Grad School Confidential: Credit, Creativity and the CCE


Mark Woolnough, CPA, O'Neal Steel Co., Inc. will be sitting for the CCE exam tomorrow morning with most of his other second-year grad school classmates. Here he talks about how GSCFM prepared him for the exam, and how his role in credit has changed.

How long have you been in credit?

I'm a director of credit and I haven't really added up the years but let's just say somewhere or another I've had 25 years of involvement in credit, and the last 7 years that's all I've been doing. I'm very much involved in setting policy and working with sales on the big picture, looking at our portfolio and making sure we're hitting the right milestones, and sort of setting the pace.

How is what you're doing now different from what you were doing, say, 10 years ago?

I think there's a heightened realization that what we do really can impact the business, whether it's from impacting cash flow, whether it's to minimize risk, to even how we can make sales and find the right customer. Also helping sales know what baggage customers bring with them so that they can price accordingly. We're not so much viewed as a hindrance anymore. We're moving more and more into that partnership relationship.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

It's a lot of diversity, and the business situations are what makes up that diversity. You don't know what you're going to get hit with next, and you have to maintain a level of creativity because what worked yesterday might not work today.

Are there aspects of the grad school program that allow you to exercise that creativity?

I think the most creativity comes about when you're dealing with your peers in this setting. Not only are you asking the people who are instructing us, but you're asking your peers what they would do in this situation, and that's helpful.



Stay tuned to NACM's blog for more updates from NACM's ongoing Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management (GSCFM).

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