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The CCIFP Is a Growing Industry Trend

Herbert W. Brownett
Herbert W. Brownett, CCIFP, Chairman

Networking with industry peers at a number of recent CFMA events across the country confirmed my belief that fellow construction financial professionals are increasingly grasping the value of CCIFP certification.

While many already understand how the knowledge and professional recognition that come with earning the designation can benefit their careers, it is worth noting how the various roles within construction finance all value the CCIFP in ways respective to their unique daily functions and professional trajectories.

Emerging professionals have the most to gain from becoming CCIFPs. When I spoke to a new CFO, he said he became a CCIFP because he was concerned about the learning curve he would experience. He also wanted to establish credibility with other C-level managers in his company. In addition to filling previous knowledge gaps by studying for the exam, he acknowledged that the designation helped elevate his status and garner respect from peers.

I encountered several other established CFOs who had earned the CCIFP credential. While they acknowledged that the CCIFP was not essential for career advancement (a number of other professional accomplishments, opportunities, and factors helped them reach success),
they wanted to set the bar for the next generation of CFMs by embracing continuous education alongside building professional experience.

There is one company in Pennsylvania where the controller, an emerging professional, asked his CFO for support to become a CCIFP. The CFO was not only supportive in terms of resources, but also offered to become certified with him. They studied together, and both passed the exam – a great example of leadership!

While many CPAs discovered the value of the CCIFP early on (CPA firms specializing in construction finance are often committed to certification), it also appears that a growing number of banking and surety professionals are catching on to its merit.

For example, a Colorado-based banker decided to earn his CCIFP simply because he felt he would learn something new and that another professional certification could only benefit his career. What surprised him was how much his clients appeared to value the credential. He said it gave him insight into the world of the construction CFOs that he dealt with every day. He was excited to tell me that his clients recognize this understanding and have been referring him to others.

Success comes when preparation meets opportunity. If you are an emerging CFM, will you be prepared when presented with the next promotion or job opportunity? If you are a CPA, banker, or surety professional, will you be prepared when the next client opportunity presents itself? Be prepared. Become certified!

Copyright © 2018 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.

Contact publications@cfma.org for reprinting information. You can also download a PDF of this article.