1. Why did you want to become a CPFO?
When I was a city administrator, I became a credential city manager through the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Participation in that program, required me to actively plan out my professional development during the upcoming year. I knew the experience would be likewise in the CPFO program. I will actively reinforce those finance areas where I am strongest and know what areas I need to concentrate on becoming stronger.
2. What did you learn going through the process?
Going through the process made me realize there is a lot more to government finance than the areas in which I was comfortable. I knew budgeting and planning very well, but not Investment management. I’ve had several years of municipal management, but obviously there is still some knowledge to be gained. I also gained the comradery of several fellow finance staff from other cities as we progressed through the program and communicated through the GFOA CPFO Candidate forum. I am very grateful for their support.
3. How has becoming a CPFO made an impact on you in your profession?
As I mentioned, it has made me familiar with the areas where I need to study and learn more about certain financial principals and best practices. I know the program will have an impact as far as forcing me to plan out and actively seek out this professional development.
4. What would you say to others thinking about becoming a CPFO?
I would encourage all GFOA members to go through the program no matter where you are in your finance career. It may seem daunting at the beginning of your career, and it will require some studying, but it will encourage you to really work towards your development. If you are in the later stages of your career, you should still go through the program. You may not realize how much more learning your can accomplish. If it is easier because you have logged several years of finance experience, you might as well get the certification to show that you do know something about government finance!