Through the partnership, the Kelley School is continuing a legacy of creating workshops for undergraduate students that arm them with industry-specific knowledge that sets them apart when they begin their work lives.
Ash Soni. Photo courtesy of the Kelley School of Business
“In conversations with companies and alumni in corporate finance, we have learned there is an increasing demand in corporate finance for graduates who have strong business analytics skills, which this workshop will concentrate on,” Kelley School Dean Ash Soni said. “Through this generous partnership, our students will be even more poised for future success in their careers in corporate finance.”
Top Association for Financial Professionals executives — including CEO Jim Kaitz and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Glenzer — will attend a celebration of the partnership at the Kelley School on Sept. 27.
Michael High, a Kelley alumnus and vice president of finance at Parkland Fuel Corp., serves as chairman of the association’s Board of Directors.
Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., and located regionally in Singapore, the Association for Financial Professionals is the professional society committed to advancing the success of treasury and finance members and their organizations. It establishes and administers professional credentials setting standards of excellence in treasury and finance and hosts the largest networking conference worldwide for corporate financial professionals.
“This groundbreaking new partnership provides Kelley students with the practical skills that CFOs have long identified as the most critical to driving long-term growth in their organizations,” Kaitz said. “By incorporating the body of knowledge of AFP’s financial planning and analysis certification in its curriculum, Kelley is preparing its students for in-demand jobs with exciting and diverse career paths.”
Jim Kaitz. Photo courtesy of the Association for Financial Professionals
Through the partnership with the Association for Financial Professionals, Kelley students will be better prepared to take, and successfully pass, the Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional exam offered by the Association for Financial Professionals. It is the leading credential in corporate financial planning and analysis worldwide.
According to a 2022 survey, those with the credential saw a significant increase in base salaries over those without it — from 8% among chief financial officers, to 10% among senior analysts and 18% among controllers. Some also cited holding the credential as a factor in accelerating their advancement to higher level roles.
An increasing number of companies — including Kaiser Permanente, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Whirlpool — are expressing a preference for the credential in their job postings.
Students will receive access to prep materials for the exam at no additional cost and will be able to take the exam after graduation at a reduced cost. Additional networking and internship opportunities for students will be created through the partnership. Select students will receive complimentary registrations to attend the AFP Annual Conference.
In its finance curriculum, the Kelley School already is presenting courses that will help students going into corporate financial planning and analysis, including those on data and business analytics, data analytics, cost accounting, model building and presentation skills. Workshop activity and Association for Financial Professionals prep work augments that learning and prepares students to sit for the exam.
D.J. Masson, clinical professor of finance, who has been working with the association for more than three decades as part of their certification programs, will lead the new workshop. He noted that the new workshop could benefit more than half of Kelley’s students majoring in finance, who will accept jobs as analysts, forecasters or in budgeting roles.
While the Association for Financial Professionals has worked with other universities in the past, this is the first time the association has partnered with a business school to develop a course plan designed to prepare students to successfully complete the requirements for its certification. This new partnership between Kelley and the Association for Financial Professionals will be highlighted during the 2023 AFP Annual Conference Oct. 22 to 25 in San Diego.