Certified Financial Specialist

Practical financial training for managers and other housing professionals

Certified Financial Specialist® (CFS®) teaches the nuts and bolts of property-level financial management; knowledge that is essential to the successful operation of any type of multi-family or senior housing. CFS approaches the subject in two ways. First, it teaches participants what basic financial statements mean and how to use them in the day-to-day management of a property. Secondly, CFS goes in-depth on the proper way to develop an annual budget, teaching the critical steps in creating a budget that is accurate, achievable, and effective.

Please note: The certification exam for this class is now completed online. As a result, the class concludes in two days, and students have one week to complete the online exam. (Class duration may be different at NHMI; please check specific NHMI event information.)

What you’ll learn:

Owner financial goals

It all starts with the financial goals of the owner. Participants get an overview of the various goals that owners may have and the importance of management staff understanding those goals.

The ABCs of financial management

Participants learn the key terms and concepts that underpin property-level accounting. They also learn the difference between the cash and accrual method of accounting—essential to understanding property level financial statements.

Financial statements

The program provides a detailed explanation of the monthly income and expense statement and balance sheet, with emphasis on the former. Students learn what these statements truly mean and how they are properly used in daily property management.

Variance analysis

Participants learn how to use budget variance information to identify problems and take corrective action.

Budget preparation

Students learn how to research and gather data and information that is crucial to developing an accurate annual budget. Topics include forecasting revenue, estimating expenses, addressing shortfalls, capital planning, and correctly allocating the budget over a twelve-month period.

How you will learn:

CFS is a classroom-based program led by an experienced teacher and practitioner. The program intermingles short lectures with individual exercises and group discussion. The exercises are designed to reinforce the lecture material and provide opportunities for participants to practice newly learned knowledge and skills.

Download CFS course description


Duration:  Two days
Exam: Includes ONLINE exam 
Format:  Lecture supported by exercises and discussion
Prerequisites:  None/suitable for all levels
Audience:  All housing management personnel
Provided:  CFS Course Book
Bring: Calculator (required); highlighter, pen/pencil
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