FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do we need a financial strategist?

    Just as your development team benefits from a consultant with many capital campaigns under her belt, and your project team benefits from an owner’s rep with a wide breadth of project experience, your finance team will benefit from my many years of service.  What I offer is unique; normally the agency’s CFO has to invent a system to track the financial data coming in from the capital campaign and the construction site and align it all with the financing effort.  Not so easy if you’ve never worked on a building project – in fact, few CFOs will have this experience in their careers. With my financial model, these features are built-in; the CFO can then concentrate on managing the data – as well as the other tasks already on their plate!

  • Please explain how the financial model works

    The financial model represents the nexus of all information related to time or money on your project – using it facilitates proper capital project financial management.  It tracks the project budget, changes to the project budget, expenditures to date, risks such as change orders and other exposures to contingency, and the construction schedule expressed in terms of cash flow.  The model also projects capital campaign progress, monthly cash requirements, loan requirements, loan costs and provides a detailed metric report, suitable for lender-review, showing the fiscal health of the project.  The model is available in two forms: the feasibility study and the full version.

  • We’re just beginning to explore a possible capital project. How does the feasibility study work?

    If your project is in its early stages – you have a project budget in mind and a projected schedule  – I can generate a pro-forma project budget, capital campaign and financing parameters, and a project cash flow. I provide this information to your agency, explain the significance of the data points and you can adjust the model parameters until you arrive at a viable project approach.

  • We did the feasibility study. Can it be expanded into a full financial model?

    Yes, the rest of the elements can be added.

  • Do you consult on capital campaigns?

    Not per se, but I provide techniques to fine tune the capital campaign strategy so it dovetails with the construction schedule and financing efforts. The financial model I design for your project will include live data from your capital campaign including current pledges, prior and future pledge payments, and an estimate of the monthly fundraising progress required to meet construction commitments 

  • Are you an owner's rep?

    No. I work with owner’s reps and the agency’s project team to quantify and reduce financial risk in the capital project budget. Data collected from the owner’s rep each week, such as pending change orders and other project exposures, is included in the financial model in order to quanify total project risk.  Fundraising benchmarks are then set to cover the risk. 

  • We’re not in Denver. Do you work with out-of-state agencies?

    Certainly – much of the work in setting up the financial model and even updating it on a monthly basis can be done remotely.  Training is best done in person, of course, but some of this can be done by phone as well.

  • We’d like to explore training for our staff. What does a typical day of training look like?

    I like to meet separately with each department and train staff on topics related to their area of expertise. I show each team how their work interrelates and affects the work of others.  Departments might include: finance, development, management and trustees, owner’s rep / construction / project team, plus any other department or group that makes budgeting decisions, e.g. the exhibitions department of a museum.  After each group has been trained in their area, we meet in one large group to review how the data integrates into the model, how the report metrics are interpreted, and what situations are considered urgent and require a management decision. I ensure that each member of the team understands their role and the effect of their work on the project as a whole.

  • Why do the general contractor and our owner’s rep need training?

    The general contractor and owner’s rep are experts in the field of construction and construction management, respectively, and can easily collect the data needed for the model, once they know how the data will be used.  It’s just a matter of letting them know what risk data is needed on a weekly basis, how it should be quantified and monitored, and how to plug it into the budget model.

  • My staff doesn’t have time to properly manage project finances, but we need these services.

    I am available for turnkey financial management of your project.  Alternatively, if you decide to bring in additional staff, I can train them to collect the data and update the model.  I can provide supervision and review the data remotely to ensure success.

  • How do we hire you? What will it cost?

    As with your owner’s rep or capital campaign consultant, I am hired by contract.  I bill hourly for my services and can provide a monthly estimate, which is based on the timeframe and phases of your project.  Costs vary depending on which serices your agency needs; the most cost effective method is for me to train your staff.