1. Why did you want to become a CPFO?
I was looking for validation that I knew what I was doing. I also felt that our profession needed a certification such as the CPFO, as I often saw job advertisements looking for certifications, such as a CPA, that indicated some level of knowledge, but didn’t necessarily provide any assurance that you were knowledgeable about government – or fund – accounting. In addition to that, many of us need to be competent in a variety of areas, not just accounting. The course of study to take the various CPFO exams, for me, added to my knowledge in those areas that I had not studied in college or graduate school.
2. What did you learn going through the process?
I learned a lot about budgeting. I also learned about various types of debt that I had not dealt with – and would probably never deal with. Anything beyond straight up GO bonds was knew to me.
3. How has becoming a CPFO made an impact on you in your profession?
I think the commitment to achieving the certification was a positive. It said to others in the profession and in the community I work for that I have achieved a certain level of knowledge. It brings respect.
4. What would you say to others thinking about becoming a CPFO?
Do it! It will help you broaden your knowledge and will also give you that boost of confidence that you know what you are doing. I hope the GFOA continues to develop the program, with the goal of the CPFO being a standard requirement nationwide when hiring government finance professionals.