Certified Credit Executive® (CCE®) Exam Study Guide

About this Guide:

This guide presents a listing of suggested study topics and recommended books and material to prepare for the CCE designation exam. Due to the comprehensive nature of the exam, this guide cannot present a listing of every possible topic that can appear on the exam. Depending on your level of proficiency, you may not need to read every book. Some topics are duplicated in these publications. Be sure to spend time on legal and financial issues when preparing for the exam.


About the Exam:

The length and scope of each CCE exam may vary. Traditionally, the exam is comprised of two sections: short answer/essay questions covering a variety of credit, legal and management issues and a case study. The exam measures a candidate's ability to apply concepts to situations or explain how they relate to the field of business credit. The case study will require a candidate to analyze a case company and apply your findings to specific questions.

Candidates may take up to four hours to complete the exam. Many candidates have difficulty with the time constraint. We suggest you take questions from the Charles Gahala text listed herein, and attempt to answer the questions in one or two well-developed paragraphs. To get a feel for the testing environment, time yourself. Gauge your progress after fifteen minutes. If you are unable to thoroughly discuss a topic in a timed situation, focusing on the topic's primary issues, you may wish to review the topic in greater detail or continue with these timed exercises.

During the exam if you are uncertain about a question, move on and come back to it later or provide as much information as you know since partial credit is given. If the exam instructions state that a fully developed answer is composed of two or three paragraphs, do not over or under respond to the question. Providing a two-page answer where two paragraphs will suffice only eats away at your time. Also, keep in mind that the opposite is true. If you are familiar with a subject, writing a two sentence response is clearly too brief based on the instructions.

Please be aware that the essay portion of the exam and the case study section are each worth approximately fifty points. No one section is more important than the other. The exam you take will note the precise value of each question. Texts and notes may not be used during the exam. Hand-held calculators may be used. Candidates must earn a final score of 70% to pass this examination. And finally, please keep in mind that every test-taker is different. You are the best judge of your study habits and testing strengths and weaknesses.

Suggested Reading:

Depending on an applicant's proficiency, some or all of the following publications are recommended:

  • Credit Management: Principles and Practices, 4th edition by Dr. Charles Gahala, CCE
  • Understanding Financial Statements by Lyn M. Fraser
  • Manual of Credit and Commercial Laws, by NACM
  • Antitrust, Restraint of Trade, and Unfair Competition: Myth Vs. Reality by Wanda Borges, Esq.

All of these publications are available for purchase through the NACM Bookstore.

Credit Management: Principles and Practices by Dr. Charles Gahala

This book presents a comprehensive review of the many topics covered by the exam. It is recommended that candidates read the entire book and answer the end of chapter questions. Depending on a candidate's level of knowledge, the other publications listed in this guide should be consulted.

Understanding Financial Statements by Lyn M. Fraser

This book, written in an easy-to-read format, presents a comprehensive look at the subject of financial analysis.  Candidates should focus on the meaning of information or interpreting the information presented in financials.  Candidates should review this entire book.

Manual of Credit and Commercial Laws by NACM

The Manual presents a comprehensive look at the legal environment of credit. Candidates should pay particular attention to the following chapters:

Vol. I, Chapter 5: The Formation, Performance and Enforcement of Contracts
Vol. 1, Chapter 6: Antitrust and Trade Regulation for Credit Groups and Grantors
Vol. 1, Chapter 8: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act:  Compliance Issues and Regulations
Vol. II, Chapter 3: Uniform Commercial Code: An Overview
Vol. II, Chapter 4: Negotiable Instruments: Notes, Checks, and Drafts
Vol. II, Chapter 6: Secured Transactions: A Step-by-Step Explanation
Vol. II, Chapter 7: Bad Check Laws
Vol. II, Chapter 10: Consumer Protection Legislation
Vol. IV, Chapter 1: Reclamation, Stoppage in Transit and Adequate Assurance Rights, Administrative Claim in Favor of Goods Suppliers, and other Return of Goods Remedies
Vol. IV, Chapter 2: A Creditor's Guide to the Bankruptcy Process
Vol. IV, Chapter 3: Alternatives to Forcing a Financially Distressed Debtor into Bankruptcy

Please note that volume and chapter numbers refer to the 2019 edition of the Manual of Credit & Commercial Laws.  If you have an earlier edition, the chapter numbers will be different.