As CFMA President and CEO Stuart Binstock said, the Coming Together theme of this year’s national Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) conference could not have been more fitting. As more than 1,400 attendees arrived at the event, it was clear that in-person interaction had been greatly missed over the past couple of years. In addition to coming together with other CFMA members, many legacy BKD and DHG team members were able to spend time together and look forward to the future as FORVIS.
The speakers throughout the many sessions did not fail to impress and covered relevant topics that organizations are facing today. Keynote speakers provided inspirational and informative presentations on how to focus in an unfocused world and personal growth. Labor, supply chain management, and inflation were all challenges discussed throughout the conference and several sessions provided insights on how to help.
Outside of the many opportunities for networking and getting to see familiar faces again, there was a host of well-attended breakout sessions on a wide range of topics. There were several topics that stood out to our team as being on point and relevant to the current economic environment for the construction industry.
2022 Tax Update
The 2022 tax session was a good update on where current proposed legislation stands and a reminder of what provisions passed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be sunsetting at the end of 2025. While no significant legislation was passed under the proposed Build Back Better plan early this year, there are still a host of tax increases and revenue raisers that the current administration would like to include in future legislation. Several construction-specific planning ideas were discussed. While many of these planning items were aimed at temporary income deferrals, these temporary differences can lead to permanent tax savings when implemented during a tax rate change.
IRS Backlog & Funding
In addition to an overview of the current tax environment, there also was a deep look into the current situation at the IRS. Frequent reports of backlog issues from news media, industry professionals, and service providers have been circulating over the last year. The insights provided by former IRS agent Gary Stirbis gave attendees an update on issues currently facing the service and how funding will be used to increase capabilities in the future.
Professionals in evaluating project risk assessment, monitoring tools, billing practices, and contract negotiations gave insightful tips on how to effectively manage risks and have project success. These sessions highlighted the importance of being able to develop mitigating steps to address project-related risk and having the proper tools in place to monitor project performance and identify key metrics. Focusing on these key areas can help identify red flags in projects earlier and allow organizations more time to react.
Angela Morelock, managing partner at FORVIS, provided attendees with some real-life examples of how fraud can wreak havoc on an organization’s financial performance and undermine business objectives. Morelock touched on the risk areas management should watch for and how organizations can better protect themselves with prevention tips that are often overlooked. The session educated organizations on emerging fraud schemes and how to avoid becoming a victim, as well as how complex data analytics can be deployed for fraud detection.
View our services for more information on how forensic accounting and fraud prevention and detection can help your organization.
There were multiple sessions dedicated to cybersecurity at this year’s conference. With an ever-increasing reliance on technology in construction, the need for education and guidance in this area was evident. Companies that rely on interconnected systems and technology are highly exposed to IT risk. The CFMA sessions dedicated to these topics gave financial professionals in the construction industry a better understanding of cybersecurity risks, as well as the ability to recognize actionable items they can implement to help mitigate threats such as data breaches, ransomware, natural disasters, and many others.
While environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting is still something new to many professionals in the construction industry, it is quickly becoming a critical factor in business decisions made by organizations. From bidding new jobs to obtaining financing from lending institutions, the focus on these three letters could soon mean the difference between winning and losing your next project. For more information on ESG, view our services.
We are proud to continue our Principal Partnership with CFMA as FORVIS, and we look forward to the 2023 CFMA Annual Conference & Exhibition in July 2023 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort. If you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS or submit the Contact Us form below. View our construction services for a look at how we can help.