Gerrad Harper, Certified Credit Executive (CCE) Dux for 2017, first became involved with AICM in 2006.
“I had been a Credit Manager for a couple of years and wanted to become part of a professional body to expand my knowledge and networks,” he says.
Gerrad completed a Diploma of Financial Services in 2011 and, after a few years’ hiatus to give him a break from studying, decided to enrol for the CCE in 2016. He is currently a Credit and Legal Manager at CGU Insurance.
“I was aware the CCE was the highest qualification and I was motivated to get to the next level. It was another challenge for me and I also had to find the right time to do it, considering all my other obligations,” he says.
The advantages of the CCE
Gerrad says one of the best aspects of the CCE is the ability to put into practice everything he learnt during the course. This has benefitted his credit team and CGU’s wider business.
“We have undertaken a significant change management process over the last few years. I have asked a lot of my team as we have moved to more automated workflows. It’s been a huge turnaround,” he explains.
According to Gerrad, he was able to apply information absorbed studying for the CCE directly to his role. And conversely, a lot of his work experience was also ready to be applied to the CCE essay.
“You have to read extensively and stay on top of what’s happening in the industry. Then once I picked my subject, which was Accounts Receivable Management, it was a case of drawing on real issues in the workplace to use as case studies.”
He picked eight issues on which to focus on across three main areas - installing new systems, revising terms and conditions, and managing accounts.
“Some of the issues I focused on in the CCE had been ongoing in our business and needed to be either overhauled or refined with ongoing monitoring. It allowed me to provide the team with the tools they needed to do their job better.”
As a result, CGU’s cash flow has improved, payment terms have been reduced and customer interaction is more informed. “We’ve experienced a range of improvements, really, and the team has been able to see the benefits and results of these efficiencies.”
Gerrad would recommend the CCE to anyone wanting to advance their career. “It's really rewarding because it's quite a challenge. It forces you to look at your career and credit management from a strategic standpoint. That's what the CCE is about.
“Credit Managers in all industries need to constantly update their knowledge and expertise, and the CCE allows you to do that,” he says.