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Andrew Lang is the chief judge of the Nonprofit CFO of the Year Awards.
The CFO of the Year Awards program is now entering its seventh year. During that time the award process has evolved; but what has not evolved is the recognition for true quality that the Awards program bestows on top CFOs in the Washington metropolitan area.
All of the individuals that have been recognized in the past have exceeded the base-line requirements for absolute quality in their field. To begin with, they have produced prompt, absolutely dependable financial statements and budgets. Each of them, however, has taken this information a step further and capably managed to communicate the most important elements contained in these statements to nonfinancial individuals – both volunteers and executives – who rely on them to make critical decisions.
Taking these measures of quality to the next level, these CFOs also have been able to recognize the changes in industry, regulatory and legislative rules that may have an impact on their organization. By identifying these potential changes before they impact their organizations, these CFOs have proved their value to the organizations that they serve.
Any CFO worthy of recognition also has proved him- or herself to be an excellent manager of financial operations, and a true, protective shepherd of his or her nonprofit’s resources.
But what separates great CFOs from the award winners? No matter what the award, there are two criteria that all the winners must share. The first is that they are currently employed at a nonprofit, and the second is that they must have the total endorsement of the CEO whom they currently serve. With these criteria in place, the winning CFO for each of the three categories varies based on the category itself.
Category: Nonprofit CFO of the Year
The winner of this category will be an outstanding CFO, who is currently making a vital contribution to the leadership of a well-recognized nonprofit. He or she serves as the right hand of the executive director while acting as a mentor for the team. This CFO will be recognized for having a positive impact on the performance of the whole organization. Finally, the winner of this category will maintain a stature that enables him or her to serve as an example of all that is best in the nonprofit world.
Category: CFO of the Year – Rising Star
To win this award a CFO must be 40 or younger, and who, despite his or her age, has come to play a major leadership role in the organization. The winner must be recognized as truly supporting his or her executive director while undertaking significant initiatives in the development of his or her nonprofit.
Category: CFO of the Year – transformational leader
The winner of this award plays a major role in the transformation of the operations of his or her nonprofit. This transformation must include not only real progress in the finance department but also in broader operational areas, such as pioneering a major program, developing and implementing a technological breakthrough, or engineering a reorganization or merger.
Based on the fact that there are only three awards, it is clear that not every CFO who is nominated can be an award winner. However, given the stringent requirements to earn the nomination, it is quite clear that no one that a CEO sees fit to nominate is less than a top-quality professional in their CEO’s eyes. I join their CEOs in applauding their very fine work.
Lang is president of LangCPA Consulting, Potomac, Md., and secretary of the Greater Washington Society of CPAs. He also is a contributor to Association TRENDS. Contact him at alang@ langcpa.com or 301-983-3206.