The Path to Certification: Take the Next Step in Your Career with the CHAE and CHTP

professional certification is a measurable indicator of knowledge and training in your field. It is also a valuable investment of your time and resources towards better career opportunities.

If you are a hospitality finance or technology professional, you can increase your confidence, demonstrate your industry expertise and impress current and future employers by obtaining HFTP’s Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE®) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) designations.

HFTP offers the only designations for finance and technology professionals in the hospitality industry. Active CHAE and CHTP certificants have reported higher salaries and various career advancement opportunities.

“I consider the earning of my CHAE and CHTP certifications as one of the highlights of my hospitality career,” states Mark T. Pate, Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA, who works as an assistant controller and IT director. “They are a source of pride displayed in my office and generate questions from visitors. If you have been contemplating earning either of the certifications, I would encourage you in that pursuit. You will be very glad you did.”

Follow these five steps to set yourself firmly on the path of professional excellence and become a certified hospitality professional today.

Step One: Apply for the exam. Your ultimate goal is to pass the designation exam. The first step in the process is to submit your application. Get started by requesting the CHAE or CHTP application. Then, complete the application process and include the required materials needed to take the exam.

Step Two: Pair up with an advisor. HFTP created the Certification Advisory Program (CAP) to help designees successfully prepare for the exam. CAP pairs up certification applicants with an experienced advisor who will help and support in one-to-one interactions, giving them a supplemental review to aid them in preparation for the certification exams.

The CAP program also serves as a valuable networking opportunity. By taking advantage of CAP, you gain a close professional contact that you can sustain throughout your career.

You can apply for the CAP program by checking the box on the certification exam application that indicates you would like to participate.

Step Three: Prepare for the exam with your advisor’s guidance. The advisor will be an experienced, active CHAE or CHTP designee who meets with the candidate throughout the study process via conference call, email and face-to-face if possible. Your advisor has tools, resources and acquired knowledge of the HFTP certification process to help you prepare.

“I have been trying to achieve the CHAE designation for several years. I studied and studied and a few of the sections I just couldn’t get through,” says Alicia White, a controller who earned her CHAE, of her experience with the CAP program.

“I worked with a mentor for a few months who helped me realize that I knew the material, I just needed help building my confidence and being held accountable for the knowledge that I didn’t use every day. I don’t think I would have made it through the last few sections without this program.”

Renee Zhang, CHAE, is a chief financial officer who found that preparing for the CHAE exam allowed her to simultaneously better understand her job. “I am much better in understanding the USALI and ethics code by preparing for the CHAE examination, which is quite useful in my daily work. So, I will stimulate more of my associates to learn and try to take part in it.”

Step Four: Take the test. The certification exam is offered online, as well as throughout the year at HFTP sponsored events. Check the certification calendar for upcoming exam dates. Private exams may also be arranged for those unable to travel to an HFTP event or who would like to take the exam privately if you have a proctor.

HFTP certification exams are also available online 24/7. You must have a completed application on file (See: Step One). Online test results are sent instantly by email once a section of the exam is completed. If you have your approved application on file and a proctor that is ready, you can be scheduled to test within a few working days’ notice.

Step Five: Pass to become a certified professional. Did you pass your exam? Congratulations! You have officially earned your CHAE or CHTP designation. By completing the path to an HFTP certification, you have demonstrated a renewed commitment to the hospitality industry and your profession.

So, how do employers feel about certification? Tina Marie Samson, CHAE, is a chief financial officer who believes it is an important distinction for employees. “When hiring finance professionals, I place a high regard on the CHAE designation because it shows a strong dedication to the hospitality industry.”

Learn more about HFTP’s globally recognized certification programs and take the path to your certification today. Email Robin Bogdon, HFTP certification manager at

Briana Gilmore is the HFTP communications coordinator.
Briana can be reached at or +1 (512) 220-4017.

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About the Author: Briana Gilmore