Conference Sessions

GFOA’s Annual Conference will include more than 75 concurrent sessions featuring leading practitioners, subject matter experts, and top researchers. Each session will contain a panel of speakers carefully selected to provide best practice guidance, discussion of current events, case studies, debate, and interactive exercises to cover a complete suite of topics pertinent for finance officers of all types and representing all forms of state and local governments. GFOA’s concurrent sessions will be organized into separate “core” tracks that focus on essential elements within public financial management. GFOA will also place an emphasis on emerging topics that provide finance officers with information critical to supporting their organizations and communities in today’s current environment.

GFOA is currently developing sessions and they will be added as they are finalized. Topic and sessions suggestions are encouraged through GFOA's call for topics.

A sampling of sessions is listed here. A complete list of sessions along with speakers and specific times for each session will be announced in January 2019.

30 Sessions


Speakers will provide a comprehensive overview of the key developments in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting that affect state and local governments.

Budgeting requires funding services to meeting community conditions. For most governments, the traditional budget process supports maintaining the status quo, but this is not always appropriate.

GASB continues to evaluate making changes to its reporting model, which received its last comprehensive review in the project leading to the adoption of GASB Statement No. 34, issued in 1999. At the same time, the GASB examines the way governments currently report all revenues and expenses.

Since the Great Recession, defined contribution (DC) plans have increasingly garnered attention among public employers.

Ideally, all GFOA members would have great managers who help them succeed and make them feel valued. Unfortunately, not everyone has this ideal situation.

The first step in mitigating risks is evaluating those that you currently face. In this session speakers will discuss security audits and risk assessments to determine technology vulnerability. Topics addressed will include: How are assessments completed?

Whether it’s recruiting the next big business, building a sports stadium, or competing for a large convention, economic development is about generating economic activity beyond the sum of a community’s parts.

As stewards of shared resources, finance officers are tasked with managing public funds in an efficient and effective manner. Inherent in this role is an expectation of accountability and transparency to the community being served.

As governments develop long-term plans, extended forecasts, and prepare for the future, they must also be aware of the risks that the future will bring.

This session will explore a case study in cyber crime. Speakers will discuss how the victims discovered that their systems were compromised and the impact of the intrusion. Speakers will also describe the steps victims took

Finance officers and other government leaders all clearly understand that local governments are on the front line when responding to threats from sea level rise, natural disasters, and cyber security.

With increased emphasis on pension decisions, how does plan management affect a state and local government’s credit rating? Does it differ for single employer, agent employer, or cost-sharing plans?

According to the most recent Report Card for America’s Infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the physical condition and needed investment for infrastructure in the United States was graded a D+.

Having an internal audit function provides government officials with an important tool to monitor and evaluate internal control activities that are essential to meeting their government’s objectives.

GFOA has recently updated and reformatted the checklist of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and program requirements for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR Award) Program.

GASB Statement No. 87, Leases, requires lessor and lessee governments to analyze existing lease agreements to properly measure and report assets, liabilities, revenues, expenditures, and deferred items associated with the new standard.

Governments can turn to a “contracted CFO” by bringing in a consultant or contract worker to serve the duties regularly held by a full-time employee.

Even as online procurement mediums and purchasing card technology has significantly evolved in recent years, implementation of a comprehensive P-card function can still be challenging from a process, technology, and management perspective.

Finance officers and human resource managers make up and provide core administrative services that in many organizations are split into two departments. This can lead to tension, conflict, and inefficiency.

Every local government finance officer worries about fraud both internal and external to the Finance office. Fraud and counterfeiting schemes continue to pop up around the country, leaving many local governments searching for ways to protect themselves.

What is going on in the world of public pensions? This session will highlight trends seen across pension plans and the implications that they have on state and local government finance offices.

Starting in 2022, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) will replace the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as the benchmark for derivative and swap transactions in the municipal market.

Just about every organization has something called a strategic plan, but few truly have a plan to use that information in a strategic way throughout the budget process.

Are we headed for a recession? Some economists are worried economic expansion will not continue and warn to tread cautiously. Recognizing strong revenues might not continue, and some governments are already preparing for a bear market.

It is challenging to prepare for the role of a chief financial officer. Each day is different, being flexible and learning on the job is key, and navigating how to provide technical expertise while communicating in a political environment can be difficult.