Certified Financial Specialist (CFS)

CFS provides managers with a sound foundational system for day-to-day financial management of properties.

Practical financial training for housing professionals

Essential to the successful operation of a property is sound financial management. Certified Financial Specialist (CFS) teaches the fundamentals of property-level finance for managers of multi-family and senior housing communities. This two-day certification course begins with an overview of basic financial statements and how they are properly used in day-to-day management of the property. Once the participant understands this foundational element of property-level finance, CFS goes in-depth on developing annual budgets that are achievable, accurate, and effective.

Starting June of 2020, Certified Financial Specialist (CFS) will also be offered Live Online. CFS Online will take place over four (4) days for four hours each day. The certification exam for CFS Online will also be completed online with students have one week following the end of the class to take the exam.

Please note: The certification exam for this class is completed online. Students have one week following completion of the class to take the online exam.

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 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’ll learn:

  • CFS is a classroom-based program led by an experienced instructor 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.

Course Profile

wdt_IDFirst ColumnSecond Column
8Duration (Classroom)Two Days; 8AM - 5PM Local Time Each Day
9Duration (Live Online)Four Days; 1PM - 5PM EST Each Day
10ExamIncludes online exam - one week to complete
11FormatLecture supported by exercises and discussion
12PrerequisitesNone/suitable for all levels
13AudienceAll housing management personnel
14ProvidedCourse Materials and relevant portions of HUD manuals 4370.2 and 4381.5
15BringCalculator (required); highlighter, pen/pencil (recommended)

Upcoming Courses