What’s in Your Toolbox?

By Kenneth L. Chiccotella, CCIFP, Chairman

Not so long ago, CFMs’ tools included dumb terminals, expensive and slow dial-up internet connections, and, if they were lucky enough, a brick-sized cell phone used only for emergencies. Today, they include enterprise-wide systems, high-speed internet connections, and cell phones that have more computing ability than some desktop computers. 

Just as it’s critical to keep tools up-to-date to ensure projects are built effectively and efficiently, it is also important for CFMs to invest in “tools” to keep current with industry trends and ensure they can perform their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Like every issue of CFMA Building Profits, this one focuses on tools for the CFM to add to your toolbox and Build It Forward.

In addition to the magazine, there are many other helpful tools available through your CFMA membership.

First, much like daily jobsite toolbox talks can provide a forum for feedback and collaboration, CFMA’s Connection Café (cafe.cfma.org) is an excellent tool that can be used to start each day. Members can connect and collaborate with peers, participate in communities of interest, and access up-to-date content and news. You can receive daily digests via e-mail and access the Café through the mobile site. So, grab your morning coffee and see what your association colleagues are asking; read their helpful responses; and contribute your thoughts, ideas, and experiences to the discussions.

To help you compare your company with others, CFMA’s Construction Financial Benchmarker (www.financialbenchmarker.com) is a dynamic tool that can save you hours of analysis with an interactive, side-by-side comparison of your company’s financials vs. industry benchmarks. The Construction Financial Benchmarker provides the data that details the industry with:

  • Flexible, reliable, and immediate financial reports and in-depth analysis;
  • Key financial measurements so you can benchmark and evaluate your company’s performance; and
  • Comparative charts and graphs perfect for high-powered presentations. 

Another resource to add to your toolbox is CONFINDEXTM (www.cfma.org/confindex), CFMA’s proprietary confidence index survey of CFOs in the commercial construction sector. It is the only survey that asks the level of confidence from important decision-makers in this critical industry. 

And, the results of the 2016 JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report in partnership with CFMA, Texas A&M University Department of Construction Science, and MCAA (www.jbknowledge.com/report) can provide helpful information on technology use and trends. 

Also in the realm of CFMA resources, you can purchase Financial Management & Accounting for the Construction Industry (“The Book”) or Construction Financial Manager’s Guide to State Tax Laws 2016 (www.cfma.org/store.cfm)

Our Cost-Savings Programs – ID Shield, Legal Shield, National Purchasing Partners, Comdata, ConsensusDocs, Enterprise Fleet Management, and PartnerShip – provide innovative ways for members to save money (www.cfma.org/costsavings). And, the Online Buyers’ Guide (cfma.officialbuyersguide.net) is a premier source for information about Associate Members’ companies. 

Regional CFMA Conferences also offer unique opportunities to learn and network with your peers. Conferences are held across the U.S. each year, so be sure to check out www.cfma.org/regional_conf to find one near you. 

Finally, to fill your toolbox, CFMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition is without question the industry event of the year. Information regarding CFMA’s 2017 Annual Conference & Exhibition on June 3-7 can be found at www.cfma.org/conference so you can register and
start planning your trip to Phoenix, AZ! 

I hope that you take advantage of all the tools and opportunities available through CFMA to continue Building It Forward!


Copyright © 2017 by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). All rights reserved. This article first appeared in CFMA Building Profits and is reprinted with permission. CFMA Building Profits is a member-only benefit;
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Contact publications@cfma.org for reprinting information. You can also download a PDF of this article.