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Best Practices/Advisories

Note: GFOA is currently making changes to the website related to how best practices are displayed. During this transition, some best practices may not appear below.  All work should be complete by Tuesday, May 16.  If you have any questions or need help finding a best practice, please contact Mike Mucha.

GFOA Best Practices identify specific policies and procedures as contributing to improved government management. It aims to promote and facilitate positive change rather than merely to codify current accepted practice. Partial implementation is encouraged as progress toward a recognized goal.  

GFOA Advisories identify specific policies and procedures necessary to minimize a government’s exposure to potential loss in connection with its financial management activities. It is not to be interpreted as GFOA sanctioning the underlying activity that gives rise to the exposure.

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192 Documents

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Refunding Municipal Bonds

Best Practice

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends that issuers include guidelines in their debt management policies that address preservation of future refunding flexibility when issuing any debt, formal refunding objectives, and monitoring of refunding opportunities on outstanding debt.

Committee: 
Governmental Debt Management

Cash Flow Analysis

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments perform ongoing cash flow analysis to ensure that they have sufficient cash liquidity to meet disbursement requirements and limit idle cash. When conducting a cash flow analysis governments should:

Committee: 
Treasury and Investment Management

Investment Policy

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that all governments establish a comprehensive written investment policy, which should be adopted by the governing body.

Committee: 
Treasury and Investment Management

Hybrid Retirement Plan Design

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments that choose to provide a hybrid retirement benefit plan address key points related to plan design, funding policies, board governance, plan conversion, and participant education.

Key plan design considerations.

Committee: 
Retirement and Benefits Administration

Accurately Displaying Total Expenditures in Budget Presentations (Budget Consolidation)

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments ensure that their entity-wide budget totals reflect real economic activity and that material double-counting does not occur. To safeguard against double counting, governments should observe the following factors:

Committee: 
Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy

Sustainable Funding Practices for Defined Benefit Pensions and Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that government officials ensure that the costs of DB pensions and OPEB are properly measured and reported. Sustainability requires governments that sponsor or participate in DB pension plans, or that offer OPEB, to contribute the full amount of their actuarially determined contribution (ADC) each year.

Committee: 
Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting
Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy
Retirement and Benefits Administration

Ensuring Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) Sustainability

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments ensure OPEB sustainability by evaluating key items specifically related to OPEB, including the structure of benefits offered, the associated benefit cost-drivers, and clear communication to stakeholders.2

Committee: 
Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting
Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy
Retirement and Benefits Administration

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