonline.org.