Does it seem like the accountants in your organization speak a foreign language? Come learn how to say "hello" and "I am not an accountant" in accountant-speak! At least you'll be able to ask directions to the water-fountain when you visit "governmental-accounting-land." This session will explain some of the fundamental differences between private sector and governmental accounting, provide an explanation of why those differences arose, communicate what you need to know to understand the basics of governmental accounting, and provide an overview of topics covered on the Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) exam related to accounting, auditing, and financial reporting.
New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget
GASB 84, Fiduciary Activities, becomes effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. Is your government ready? Experts in government accounting will explain key elements of GASB 84 as well as strategies for systematically reviewing and properly classifying activities currently reported as fiduciary and make suggestions on explaining required changes to budgets and financial reports to non-accountants.
ERP systems traditionally have focused on finance, procurement, human resources, and payroll. However, governments do much more than what has been labeled as the "core" scope for an ERP project. Governments building a truely integrated system are able to connect with treasury management, utility billing, permitting, work management, inventory, tax systems and more. Attend this session to learn how to create a more efficient enterprise wide system that leverages your ERP system and provides opportunities for other departments throughout the organization.
Governments that issue tax exempt debt often include their audited financial statements in official statements issued as part of offering process. This session will examine what options governments have regarding the level of auditor involvement with their tax exempt bond issues, as well as recent changes to professional standards governing what external auditors must do when their audit clients are issuing tax exempt bonds.
Wellness plans have become accepted as a strategy for increasing engagement, reducing health-care costs, and improving overall employee health, but the results have been mixed. How well do wellness plans really work? This session will explain wellness plan ROI, the kinds of programs that work best for a given strategy, and lessons learned from other governments.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement that it will hear a South Dakota case this spring involving the collection of sales taxes from online retail sales is expected to break the current gridlock on an issue that has divided members of Congress. This session will describe both the progress of the legislation to date and the potential outcome of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. Listen to panelists discuss the potential outcomes of both for local governments.
Payroll is often the largest single cost object for a government, and good payroll administration is essential for a government's efficient operations, legal compliance, and internal control. This session will discuss overall payroll practices through policies, technology, law, process, and internal controls issues faced by a government. Speakers will provide strategies that apply to both small and large governments and provide benefits from administrative and employee perspectives.
One of a government's main fiscal concerns is achieving sustainable funding for its pension and OPEB plans. Failing to fund the plans properly leads to compromised long-term investment performance and, ultimately, higher required employer contributions. Attendees at this session will learn the essential strategic elements of properly funding a pension or OPEB plan, including funding and amortization methods, musts for employer contributions, and what actuarial information you'll need. Experts will also explain options for reducing volatility.
Pension-related balance sheet and income statements have become increasingly volatile, while regulatory requirements have expanded and become more complex, heightening the risks of incurring large costs. To address these problems, pension sponsors have been reducing risk and/or transferring it to another party. Presenters will discuss ways to diagnose and inventory pension risk factors, determine which risk factors to address, decide which approaches to use in mitigating risk (benefits, investments, contributions, insurance), and examine the overall impact on the pension system and its members.
How transparent is your government? GFOA has long advocated for transparency in financial reporting. For governments, this means reporting to a variety of various stakeholders each with unique needs and interests. In this session, speakers will provide their lessons learned and experiences in communicating financial information through a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR), popular annual financial report (PAFR), website dashboard, social media, or other tool. Speakers will also discuss how to engage stakeholders, be proactive with communication efforts, and the benefits to your government of doing so.
Governments procuring banking services face a daunting task of understanding the often complex and confusing series of bank service
fees. This session will work to decode the mystery and provide tips for governments to gain a level of transparency in banking service procurement.
Accounting for Investments is a complex and evolving area of government accounting. GASB has issued at least 15 statements that govern some aspect of accounting and financial reporting for investments. This session will cover the current accounting and financial reporting requirements for investments, including the definition of an investment, valuation of a variety of types of investments, external investment pools, investment derivatives, securities lending and repurchase agreements, as well as a preview of forthcoming guidance from GASB on majority equity interest holdings.
How do you use your budget process to best align resources and student outcomes? Strong collaboration between the finance and academic teams is a starting point and plays a crucial role in GFOA's Best Practices in School Budgeting for improving your district's budget process. In addition, the budget process framework recommendations include guidelines for better stakeholder engagement, improved goal setting, developing comprehensive strategies to achieve goals, long-term financial planning, and creating a budget document that tells your district’s “story.” This session will include practical examples from districts who are implementing GFOA's best practice recommendations and also highlight resources readily available to any district looking to improve its budget process.
Popular technology research often overlooks smaller government situations and assumes that smaller organizations have large information technology departments at their disposal like their larger counterparts. This roundtable session is designed to fill the small government void that general research often neglects. Sit among your peers and share ideas on how large technology issues are resolved in small organizations. Speakers will focus on various systems used by the finance office, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), cashiering systems, budgeting systems, payroll systems, and more-- all with a focus on applications in small organizations.
Becoming a Certified Public Finance Officer is a great way to build and demonstrate your broad base of knowledge that will allow you to move from specialized roles into executive leadership positions in government finance. In this session you will learn about the CPFO program, including about the subjects and subject matter of the certifying exams, and also learn about some exciting new developments.
Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of Local Government Audit
One of the most profound changes introduced by the Uniform Guidance covering federal grants relates to the reporting on and monitoring requirements for subrecipients. This session will discuss these new requirements, provide strategies on how to meet them effectively, and implement appropriate documentation procedures. GFOA's best practices on grant management, establishing an effective grants policy, grant administration, and central grant oversight committees, along with other aspects of compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance will also be discussed.
As systems become integrated and more government information is housed on the internet, finance officers must be aware of the security risks and mitigating strategies for safeguarding sensitive information. This session will feature internet security experts to provide an overview of key elements of a security strategy focused for a non-technical audience.
Do you want to improve your treasury functions? Are you interested to learn about what differentiates leading governments and finance officers in their treasury responsibilities? This session is designed to provide an overview of treasury management best practices for the non-specialist. Speakers will identify key practices related to treasury management and provide information and strategies for developing your own appropriate polices and procedures in the areas of investing, cash management, reporting, internal controls, and how to select and use outside professionals.
Every local government strives to engage its employees, but it is often difficult to know what employee engagement truly means for both employees and the organization as a whole. In this session attendees will explore the many meanings of employee engagement and how to create useful engagement opportunities for employees. From helping employees become more productive to boosting office morale to emphasizing the mission of your organization, you will come away from this session with new tools to improve your employees' experiences. This session will also explore trends in office environments including flexible hours, work from home, shared work spaces, time off policies, and more.
Governments accepting payment cards must be aware of and comply with industry standards to ensure a secure processing environment. This session will provide information that all finance officers need to know about PCI standards and how they should address potential risks facing their governments when processing electronic payments.
The actuarial valuation report is the basic source for information about the funded status of pension and other post-employment benefit (OPEB) plans, especially now that funding information is no longer automatically provided in financial reports. Pension and OPEB decision makers need to carefully review and understand their actuarial valuation reports to make responsible and sustainable funding decisions. In this session, experts will explain the link between actuarial reports and plan funding, and plan costs, and how to make the best use of this crucial information.
GFOA’s Urban Forum provides an opportunity for members of large governments to network and exchange information on topics unique to the demands of managing their large and complex entities. The forum is currently open to GFOA members in urban jurisdictions from the United States and Canada with metropolitan area populations of 1,000,000 or more. Delegates from urban jurisdictions are invited to attend, network, discuss current topics, and become part of ongoing discussions among GFOA members from large urban jurisdictions.
With the implementation of GASB's pension and other postemployment benefit (OPEB) standards, some of the largest numbers and most detailed disclosures in a government's financial statements are calculated by actuaries. Yet, accountants and auditors must understand and work with these numbers - and the professionals who calculate them. In this session you will hear from actuaries and accountants about their respective roles and how to most effectively manage inter-dependency to facilitate timely and reliable pension and OPEB reporting.
Governments are looking more and more to technology to assist with revenue collections and operations of the treasury office. At the same time, citizens and customers are looking for modern conveniences in bill paying that requires using the same technologies. This session will provide case studies on successful examples and lessons learned from governments that have utilized various payment technologies while meeting the challenges of data security, privacy risks, and minimizing fraud.