State/Provincial Update - August 26, 2015

Don’t Miss GFOA's 20th Annual Governmental GAAP Update Live-Streaming Training Event!

Learn everything you need to know about the most recent developments in accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments, including the latest GASB statements, exposure drafts, and implementation guidance, during GFOA’s 20th Annual Governmental GAAP Update live-streaming event on November 5, with an encore presentation on December 3, 1-5 pm (Eastern), both days. Participants will receive 4 CPE credits. Read more. (PDF)

Sign Up as a Host Viewing Site

There are no direct costs to your organization for hosting a viewing site. Out-of-pocket expenses, such as facility and/or equipment rental or food/refreshments will not be reimbursed, however.

To help offset these costs, the GFOA offers a revenue sharing program, through which organizations will earn a percentage of their site’s net revenue based on the total number of paid participants. The program is open to state associations and government entities, but is not open to private-sector organizations.

To sign up as a host viewing site, contact Barb Mollo.


Register early and save!

  • Register by October 2 and take advantage of an early registration fee for the November presentation (or register by November 6 to save on the registration fee for the December encore presentation).
  • Save with group discounts. Make a day of it and build an event around this training as an affordable way to train staff and/or educate clients (attach this Excel group spreadsheet to your registration form). If you have more than 100 people to sign up, contact Barb Mollo for special pricing.

Download the brochure, which includes a registration form (PDF)
Register online (Please note that group discounts cannot be applied to online registrations.)

Presenters

  • Stephen J. Gauthier, Director of GFOA’s Technical Services Center and author of Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (GAAFR or “Blue Book”) and numerous other GFOA publications.
  • Steven A. Solomon, Deputy Director of the GFOA’s Technical Services Center and regular speaker and writer on accounting, auditing, and financial reporting topics for the GFOA.

We hope you’re able to participate. If you have any questions, contact the GFOA.

Think Ahead to GFOA’s 2016 Conference

The GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference will take place May 22−25, 2016, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you have not yet done so, please post the dates to your organization’s website and let your members know that all U.S. citizens are required to have a current passport to enter Toronto. Click here for information on how to easily apply for one today.

Special offer: All GFOA state and provincial representatives and presidents will be able to take advantage of the early government registration fee through the span of the conference. Registration for the conference and information about first-time attendee scholarships will be posted to the GFOA’s website in late fall.

The GFOA is currently accepting topic and speaker suggestions for the conference here. If you have any questions about the conference, contact the GFOA.

GFOA’s Must-Have Publication

The GAAFR Supplement updates the most recent version of the GFOA’s Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (GAAFR or “Blue Book”) for important developments that have taken place since the GAAFR’s release in June 2012. Specifically, this publication offers updated chapters and new material to reflect the latest authoritative guidance from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board on pensions, government combinations, and non-exchange financial guarantees, as well as the COSO’s new revised and expanded version of Internal Control—Integrated Framework.

Order your copy today!

  • The GAAFR Supplement is available in both e-book form (electronic: 76 pages) and print form (softcover: 94 pages). 
  • For information on quantity discount pricing, contact the GFOA.

Brochure/Order Form (PDF)
Order online

Who Performs the Health Insurance Dependent Eligibility Audit?

Dependent eligibility audits (DEAs) can be time consuming, detail orientated, and resource intensive, which may be the reason why many organizations choose to use a third party to conduct their audit. Third-party auditors can ensure that an organization’s human resource department is not placed in the uncomfortable position of asking personal questions of employees (e.g., questions about marital status). Third-party vendors have experience with DEAs and technology specifically suited to these audits. The vast majority of companies that conduct DEAs do so as their primary function and are therefore better prepared than government employers for the intensive document collection that is the crux of the process. For example, a third party can provide technology that allows employees to scan and upload documents with their smart phones. Vendors often provide online portals that allow easy document tracking to keep employees informed about what they have submitted and what is still needed. Other resources available through such vendors allow employees to locate missing or hard-to-obtain documents if copies are needed.

Knowledge of best practices and statutory requirements also give these vendors the ability to identify which documents represent proof of legal dependency. For instance, someone who does not conduct DEAs frequently may not know the difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate for the purpose of determining eligibility for benefits (a marriage license only authorizes a couple to get married within a certain time period, while a marriage certificate certifies that the couple is actually married). Additionally, a third-party auditor would likely employ industry best practices that require the spouse to provide proof of residency, ensuring that the dependent is currently married and residing under the same roof as the employee. This is often accomplished by requesting a current 1040 tax document or a bank statement to accompany the marriage certificate. Most third-party vendors are familiar with such subtleties, making the documentation verification portion of the audit faster and more accurate.

For more information, contact Mark Mack, a consultant in GFOA’s Research and Consulting Center in Chicago.

Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO)

The CPFO Program is a broad educational self-study program designed to verify knowledge in the disciplines of government finance. To earn the CPFO designation, candidates must pass a series of five examinations covering the major disciplines of public finance. There are now 600 individuals who have received the CPFO designation.

Congratulations to the following individuals who recently achieved a CPFO designation:

  • Lisa Anderson, Financial Professional II, City of Lynchburg−Water Resources, Virginia
  • Donald Arthur, Huntington, New York
  • Pat Chamberlin, Finance Director, Village of Sugar Grove, Illinois
  • Terry Eubank, Finance Director, City of Kenai, Alaska
  • Thomas Harper, CFO, Des Moines Public Schools, Iowa
  • Karl Kramer, Division Finance Officer, Genesee County Drain Commission, Michigan
  • Donald Patterson, Director of Finance & Administration, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, California
  • Linda Watts, Assistant Director of Finance, Howard County, Maryland
  • Regina Williams, Accounting/Payroll, Wythe County , Virginia

The next CPFO exams will be available in the fall at locations across the United States. Click here for more information about the exams and the Certification Program.

Download Brochure (PDF)

Check out GFOA’s Latest Budget Awards Program Winners

Attached is a list of governments in your state that earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award in July 2015. Budgets that are initial winners of this award are identified by the phrase “FIRST-TIME WINNER.”

The GFOA encourages you to contact each of the first-time award winners and to offer to arrange a formal presentation of the award. If you have any questions regarding the award winners, please contact Kathie Schultz, Senior Program Associate, GFOA Technical Services Center.

Please Join in Welcoming Kate Southard, Administrative Associate, to GFOA’s Operations and Marketing Center

We would like to introduce you to the latest member of our team ─ Kate Southard. Kate will maintain GFOA’s record of state and provincial officers as well as the listing of upcoming state and provincial conferences.

Do You Have an Upcoming Annual Conference?

If so, please fill out the “GFOA Promotional Items” form, checking off any materials you are interested in receiving for your upcoming annual conference. The form is interactive, so you can type and save your changes directly to the document. Submit the completed form at least two months before your event to Kate Southard. If your state or provincial association has any new educational or mentor programs to promote or events at your annual conference to connect fellow finance officers and advance the profession, we will share the information in this monthly memorandum. Please send a brief description of your program to Kate Southard.

Washington Update

Please find attached the latest Washington Update prepared by our Federal Liaison Center in Washington, DC. More information may also be found on the Federal Government Relations section of GFOA’s website.