CPFO Spotlight: Kathleen Buch

Kathleen Buch, CPFO, is Town Administrator in Darien, Connecticut.

Image of Kathleen.

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.

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