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When a firm is looking for a market differentiator, certification is one that pays off in many ways. Finance employees who work in construction practice groups should become Certified Construction Industry Financial Professionals (CCIFP). Certification adds marketability to accounting firms and helps the team to be better equipped to serve construction clients. Here are a few ways that the CCIFP credential can make a firm more marketable.

Establish the Depth of Employee Experience

The CCIFP certification covers a robust set of knowledge domains that touch many parts of the construction financial sector such as income recognition, budgeting and planning, and risk management. Obtaining such a certification reassures clients that a firm’s employees have a depth of knowledge in every aspect of their job.

Demonstrate the Standards to Which Employees Are Held

Having CCIFPs on staff offers clients an added layer of assurance that their project team is professional, ethical, and has met a nationally accredited standard. It provides peace of mind that the project’s finances are being managed effectively and efficiently by a certified professional.

Show Bench Strength

Gone are the days when accountants focused solely on the numbers. Today’s construction accounting professionals are involved in every aspect of financial and operations management. A conventional accountant has little to no experience dealing with work-in-progress schedules, complex revenue recognition rules specific to construction, certified payrolls, sureties and risk management, workers’ compensation, and more. Construction accounting is truly unique and has different standards related to revenue, expenses and gross profit recognition.

Having the CCIFP designation helps demonstrate to clients that the team understands their financial needs. It also equips employees to look at the client company as a whole and focus on other areas of the client’s business, which helps the firm serve its clients more completely, have richer conversations and strengthen its relationships.

Showcase Dedication to the Industry

When responding to requests for proposals and meeting new clients, spotlighting the CCIFPs throughout the firm shows its dedication to working with construction industry clients. Clients often find value in seeing that a firm has invested time and resources into learning as much as they possibly can. The CCIFP designation shows that a firm believes in the value of its employees and its commitment to the construction industry.

Boost Employee Satisfaction

Certification underscores that employees meet set national standards, which can help identify potential hires and motivate current employees to continue working at the top of their game. This helps to broaden an organization’s reach while also building credibility for the firm. By investing in certification for the team, the firm is supporting its staff’s professional skill and career development. This not only increases the job performance of individuals but also their loyalty to the organization and stability for clients, which helps the firm win and retain clients. Plus, certified professionals tend to solve complex problems more efficiently and effectively, allowing the firm to bill services at premium rates.

Underscore That the Team Is Current

CCIFPs are required to submit continuing education credits to maintain their certification. Most CCIFPs regularly attend annual conferences and workshops that offer topics focused on tax and legal updates, which assures clients that the team’s knowledge is up to date.

Certification goes well beyond helping a firm win a coveted spot on industry lists. It is a competitive advantage that underscores the firm’s unique and advanced skill set and in-depth technical know-how in construction finance. This one investment pays dividends in many ways. Firms should define their advantage and learn more about the CCIFP certification at www.cfma.org/ccifp.

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