College Presidents Should Support CFO Professional Development

Why College and University Presidents Should Support Professional Development

If professional development budgets are tight, allocating budget to pay your your CFO's way to a conference can be difficult. The CFO and business officer who makes the strongest case, with data and specific projections, are most likely to get the green light. Why not sustain your hard-won culture of leadership and strengthen your institution by sending your CFO to the ABACC Conference?

Here are some ideas why you should invest in professional development for the individuals who have significant impact and influence on the financial success and health of your institution.

  • What are the most significant issues on your campus?  The ABACC Conference will help you your CFO, business officer, or business administrator solve them.  Take a look at the workshop schedule – are there specific workshops that will provide direction and answers? Take a look at the exhibit hall – are there specific vendors your institution can connect to that have expertise in an area that would support your institution? Take a look at the attendee list – are there important connections that can be made? If you can begin to solve just one problem on your campus, the ABACC Conference would pay for itself.
  • Compare content and costs of other conferences. You'll find ABACC is the best deal in town. Corporate sponsors underwrite ABACC's registration fees, and we have chosen a conference center with reasonably priced guest rooms and economical transportation options. You won't find a better deal than this!
  • Take a realistic look at your own, and your business officer’s skill set.  What areas of weakness could your CFO develop that would benefit your institution and his role on your administrative team? Look for workshop sessions, experienced colleagues, and subject experts that can help your CFO bolster his or her skills.
  • Look for ways to leverage the ABACC Conference content to help your institution increase net revenues and/or decrease costs.
  • Chart out a plan for your CFO to make specific, strategic, and valuable new contacts. The ABACC Conference attracts the best business officers, top-notch experts, and nationally recognized speakers. Are there specific connections that will provide the business officer, his department, and your institution with a valuable and supportive network?
  • Ask your CFO or business officer to make a presentation to you, administrative leadership, or even your Board of Directors, based on the knowledge gained at the ABACC Conference.
  • Send a list of workshop sessions to your administrative team and ask their opinion on what they think is most important to the institution, then collaborate with your CFO to plan to attend those sessions and report back afterward.
  • Delegate: This is an ideal opportunity to develop upcoming leaders.Plan who will cover for the CFO while he or she are away and how easily they can be reached should any issues or problems arise.
  • Suggest that your CFO volunteer to help at the ABACC Conference. There are lots of opportunities to help and having a specific role at the event may be helpful in justifying your presence.  It's an ideal opportunity to develop servant leadership skills.
  • Plan ahead! Don't wait until the last minute to request a budget for the conference, but build it into every year's budget in advance.  This is where your leadership is effectively demonstrated.
  • Be inspired!  Inspiration and energy comes from being around smart people with good ideas. Let your excitement be contagious and convince your CFO that attendance at the ABACC Conference will pay for itself many times over, and is your investment in their professional development.
  • Remind your business officer that ABACC is the ONLY place to get high quality professional development for the business officer with a Christian worldview perspective. How important is it to him or her that your professional development keeps your ministry and mission in mind?

Adapted from "Persuade the Boss You Really Will Work at the Conference," Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2016.