Fiscal First Aid: Recovering from Financial Distress - August 12-13, 3009

No prerequisite

Course level: Introductory

CPE Credits: 16
2 Days
9 a.m. - 5 p.m


Who Will Benefit
This seminar is designed for finance officers and financial analysts. There is no prerequisite for this seminar, which is intended to be introductory.

In the face of declining economic conditions and fiscal pressure, many governments are facing pressing financial challenges that must be addressed as prerequisite to long-term service and financial sustainability. Fiscal first aid restores financial stability in the short term and sets the stage for long-term recovery. Participants in this course will be exposed to practical techniques for diagnosing and treating fiscal distress, including using recommended fiscal first aid treatments, spending within your means, understanding variance, and being transparent about the true cost of doing business. Participants will also learn how to better analyze financial position, communicate effectively about fiscal distress with elected officials and the public, and turn short-term fixes into long-term solutions for their governments.

Learning Objectives
Through presentations, discussions, case studies, and practical exercises, participants who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Identify symptoms and causes of fiscal distress
  • Better diagnose and analyze the underlying causes of fiscal distress in their jurisdictions before rushing to treatment
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of various fiscal first aid techniques
  • Determine which fiscal first aid techniques are most appropriate under given circumstances
  • Complete more accurate forecasts and better monitor fiscal health
  • Communicate more effectively about fiscal distress with elected officials and other stakeholders
  • Develop a short-term recovery plan

Recommended Reading

  • Financing the Future: Long-Term Financial Planning for Local Government
  • An Elected Official's Guide: Long-Term Financial Planning for Local Government
  • Financial Policies: Design and Implementation
  • Revenue Analysis and Forecasting

Web Resources



  • Chris Fabian,Senior Management Advisor, ICMA
    Fabian has consulted with numerous governments, most recently as internal business consultant with Jefferson County, Colorado. His consulting experience focused on public organizations at the federal, state, and local levels advising top municipal managers, department heads, and program directors from more than 30 organizations concerning the fundamental business issues of local government. Of most significance, his work has centered on the budget process as a lever to produce results, accountability, and change; performance and outcome-based management; purpose, productivity, and efficiency in operations; and rigorous financial analysis and strategy. Pursuing the objectives of Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO), Fabian was a partner of the consultant team that implemented BFO in Ft. Collins, Colorado, one of the leading organizations using this approach.He incorporated the lessons learned from BFO into the prioritization process. He holds a B.S. in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

  • Jon Johnson, Senior Management Advisor, ICMA
    Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in financial administration for local school districts, public universities, municipalities, and counties. Throughout his career as a finance/budget director, he has been responsible for managing all aspects of local government finance operations for both small and large organizations. Most recently, he served as the director of budget and management analysis for Jefferson County, Colorado. Previous to that, he was assistant director of finance for Douglas County, Colorado. Prior to moving to Colorado in 2002, Jon served as director of finance for several municipalities in Missouri including Blue Springs and Joplin, and the Kansas City (MO) Aviation Department. He holds a B.A. in political science and a B.S. /B.A. in accounting from Missouri Southern University, as well as a master's in College Administration from Pittsburg (KS) State University.


  • Anne Spray Kinney,  Director, GFOA Research and Consulting Center
    Anne Kinney is GFOA's Director of Research and Consulting. Ms Kinney's government experience includes service as budget director and subsequently administration director for the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and executive director of the MMSD, Milwaukee's regional flood control-water reclamation authority. Ms Kinney has also held other management positions in state and local government. Ms Kinney has designed and implemented performance budgeting, strategic planning, performance management, and managed competition processes, and has developed and implemented a broad array of other organizational improvement efforts. She has conducted numerous organizational assessments at the city, county and state government level. In addition to consulting, Ms Kinney is a frequent presenter to national audiences and has taught government financial management at the graduate level. Anne is a past president of the GFOA and has a Bachelor's degree from American University and a Master's degree in public administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Registration Fees

GFOA member: $580; Nonmember: $790