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GFOA’s 108th Annual Conference

Register today!

  • For this year’s session details, go to GFOA's annual conference page

  • Apply for GFOA’s first-time annual conference attendee scholarships

New Program for Modified Cash Basis Reports

  • Learn more about the Certificate of Conformance Program for Small Government Annual Financial Reports
  • Submit an application and be one of the first winners of the new award!
  • Contact us for materials on the new program to distribute at your next local conference

Correction to Story on GASB Pension Implementation Delay

The GFOA previously reported (GFOA website, March 24; GFOA Newsletter, March 27) that on March 24, 2014, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) voted unanimously to turn down calls to delay the implementation of its new pension guidance for employers. That article specifically noted that:

An important factor in the GASB’s decision was the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ position that the pending auditing guidance would apply regardless of the accounting and financial reporting standards used. Thus, a delay in implementing GASB Statement No. 68 would not prevent employers in cost-sharing plans from receiving modified audit opinions on their financial statements.

The GASB itself in its March 24 press release (GASB Declines to Delay Implementation Date of Pension Standards) indicated at the very top of its list of the “key factors” that led to its decision that:

 

Delaying the new standards would not necessarily address the concern about a modified audit opinion. It appears, based on feedback received, that many governments would face a similar prospect of a modified audit opinion even if governments were to follow the previous pension standards.

 

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has assured the GFOA that the assessment of the audit implications of a delay in implementing GASB Statement No. 68 as described in the GFOA article (that is, that the AICPA intended for its new pension guidance to apply to audits of entities following existing GASB pension standards) was not and never has been the position of the AICPA, and should not be attributed to the Institute. The GFOA regrets the error. 

 

Eugene Robinson will address conference delegates on Monday, May 19, during this year’s opening general sessionEugene Robinson Photo

Pulitzer Prize winner Mr. Eugene Robinson will be the Monday morning keynote speaker at the GFOA’s upcoming annual conference in Minneapolis. Mr. Robinson is a columnist with the Washington Post and is a regular contributor to MSNBC. He will address GFOA delegates with a presentation, Today’s News: Who’s Up, Who’s Down and What’s Really Going On.

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Cy Wakeman will be our Tuesday, May 20, general session speaker Cy Wakeman Photo

Wakeman, a New York Times best-selling author on workplace management, also consults with more than 200 companies and organizations a year about motivating employees and helping them succeed. Her recent book, The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances & Will Make You Happier, discusses ways for employees to calculate their true value to their organization. Wakeman’s  training helps employees and executives take control of their careers. She will discuss ways in which her management lessons can and should apply to GFOA members, and everyone in the public sector. 

And Don’t Miss Our Tuesday Night Closing EventEvent Flyer Image

Celebrate your stay in the Twin Cities at the GFOA’s closing event on Tuesday, May 20 from 7-10:30 p.m. Enjoy a buffet dinner in the Minneapolis Convention Center before heading over to the center’s custom-designed auditorium for dessert and a night of music and dancing with Beatles tribute band American English. The band will recreate, in precise detail, the historic Ed Sullivan Show appearance and their first U.S. Tour, as well as reenacting A Hard Day’s Night. 

 

Purchase your tickets today

 

Milestones for GFOA’s CAFR, Budget Programs

The GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program has reached a major milestone – 4,000 submissions. It’s an impressive rate of growth, up from 800 submissions 20 years ago. This achievement is not just a proud achievement for the GFOA, but also an exceptional attainment for the many jurisdictions that demonstrate their commitment to going beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and preparing comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.


The City of Ketchikan, Alaska, was No. 4,000, for the fiscal year ending 2012. Ketchikan is a continuing participant; its first submission was for fiscal year end 1971. Since then, the city has received the CAFR award 35 times.

The Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program also hit a recent milestone: 1,400 submissions. That’s up from 200 in 1984. The GFOA congratulates all the jurisdictions that have proven their dedication to preparing budget documents of the very highest quality that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA’s best practices on budgeting.

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SEC Issues FAQ Document on Municipal Advisor Rule

The SEC released a FAQ document on January 10, 2014, to provide clarification about the implementation of the Municipal Advisor Rule; the GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center has also updated its issue brief on the rule. Implementation was scheduled to take effect on January 13, but that date has been extended to July 1, per a January 13 notice from the SEC. The SEC Office of Municipal Securities addressed the GFOA’s Committee on Governmental Debt Management on this issue at the committee’s January 30 meeting in Washington, D.C., and is also working with the GFOA to schedule a June webinar to help educate government issuers about the rule’s implementation.  Staff from the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities also plan to participate in the GFOA’s May 18-21 annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they be available to address government issuer priorities and concerns about implementing the rule.
 

GFOA Provides Advocacy Tools on Marketplace Fairness Act and Municipal Tax Exemption

As Congress returns home to their congressional districts for the month-long August recess, the GFOA and its state and local coalition partners are gearing up for what is expected to be a busy fall session, with federal action on comprehensive tax reform and the Marketplace Fairness Act projected to increase.  GFOA members can help ensure positive outcomes for maintaining the tax exemption on municipal bond interest and enactment of the Marketplace Fairness Act (HR 684) by meeting with their Senators and members of Congress over the month-long August congressional recess.  The GFOA has developed a comprehensive suite of advocacy materials for members to use in communicating with their federal elected leaders on both of these items.   These materials include factsheets, talking points, draft letters, resolutions and op-eds, as well as joint reports and links to the advocacy efforts of the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, U.S. Conference of Mayors and National Governor’s Association.  All of these materials are available on the GFOA’s Federal Government Relations page.
 

Learn about Enhancements to the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Award

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the purpose of identifying and promoting best budgeting practices for schools and community colleges. The research project, which is scheduled for completion in February 2015, will develop and implement criteria for GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award program to incentivize school districts and community colleges to integrate resource alignment best practices into their budget processes.

 

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Pension Guide Book and Funding Guidance for Elected Officials

The GFOA and other leading organizations representing state and local governments and retirement systems, working together as part of a Pension Funding Task Force in Washington, D.C., released their final report, Pension Funding: A Guide for Elected Officials. The guide, which GFOA members are encouraged to share with their elected officials and other decision makers, provides an overview of defined benefit pension plans, including how such plans are funded and the new standards issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.
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Check Out the GFOA’s Model for Self-Assessment of the Finance Function

How effective is your jurisdiction's financial management? The CIPFA GFOA FM Model can help you find out. This powerful tool, created by the GFOA's U.K. counterpart, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and customized for U.S. and Canadian governments by the GFOA, will help your organization achieve high performance in financial management.

 

Learn More

 

 

Redmond, Washington, Assesses Its Financial Management Capabilities

 

GFOA White Paper Defines Zero-Base Budgeting in Current Practice

Zero-base budgeting (ZBB) is a budgeting process that asks managers to build a budget from the ground up, starting from zero. However, ZBB has been the subject of some controversy over the years, owing primarily to questions about the value ZBB analysis provides, in light of the costs incurred to putting ZBB into practice.

The goal of this paper is to define what ZBB means in current practice, describe the uses of ZBB, help public officials have a conversation in their organizations about the value of ZBB, and explore the important alternatives to ZBB.

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GFOA White Paper Gives Tips for Containing Health Care Costs

The cost of employee health-care benefits has increased rapidly over recent years, contributing to the budgetary stress that governments are already facing as a result of declining or stagnant revenues and escalating costs in other areas.
Read more...
 
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