State/Provincial Update - June 30, 2015

Annual Meeting Recap

Thank you to all who participated in the state/provincial representatives and presidents meeting that took place on Saturday, May 30, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Attached is a list of the meeting’s attendees compiled from the sign-in sheets. If you attended the meeting but are not on the list, please contact Natalie Laudadio so that she may update the list.

  • GFOA’s Executive Director Jeffrey Esser introduced GFOA President-Elect Heather Johnston. She expressed her enthusiasm in working together with state and provincial associations over the coming year.
  • Stephen Gauthier, Director of GFOA’s Technical Services Center, talked about GFOA’s Small Government Cash Basis Financial Reporting Program. The program is designed for the thousands of small governments for which financial reporting in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) is not a viable option. For some participants, the program may be a first step toward GAAP financial reporting. Click here to read more on the program, access program checklists, and view a sample small government annual financial report. Staff may also be available to speak at local conferences about the program or can provide slides to aid in conducting a presentation. For more information, e-mail cashbasis@gfoa.org. Gauthier also encouraged attendees to pick up a copy of GFOA’s latest publication, An Elected Official’s Guide: Internal Control. The booklet provides non-specialists an overview of the information they need to understand what internal control is, how it operates, and who is responsible. The publication is available in both e-book and print form. Click here to purchase online. For information about quantity discounts, e-mail GFOA Publications. Gauthier recommended that the state and provincial officers urge their members to become involved with GFOA’s Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) Program. 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 591 individuals who have received the CPFO designation. CPFO candidates receive a 50 percent discount on GFOA publications that are used to study for the CPFO exams. The CPFO testing is currently being offered at various sites across the United States. Click here for more information on the Certification Program. Lastly, Gauthier spoke about GFOA’s “Guidelines for Responding to GASB Pronouncements.” Please see the  linked guidelines for reference.
  • Dustin McDonald, Director of GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center, provided a Washington update on the Marketplace Fairness Act, Tax Reform: Tax Exempt Bonds and State/Local Deductibility, and Pre-Emption of State/Local Taxes. He encouraged attendees to share the latest update to GFOA’s state/provincial monthly memorandum (attached) with their membership as well as to pay close attention to the articles included in GFOA’s weekly e-Newsletter and on GFOA’s Federal Government Relations webpage for the latest information on how federal legislation is affecting state and local governments.
  • Mike Mucha, Director of GFOA’s Research and Consulting Center, discussed achieving better outcomes with ERP Systems. Click here for more information on GFOA’s consulting services. Mucha then explained GFOA’s most recent project to attendees, which is to enhance the existing Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for school districts and community colleges. Through this project, GFOA has developed best practices to align resources of student outcomes, as well as criteria by which districts and colleges can demonstrate budget process excellence. For more information contact Mike Mucha. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, attendees had the opportunity to participate and share ideas in the following roundtable discussions: “Communication and networking between chapters between conferences,” “Effective partnering with local educational institutions to raise awareness of career opportunities in the field of public finance,” and “Successful tools for member communications.” 

Continue the Discussion from the Annual Conference

To access this year’s conference presentations and available outlines, please go to the respective session titles in the following link: http://www.gfoa.org/conference-sessions

The GFOA made audio recordings of each session so you will be able to bring the conference to your office. The recordings offer a unique learning opportunity regardless of whether you attended the Philadelphia conference. The recordings can be purchased and downloaded from GFOA’s website. To do so, submit an order form to GFOA, or place your order online using GFOA’s e-store. Sessions will be available in audio format only. CPE credits are not awarded for listening to the recordings.

Mark your Calendar for GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference

Registration will open in late fall. 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.

New GFOA Executive Board Elected

Heather A. Johnston, City Manager, City of Burnsville, Minnesota, became GFOA’s new president at the association’s annual business meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 2, 2015. Johnston accepted the gavel from 2014-2015 President Robert W. Eichem, Chief Financial Officer, City of Boulder, Colorado. Click here to watch videos of the GFOA President’s and Incoming President’s addresses.

Also at the business meeting, the association’s members elected a new GFOA president-elect and five new members-at-large, who will each serve a three-year term beginning immediately.

President-elect

  • Marc Gonzales, Director, Department of Finance, Clackamas County, Oregon

Members-at-large

  • Robert Bishop, Deputy City Manager, City of St. John’s, Newfoundland 
  • Jessica Brown-Linton, Assistant Chief Financial Officer, Durham, North Carolina 
  • William Hall, Interim Director of Statewide Reporting, State of Vermont 
  • Terry Stone, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Administration, Henrico County Public Schools, Virginia 
  • Ben Watkins, Director, Florida Division of Bond Finance

 

GFOA Announces 2015 Awards for Excellence in Government Finance

The Awards for Excellence in Government Finance program recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice of government financial management. The award stresses practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes the use of best practices in public finance. The following two entities received the Award for Excellence in 2015:

 

Learn the Roles of Both Audit Committees and Internal Audit Staffs

The GFOA’s latest publication An Elected Official’s Guide: Internal Control, is specifically designed to offer non-specialists – be they members of the governing board, staff members without accounting or auditing expertise, or ordinary citizens – the information they need to understand what internal control is, how it operates, and who is responsible.

The text of this publication, written in an easily understandable question-and-answer format, reflects the most recent authoritative guidance on internal control set forth in the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations’ (COSO) revised and expanded version of its classic Internal Control – Integrated Framework (COSO Report), released in 2013. The publication is available in both e-book and print form. 

Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program

The deadline to submit a report for the Certificate of Achievement Program will soon pass for those governments with a fiscal year ended December 31, 2014. Applicants should keep in mind that extensions are available if they are not able to meet the deadline. Extensions are normally granted in one-month increments. Two individual extensions of up to one month each are normally available as long as the reason for the request (e.g., implementation of new standards, audit issues, staff turnover, or illness) is reasonable and different from the reason for a prior-year extension, if one was granted. Extensions of more than two months beyond submission deadline are only available in extraordinary circumstances. An extension may be requested in writing either by regular mail or by e-mailing CAFRprogram@gfoa.org.

Special Review Committee

Join over 800 of your peers as a volunteer reviewer for the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement Program! As a reviewer, you’ll gain valuable insight into the realm of financial reporting in the public sector. You can tailor your participation to your availability and choose when you want to review CAFRs. GFOA staff reviewers also review the reports and offer feedback that compiles volunteer reviewer comments with staff comments. The Program offers streamlined review guides to help you efficiently apply your time.

Fill out the application to become a reviewer today!

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 Natalie Laudadio. 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 Natalie Laudadio.

Washington Update

More information is available at www.gfoa.org/flc.