STEVE LORDS RECEIVES CFMA NATIONAL AWARD!!
At the CFMA Annual Conference in Grapevine, Texas, Steve Lords of Martin-Harris Construction was awarded the CFMA National Debra Hahn Memorial Award based on his outstanding work on behalf of CFMA over the years. Congratulations Steve on this well-deserved recognition!!
CFMA is also pleased to announce that Steve Lords, CFO of Martin Harris in Las Vegas, NV and past national CFMA Chairman, has been appointed to a 1-year term with the Private Company Financial Reporting Committee (PCFRC). This committee is part of a broad initiative by the FASB and AICPA to improve their current standard-setting process to better meet the financial reporting needs of private companies and users of their financial statements.
The PCFRC is empowered to make formal recommendations to FASB about existing and prospective GAAP pronouncements. The PCFRC committee is made up of four users of private company financial statements, four preparers, and four CPA practitioners. The committee specifically sought a construction industry financial professional from among CFMA’s members. The PCFRC will stay abreast of current IASB/FASB deliberations and will make recommendations on issues that impact private companies.
Steve is very excited about his appointment and is committed to bringing the concerns and perspectives of CFMA members “to the table” during the committee’s deliberations. Peter Schwartz, CFMA President & CEO commented, “I can’t think of a better choice for this committee than Steve Lords. Steve’s reputation and knowledge of the profession and industry will serve the committee well, and represents a big step forward for CFMA in assisting with setting those accounting standards the industry lives by. I commend him and wish him well!” Recommendations of the committee can be found at www.pcfr.org. For more information, contact Peter Schwartz.
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CFMA CERTIFIED CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL (CCIFP) CREDENTIAL
Become certified!! You may have heard of CFMA’s CCIFP Certification Program. The CFMA Las Vegas Chapter now has 9 people who have been certified!! The Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional Exam is a one-day exam over fundamental aspects/body of knowledge that a construction financial professional should know. You may be knowledgeable/competent in these areas but how do you prove this to your peers and higher-level managers/executives? The way to prove this is to become certified. The job field is becoming increasingly competitive. Certification helps you to differentiate yourself from the crowd. The Las Vegas CFMA Chapter for the past four years has conducted a CCIFP review course. The same review course is planned for this Fall 2011. The Exam is offered around the country and in Las Vegas as well.
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JUNE 2011 CFMA PUTT-A-THON AT ANGEL PARK A BIG SUCCESS!!
The Las Vegas CFMA Chapter Putt-A-Thon held June 8th, 2011 at Angel Park Golf Course was a big success once again!! Thanks very much to all the very generous sponsors and to the hard-working Putt-A-Thon Committee. knowledgeable/competent in these areas but how do you prove this to your peers and higher-level managers/executives? The way to prove this is to become certified. The job field is becoming increasingly competitive. Certification helps you to differentiate yourself from the crowd. The Las Vegas CFMA Chapter for the past four years has conducted a CCIFP review course. The same review course is planned for this Fall 2011. The Exam is offered around the country and in Las Vegas as well.
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UNLV CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM SAVED!!
Thanks to the strong efforts of the CFMA Las Vegas Chapter Members along with other construction associations, the UNLV Construction Management Program has been retained. Due to the sharp fall-off in state revenue, higher education budgets have been cut significantly. In the past 2 years, the UNLV budget has been cut 31% as the State Legislature has sought to balance the state budget. This UNLV 31% budget cut is the most severe cut for any higher education institution in the United States. As an example, the average same-sized institution as UNLV has 12% of its costs in the administration area. UNLV is currently at 5% and is headed to 4%. UNLV’s budget is approximately 82% in wage/salary costs so in the face of the heavy state budget cuts, numerous positions have been left unfilled. As such numerous class sections have been cancelled resulting in extended graduation times for students. Finally the UNLV Administration decided to cut programs with smaller than average enrollments. Degree programs in construction, education, landscape architecture, therapy, lab sciences, and other areas were targeted for potential elimination. CFMA and others in the construction industry pointed out the strong need for a construction management degree program at UNLV. The substantial outpouring of support has meant the current retention of the CM Program. In a recent meeting with the UNLV Construction Management Advisory Board, the UNLV President, Neal Smatresk, sought construction industry funding for partial support of the UNLV CM Program for the next two years. This two-year period is until Nevada digs itself out of its budgetary troubles. This UNLV-requested financial support, of course, right now, is problematic as most construction firms are in a cash crunch from slow/no payments on current work and a survival mode while they keep their heads above water.
WHAT YOU MISSED AT THE MAY CFMA MEETING
John Restrepo of Restrepo Consulting Group was the guest speaker at the May CFMA Meeting looking at Nevada’s economy. John Restrepo noted that significant challenges remain for both the Southern Nevada and national economies. As of March 2011, we had 803,400 jobs in Clark County which is back to 2004 levels. In Southern Nevada we are not seeing a strong demand for high-wage, high-skilled workers. Since the advent of the recession, we have lost 180,000 jobs. At 5,000 jobs per month job growth, this will take 36 months or 3 years to get back to where we were. The labor force in Nevada is shrinking. Unemployment claims are improving but are still at a 3-year high. In Clark County the unemployment rate is 13.3%, Nevada at 13.2%, California is at 12% and the U.S. as a whole is at about 9%. In terms of weekly hours worked, Nevada is at 34.5 hours while the U.S. is at 34.3 hours. We need to get back to 37 hours before the economy will turn around. Median family income adjusted for inflation remains flat. We have a double-dip recession in the housing market. In terms of the Case-Shiller Housing Price Index, in February 2006 Las Vegas was at 240 and in February 2011, we are at 90! Gaming revenue per visitor was $278 in 2007 and in February 2011 was $240 per visitor. This will be constrained for years. In terms of gross gaming numbers Las Vegas is #3 behind Macau at #1 and Singapore at #2.
For the Las Vegas real estate industry, industrial space now has a 16% vacancy rate compared to a 3% rate in 2006. At current absorption rates industrial space has a 3-year supply. Anchor retail now has a 12% vacancy rate. We have 1.5 years of retail supply at current absorption rates just to reach a 10% vacancy rate. Office space has a 23% vacancy rate. We now have a 5-year supply of office space. These are sobering numbers for those expecting the Southern Nevada construction market to pick up.
WHAT YOU MISSED AT THE JUNE CFMA MEETING
The June CFMA Meeting Speakers in a panel discussion format were Tanya LaCosse – Johnson, Jacobsen, Wilcox, CPAs; Steve Lords – Martin-Harris Construction; Kevin Booth – WestCor Companies; and Catherine Granger – Danoski-Clutts Building Group. The panel topic was key things that the four of them learned at the 2011 CFMA Annual Conference held May 14-18, 2011 in Grapevine, Texas (Dallas). First off, if you have never been to a CFMA Annual Conference, plan on going in 2012!! There are multiple tracks of speakers and educational sessions to attend and the information is invaluable!! CFMA, on an annual basis, recruits nationally-prominent speakers that without a doubt represent the best of the best. For those in the fields covered by CFMA, it is a key investment that needs to be made by those who are serious about this industry. The four panelists covered a potpourri of topics that they had a chance to attend such as cash management, revenue recognition, and updated taxation issues. Anirban Basu, nationally-known construction economist for the Associated Builders & Contractors gave an interesting talk to CFMA on U.S. economic trends and the state of the construction industry. For the U.S., in May 2009, every state in the U.S. was experiencing recession. By April 2010 he noted that every state but one (Nevada) had come out of the recession. By March 2011, every state but Nevada and Mississippi were still out of the recession. Comparing December 2007 versus April 2011, construction on a national basis has lost the most jobs on a percentage basis with a decline of -26.2%. The next closest is manufacturing at -14.8% and the information tech sector at -11.2% decline. Steve Lords is the CFMA Representative to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and noted several significant changes coming out that will affect the construction industry. Contractors leasing equipment will have to amortize these leases that mean the lease is being treated essentially like a purchase of a capital asset. In terms of tax issues, it was pointed out that numerous changes have taken place concerning the 2011 and 2012 tax periods including bonus depreciation, retention credit, work opportunity tax credits (extended through 2011), and the energy efficient home credit of $2,000 per home for contractors was extended through 2011. The panelists were unanimous in that the time spent at CFMA was very valuable in gaining key techniques to improve the work at their firms. One overlooked area is the chance to talk to colleagues with firms in your same business line but from other areas of country that are therefore not your direct competitors to ask them about various issues.
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