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.

The complete program for the GFOA annual conference is now available below.

85 Sessions

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Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm

As electronic payment technology grows and changes, citizens will increasingly expect their governments to accept payments from a broad spectrum of platforms. The expansion of traditional online payment methods as well as new options like virtual wallets, mobile apps, self-service devices, and other payment applications, requires finance officers to understand both the benefits and limitations of each and to make decisions that balance the interests of the government and the customer service demands of the public. Governments must also weigh the costs associated with accepting payments via new technologies and accurately assess the viability of new technologies long-term. This session will explore how governments can better utilize electronic payment portals, discuss the necessary internal controls and systems to accept different electronic payments, detail the current technology landscape and usage trends, and highlight electronic receivables policies and procedures for local governments.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Are you a young public finance professional looking to build your professional network? Join us in this interactive session to network with peers across the U.S. and Canada. During this session, you will have an opportunity to discuss issues you and your organization are facing and seek advice from other GFOA members aged 40 and under.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Speaker
CEO (retired)
San Bernardino County, CA

Financial sustainability is more likely to occur if everyone is working towards that goal. However, finance officers sometimes feel that the actions of department heads or independent elected officials are not financially sustainable. At this session, you will hear about how the independently elected sheriff of San Bernardino County and the appointed chief executive officer built a relationship which enabled the County to meet its public safety objectives and be financially sustainable. The lessons you will learn are equally applicable to the relationship between finance officers and departments heads in all types of governments and across all functional area not limited to public safety.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Moderator
Founder and CEO
Neighborly

Blockchain, cyber currency, and practical applications of distributed ledger technology. While government adoption of this technology has been limited thus far, it holds much promise for the future. This session will provide an overview of blockchain technology as well as a discussion of actual applications and what all finance officers need to know about future potential impacts on financial management.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved amendments to Rule 15c2-12 that will affect the entire municipal bond market. While the SEC Rules do not directly require issuers of municipal securities to adhere to disclosure requirements, issuers have a responsibility to abide by their continuing disclosure agreements (CDA). Language related to disclosing bank loans and capital leases is required in CDAs beginning in February 2019. This session will discuss how the issuer community has responded to the amendments and what finance officers can expect moving forward.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

Utility finance requires detailed knowledge in rate setting, enterprise accounting, asset management, and understanding regulations. This networking group is composed of GFOA members from utility organizations and municipalities that operate utilities.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

GFOA's Urban Forum will provide networking opportunities and speakers discussing issues facing larger organizations, in particular GFOA attendees representing governments from metropolitan areas with over 1,000,000 people. Specific discussion topics will be based on a survey of GFOA Urban Forum members and will be announced in May.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

Government officials have a fiduciary duty to serve the interests of their entity and protect public funds. Even when governments rely on the advice of outside professionals, that duty remains intact. External advisors such as investment advisors and municipal advisors have federally mandated fiduciary duties to put the interest of their clients (governments) ahead of their own. Other market players – such as brokers – are impacted by factors like suitability standards and some federal regulatory actions. This session will give an overview of what the parameters of fiduciary duty standards are for internal government staff as well as external professionals to help governments understand what is expected of themselves and others.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 5:05pm

By design, government makes tough decisions every day. Even well-seasoned budgeteers can recall when they first learned to say "no." This session will provide recommendations from experienced finance and budget officers on how to have difficult conversations; coordinate an effective process that facilitates discussion and collaboration; and involve elected officials in the decision making process early enough to better balance competing demands in the face of varying pressure.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:10am to 10:10am

Common legal roles in bond transactions are issuer counsel, bond counsel, underwriter counsel, disclosure counsel, and special tax counsel. For issuers who are infrequently in the market, distinguishing between who to engage and when is important and often a confusing part of the issuance and management of debt. Speakers will share their insights on how best to interact with legal advisors.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:00am

Peter Bregman will speak to GFOA delegates on how to handle difficult situations, maintain your ground in the face of uncertainty, respond productively to opposition, act powerfully and courageously, and build your leadership pressence.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

Preparing for the role of a chief financial officer is challenging; 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. This session will feature several senior CFOs who will share lessons learned from their careers. Stories will highlight case studies of successes and failures to advise on actions you should consider or avoid in your own career.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Moderator/Speaker
Business Manager
Upper Moreland School District

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, some governments are already preparing for a bear market. In this session practitioners from local governments will share their preparation strategies for thinking about budgeting over the long term. Speakers will discuss an economic outlook on state and local governmentsand provide perspectives on unique considerations for state and local governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

With the Great Recession lingering in the minds of finance professionals, as well as having a more dynamic market than in previous years, governments need to be aware of what these changes in the market landscape mean for state and local governments. It is also critical that finance officers are able to discuss these trends with members of their governing bodies and the public in an accessible way. This session will provide attendees with an overview of how to review their existing investment policies and what types of investment strategies may be needed in the near future related to investment portfolios, and how to best communicate the investing landscape to those outside the finance office

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Whether new taxes are supported by the community or not, the finance officer plays an important role in tax administration by ensuring that taxes are collected efficiently, fairly, and correctly. Speakers in this session will discuss how governments implemented new sales taxes, marijuana taxes, sugar taxes, land taxes, business taxes, or adjusted existing taxes to changes in legislation, court rulings, or citizen behavior governments. In addition, speakers will highlight key impacts that governments can expect from the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision and the streamline sales tax initiative.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

GFOA will host a networking session designed specifically for governments that have achieved an AAA rating. This session will allow delegates to discuss the unique challenges in achieving and maintaining that esteemed rating.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm

One of GFOA's most important strategic initiatives is to encourage and support finance officers who take on a leadership role within their organization or within the public finance profession. GFOA has a number of opportunities to build leadership skills and enable members to take the next step in their career. This session will highlight GFOA leadership opportunities with its Executive Board and Committees. In addition, GFOA will provide an overview of its Financial Sustainability and Leadership Framework that is intended to provide leadership tools that can be used in your organization. Also, this October, GFOA will be hosting the inaugural GFOA Leadership Academy at the College of Charleston. Current members who have been involved with each program and GFOA staff will be present to answer questions and discuss how you can get more involved with the organization and build critical leadership skills.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

Intergovernmental grants make up a significant portion of the funds available to many governments, providing resources for some of the most important public services like education, housing, and public safety.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

Whether the finance office is explaining certain budget expenditures to the council, making a presentation to a rating agency, or training staff on good internal controls, presentation style and delivery skills matter. All too often, good information can get lost or confused by a presenter that doesn't understand the principles of a good presentation. Public speaking and communication experts will discuss how to avoid common mistakes we all make in our presentations. Attend this session to learn practical tips for analyzing your audience, develop and communicating clear messages, and explaining complex topics (like government finance) to non-technical audiences.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Moderator
Chief Performance Officer
City of Austin, TX
Speaker
Budget Director
City of Kansas City, MO

Financial sustainability requires people to work together. If people can see they will be better off working together, they will work together. A shared vision is how people see. However, "vision statements" often have the well-deserved reputation of being mere platitudes will little lasting impact. This session will go beyond the buzzwords, consulting jargon, and “pretty pictures” and feature governments that have taken a different approach to community visions and strategic plans that can be used to guide an effective budget process. Speakers will discuss how to involve the community, define vision and goals, and how to transition from long-term strategic objectives to resource allocation.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

Even though the Affordable Care Act was signed into law almost ten years ago, the debate around health care still continues. Despite this, public employers have carried on, exploring strategies to continue providing highly-valued employee benefits while trying to contain costs.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Every government finance officer worries about internal and external fraud exposures facing their government. Even the most robust policies and controls may not prepare a government against the fraud of the future. This session will highlight various fraud schemes including hearing from the US Secret Service on counterfeit currency issues. Attendees will also learn about methods for identifying fraud, and how to have appropriate internal controls to safeguard against such events.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

Finance officers in small governments face unique challenges not found in larger organizations. This forum will encourage participants to share challenges and also to offer solutions to the unique needs of small governments. Topics to be discussed include recruiting finance staff and managing with limited resources. GFOA's Small Government Forum is a discussion group that identifies and explores topics of interest to governments with populations less than 25,000.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm

Implementation of GASB 87 will not only require governments to account for leases differently, it will also necessitate that finance staff gather information on all contracts that could be classified as leases, conduct analysis to determine how they should be reported, and perform required calculations. GFOA’s in-house experts will present some of the basics on how to decode lease terms, determine or infer discount rates, and calculate lease liabilities. GFOA will also demonstrate easy-to-use templates to assist with lease calculations and preparation of required journal entries.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

GFOA's Alliance for Excellence in School District Budgeting will meet to provide an opportunity for discussion centered on improving the budget process to best align to strategies for student achievement.


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