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How the CCIFP Certification Can Help You

Chuck Elyea, CCIFP, Chairman

I am often asked about the value that the CCIFP certification holds, so I’d like to address the benefits of earning the designation and how it not only helps exam candidates, but also public accounting firms, banks and sureties, as well as employers and recruiters fulfill their professional goals.

Exam Candidates

Show Me the Money
The most obvious reason many construction employees take the exam is to increase their earning potential, with some employers even offering bonuses to employees upon passing the exam. Whatever your motivation, becoming certified may increase your earnings, in addition to further enhancing your career potential.

Professional Development 
While you may be comfortable in your job, expanding your knowledge will help make you a more effective financial executive. As an example, David Pesce, a surety executive and one of the Institute’s trustees, asserts that the know-how required to pass the exam involves areas in which every underwriter should already be competent. Studying for the exam ultimately helped David identify a major shortcoming in a client’s internal financial data, which allowed his firm to decline their offer. When another surety took the deal, it cost them millions of dollars.

Professional Credibility 
If you’re not a CPA, a CCIFP is also a significant addition to your professional credibility – and, even more so if you are not currently in an executive financial management position. While many professionals think a CPA designation alone is enough, a CCIFP represents significant industry expertise and specialization, helping you stand out in a crowd among other CPAs. 

Other Parties & Influencers

The benefits of the CCIFP designation are not only for the test taker. Various other firms and individuals have vested interest in CCIFPs.

Public Accounting Firms 
There’s no better way for firms to demonstrate dedication to construction as a major practice area than to have CCIFPs on staff.

Of note, the ICCIFP just changed its eligibility requirements with CPA firms in mind. Candidates can now take the exam before meeting the experience requirements. Exam preparation can be used as a learning tool and possibly attract and retain younger talent, which is sorely needed in construction.

Having clients with CCIFPs on staff will increase your confidence in their management teams and interim financial statements. If bankers or bonding agents pursue the certification themselves, they will have a greater appreciation for the risks and rewards of construction.

Employers & Recruiters 
In addition, employers and recruiters must consider that, short of industry experience, having a CPA is not enough for an executive financial management role. While a CCIFP designation does not automatically qualify a job candidate, it can shorten the due diligence on a new hire by showing a minimum level of competence expected of a CFM.

If you would like more information on how you can obtain your CCIFP designation and become part of the ICCIFP family of professionals, visit or contact me at

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; join CFMA to receive the magazine.

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