State/Provincial Update - December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays!


It’s that time of year again!

We would like to make sure that our records are up-to-date. Please review the State/Provincial Officer Directory we have on file and let us know if you have any changes. This information can be e-mailed to Kate Southard.


Thank you for your support of the GAAP Update

More than 5,600 people participated in the November and December presentations of the 20th Annual Governmental GAAP Update live-streaming event. We want to especially thank the associations that hosted groups to watch the training together and the state presidents and representatives that encouraged their members to participate.

The GFOA has released a recording of the November 5, 2015, presentation.* Take advantage of the recording to refresh your memory of the material. If you were unable to participate in the original program, the recording is a great way to catch up and is ideal for in-house training. Download your copy today! Order form / Order online

Save the date: The GFOA’s 21st Annual Governmental GAAP Update will take place November 3, 2016, with an encore presentation on December 1, 2016, both at 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern). Watch GFOA’s website for registration to open.

*Please note that CPE credits are not awarded for watching the recorded program.

Take advantage of the special discounted registration fee on GFOA’s 2016 Annual Conference

Registration is open for GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, Sharing Solutions and Strategies, May 22-25, 2016, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you have not yet done so, we ask that you please post the conference brochure link to your organization’s website. Early and group discounts are available.

GFOA’s state and provincial representatives and presidents are entitled to a special discounted registration fee of $380. To receive the discount, submit a conference registration form and write “State/Provincial GFOA President or Representative” on the form.

Hotel rooms for the conference can be reserved through GFOA’s official housing company, onPeak. OnPeak is the ONLY official housing company for this event and will not contact attendees directly to make reservations. Click here to reserve your housing online or to download a hotel reservation form to e-mail, fax, or mail to onPeak.

The GFOA’s state and provincial representatives and presidents meeting will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (time and room number TBA). An agenda will be distributed before the meeting date.

If you have any questions about the conference, contact GFOA.

Encourage your members to apply for the first-time annual conference attendee scholarships

Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state or province in the amount of the full-conference registration fee to first-time conference attendees who are GFOA active government members.To learn more about this opportunity and to apply for the scholarship, please e-mail

Remember: All attendees traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport. Apply or renew yours today.


Plan your 2016 training now

The GFOA’s January−March 2016 CPE Guide covers upcoming group-live and Internet-based courses. Take advantage of earning CPE credits at an affordable cost and save with GFOA member and group discounts. Visit GFOA’s training schedule page for course information, speaker listings, and to register. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.


Chief Resilience Officers and Strategic Spending

In an effort to better prepare for catastrophes, whether natural or man-made, the City of Norfolk, Virginia, chose to add a chief resilience officer (CRO) to its staff. The goal of the position is to create a single resource within the organization to prepare the community for cataclysmic events like earthquakes and hurricanes, and to address ongoing challenges like rising sea levels, drought, or poverty. It’s an idea that’s been adopted by a few other cities, including San Francisco, California.

Many cities want to incorporate the work of conservation and community advocacy groups in a meaningful way; the challenge often comes in determining where such policies and initiatives fit into the daily administration of local government. A CRO (or someone in a similar position) provides cities with a way to address this challenge. Since Norfolk added its CRO in 2013, the city has begun weaving the priorities of conservation groups like Norfolk-based Wetlands Watch into transportation projects and zoning ordinances. One example of this synergy is the city’s new flood barriers, which double as bike paths, allowing the city to invest in flood mitigation infrastructure while addressing recreational needs. Land-use policies that consider rising sea levels and wetland conservation can be incorporated into zoning ordinances.

A CRO can provide a new level of interdisciplinary thinking and improved inner-organizational communication. This individual is tasked with thinking beyond a single department or even a single administration, allowing him or her to take a long-term approach to the community’s sustained viability. This perspective also makes the CRO the ideal person to help the community determine the right steps for a quick recovery after catastrophes.

Norfolk’s goal for the initiatives that result from this new position is to improve the community’s ability to adapt and grow in the aftermath of catastrophic events. Learn more about Norfolk’s resilience initiative.

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

GFOA offers a number of materials related to strategic planning. The Strategic Planning course (January 12, 2016, in Orange County, California) is one place to start. GFOA also provides several related publications:


Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFOs) Testing at the GFOA Annual Conference

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 617 individuals who have received the CPFO designation.

CPFO testing will be offered in the spring at locations across the United States and at the GFOA Annual Conference in Toronto on the following two dates:

  • Saturday, May 21, 1:30 pm −   5:00 pm
  • Sunday, May 22,    8:30 am − 12:00 pm

Click here for more information about the exams and the Certification Program.


GFOA’s latest Budget Awards Program winners

Attached is a list of governments in your state that earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award in November 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.


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

Read 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.