Highlights from the AGC/CFMA 2015 Annual Conference
Author: Mark Prouhet
More than 450 construction industry professionals convened in Las Vegas in November for the 19th Annual Association of General Contractors (AGC)/Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Construction Financial Management Conference. The conference offered many great opportunities to learn about the latest issues and trends affecting the construction industry. In addition, the conference lent itself to great networking with individuals in the construction industry.
The conference kicked off with two general sessions on the first day. The first session, “Construction Financial Management Boot Camp: A Day in the Life of a CFO,” was led by a panel of highly respected financial-level construction executives. The panel’s main message was simple: Finance team members must continually find ways to add value for the company and its owners. The need to add value has always been present, but it’s elevated in periods of increased competition, reduced margins and increased risk. Discussed methods for adding value included proactive cash management, active communications with outside service professionals and effective risk management. The panel also discussed industry topics, including hiring and retention challenges, work-life balance concerns (particularly for the younger generation) and technology.
The second general session, “How to Herd Cats: Managing Risk in Technology Information Systems,” focused on how technology has transformed employees’ approach to their personal and business lives. Technology has increased efficiency, effectiveness and convenience in how industry professionals manage their companies, but this doesn’t come without risks and limitations. This general session helped create awareness of those risks and illustrated ways individuals and companies can better protect themselves.
The second and third days of the conference consisted of more than 30 sessions on a wide array of industry topics, including audit and tax technical updates, tax reduction and deferral strategies, an economic and political outlook, strategic trends, organizational change, retention and incentive tools, succession issues, financial markets update, bank and surety updates and federal procurement.
The conference also offered roundtable breakout sessions on horizontal and vertical construction, family business and tax and accounting issues. These facilitated breakout sessions offered attendees the ability to interact in an open discussion, which encouraged questions and active participation.
The conference covered an extensive list of industry topics applicable to construction companies of various structures and sizes. For more information on these or any other topics, contact your BKD advisor.