Certification In Action

How has becoming a CCIFP recently helped you?

In January 2022, I began my new role as CFO and quickly became immersed in more business aspects that require a broader understanding of many different subjects. The CCIFP exam helped me prepare for this promotion by touching on a wide variety of subjects, from accounting and reporting to IT, HR, legal, insurance, and more. By coupling Financial Management & Accounting for the Construction Industry (“The Book”) with everyday job experiences, I felt well prepared for ascension into the CFO role.

The CCIFP study guide advises spending the most time on one’s weakest subjects; doing so proved to be beneficial and gave me the confidence to successfully manage many areas of responsibility. It’s a huge advantage to have an exam and Certification designed specifically to test and certify one’s knowledge and competence in construction financial management.

What challenges have you overcome that you could attribute to knowledge gained from becoming a CCIFP?

My organization is considering new enterprise resource planning systems, as the most advanced products now incorporate much more than our current system.

With the broader and deeper knowledge that the CCIFP designation and its study process has provided, I have set software, systems, and data goals for my company’s future; I understand how to maximize this transition to a new software that incorporates all areas of my responsibility — all G&A departments. A single system for our entire back office will provide significant cost savings, help streamline many processes, and build a stronger and better connected network of independent departments.

What has been the most obvious advantage from being a CCIFP?

Covering many departments is a tremendous responsibility; becoming a CCIFP has given me the knowledge required to make decisions on many business aspects. Another big advantage in time and internal resources has been working on our annual audit with our external auditors, as both primary external accountants are CCIFPs. With this, less time is spent explaining the industry’s specifics to accountants who have not spent years working on our annual audit.

The study process has also given me the knowledge and confidence to participate in any discussions involving topics that I had less knowledge of or experience with previously.

Why is it important to have a CCIFP in your organization?

Having accountants who have spent the time and gained the industry-specific knowledge required to pass the CCIFP exam is a great advantage. Industry peers have also noted experiencing less turnover when hiring CCIFPs. Certification shows a commitment to the construction industry, and as a CFO, I want to work with accountants who have the same passion for construction as I do.

Why would you recommend the CCIFP designation to another person/business?

As someone with a passion for the construction industry, there is no greater way to demonstrate having the highest level of professional knowledge. If someone is looking to distinguish themselves and become an expert in construction accounting, earning their CCIFP is the best way to do it. When I see job candidates with the Certification, it gives me high confidence in their potential and sets them apart from other applicants.

It is also a great benefit to be a member of the CCIFP community, as discussion boards allow members to share ideas, ask questions, or seek help from experts in specific fields. Also, CFMA’s volume of continuing education is another reason to consider the CCIFP credential and participation in CFMA, as it is a great way to earn CPE credits and stay up to date with current regulations, technology, and more.

If you have your CCIFP designation and would like to share your experiences, please reach out to Veronica Whitehead at vwhitehead@cfma.org.

Copyright © 2022 by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). All rights reserved. This article first appeared in May/June 2022 CFMA Building Profits magazine.