State/Provincial Update - November 30, 2017

Message from GFOA’s Executive Director: Chris Morrill

Over these past few months, it’s been great to meet many of you at your annual conferences and to learn about your unique needs and specific challenges and how GFOA can better serve you and your government. I visited those of you in Georgia, Great Plains, New England, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. In 2018, I look forward to continuing the discussion by attending conferences in California, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and Vancouver. Please feel free to reach out to me with any ideas or suggestions at or @chrisgfoa on Twitter.

Best wishes to you and your families during this holiday season.


Washington Update

Click here to access the latest Washington Update. More information may also be found on the Federal Government Relations section of GFOA’s website.


Executive Board Nominating Committee Seeks Input

The GFOA Executive Board Nominating Committee is seeking recommendations for candidates to fill five at-large positions and the position of president-elect for the 2018-2019 GFOA Executive Board. All candidates must be active GFOA members. Please send nominations by December 31 to Marc Gonzales, Past President, c/o GFOA, 203 N. LaSalle St., Ste. 2700, Chicago, IL 60601-1210. Click here for more details.


Take Advantage of Year-End CPE Credit and Host Your Members for the December GAAP Update!

Catch up on the latest GASB statements, exposure drafts, and implementation guidance during the encore presentation of GFOA’s 22nd Annual Governmental GAAP Update web-stream event from 1:00 to 5:00 pm (Eastern) on December 7.

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, 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.

Take advantage of earning year-end CPE credit – 4 CPE credits will be available with your participation.

Register today and save with group discounted rates!

Questions? Contact GFOA.

Registration is Open for GFOA’s 2018 Conference

GFOA’s 112th Annual Conference will take place May 6─9, at America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri. Go to the “Annual Conference” tab on GFOA’s website to access the conference brochure and registration form, sign up for preconference seminars, reserve your room in GFOA’s official hotel block, and sign up for tours.

We will hold the rate of $380 for all GFOA state and provincial representatives and presidents through the span of the conference.

2018 Annual Conference Logo

We are still accepting speaker and topic suggestions for the Annual ConferenceSubmit your recommendation. Additional session details will be announced in January 2018. If you have any questions about the Annual Conference, contact GFOA.

Encourage Your Members to Apply for a First-Time Annual 
 Conference Attendee Scholarship

We are pleased to offer the First-Time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarship program to GFOA active government members who have never attended GFOA’s Annual Conference. GFOA will award up to 50 scholarships per state or province in the order of which applications are received. In four years, the scholarship has enabled almost 1,700 recipients to attend their first Annual Conference.

Please encourage your members to submit an application.


Join the Conversation for a Chance to Win an iPad

More than 1,200 members have already joined GFOA’s “Members Only” group on Facebook. Join today for a chance to win an iPad just in time for the holidays! To be eligible to win, you must join the group between November 30 and December 8.

Why join the group? Doing so will allow you to easily interact with other members from across the United States and Canada and GFOA’s staff. As a member of the group, you will have an opportunity to start conversations, ask questions, provide feedback, and stay informed about important GFOA events.

To request to join the group, log onto Facebook and search for GFOA’s Members Group. If you have any questions, contact Timothy Martin, senior manager, membership engagement.


Learn Best Practices in Community College Budgeting with GFOA's Latest Guide

GFOA’s Best Practices in Community College Budgeting provides for a comprehensive budget process framework focused on alignment of resources and desired student outcomes. The framework represents the culmination of a multi-year effort led by GFOA, with input from numerous community college officials and other experts in education finance, to develop guidelines for better budgeting, tailored specifically for community colleges.

The best practices are organized around five major phases:

  1. Prepare and Develop Inputs to the Budgeting Process
  2. Define Goals and Identify Gaps
  3. Develop Strategies to Close the Gaps
  4. Prioritize Spending to Enact Strategies and Allocate Resources
  5. Check Performance

Also included are recommendations on how to develop a budget document that communicates not only the district’s financial plan but also student learning objectives. To help assess and improve programs, services, and the budget process, information on incorporating continuous improvement principles are embedded throughout the framework.

GFOA’s Best Practices in Community College Budgeting can be used to support a community college’s application to the Award for Best Practices in Community College Budgeting.

Read more and order a copy. If you are interested in receiving quantity discounts, contact GFOA.


Know a Student Who is Passionate about a Career in Government Finance? Urge Them to Apply for GFOA's Academic Scholarships

GFOA encourages the advancement of full- and part-time students at the undergraduate and graduate level in the fields of government finance and management and offers the following academic scholarships on an annual basis to help do so:

  • Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting
  • Goldberg-Miller Public Finance
  • Government Finance Professional Development
  • Jeffrey L. Esser Career Development
  • Minorities in Government Finance

GFOA urges members to serve as a resource about GFOA and the scholarship program by informing colleagues and staff who are students about the available scholarships. For scholarship requirements, upcoming deadlines, and applications, click here. If you have questions regarding the scholarship program, contact Peg Hartnett, Senior Manager.  


New Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFOs)

GFOA’s Certified Public Finance Officers Program is a broad educational self-study program designed to verify knowledge in the disciplines of government finance. Attaining certification is a mark of excellence in government finance. To earn the CPFO designation, candidates must pass a series of five examinations covering the major disciplines of public finance.

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

  • Patsy Brown, Director of Accounting, Chesterfield County, Virginia
  • Lydia Corr, Division Manager, San Luis Obispo County – Auditor Controller’s Office, California
  • Kenneth Kasper, Director of Internal Audit, NYS Teachers’ Retirement System, New York
  • Deborah Kinder, Accounting Manager, City of Sparks, Nevada
  • Ann Lundeen, Chief Accountant, Thurston County Treasurer, Washington
  • Julie O’Guinn, Director of Finance and Administration, Duckett Creek Sanitary District, Missouri
  • Wallace Richie, Director of Finance, Ivins City, Utah
  • Suzette Smith, Chief Accountant, Lewis County Government, Washington

There are now 721 individuals that have achieved the CPFO designation.

The next CPFO exams will be available this spring at locations across the United States.
Click here for more information on the Certification Program.


GFOA Awards Program Update

GFOA encourages and recognizes excellence in financial reporting, budgeting, and financial management by granting awards to those governments that meet program standards. Below is the latest Program update:

  • Participating in GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting 

GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. More than 4,300 governments participate in the program each year which include all types (general purpose and special purpose) and all sizes.

It’s easy to participate! Once the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) is prepared, submit it along with a completed application. The normal submission deadline is six months following the government’s fiscal year end. Requests to extend the deadline may be made one month at a time as a result of various factors (e.g., employee turnover, implementation of major pronouncements, audit issues, etc.).

The due date to submit June 30, 2017, fiscal year ended reports to the CAFR Program is December 31, 2017.

Extensions are available if you are not able to meet the normal submission deadline. E-mail CAFR Program to request an extension.

Click here for information if you are interested in participating in the CAFR Program or serving as a reviewer.

  • Distinguished Budget Awards Program Winners

View a list of governments in your state that earned GFOA’s Distinguished Budget 
 Presentation Award in October 2017. For more information contact John Fishbein.

  • Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) Award Program First-Time Winners

GFOA’s Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) Program recognizes individual governments that successfully produce high quality annual reports which are specifically designed to be easily accessible and understandable to the general public and other interested parties.

GFOA would like to congratulate the following governments for achieving the Award for the first-time:

        • San Joaquin County Employees' Retirement Association, California
        • Village of Orland Park, Illinois
        • Village of Lake Zurich, Illinois
        • Village of Lake in the Hills, Illinois
        • City of El Dorado, Kansas
        • County of Dauphin, Pennsylvania

The due date to submit fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, reports to the PAFR 
 Program is December 31, 2017. Extensions are available if you are not able to meet the 
 normal submission deadline. Requests to extend the deadline can be made by e-mailing 
PAFR Program.

Read more about the PAFR Program or contact Qun (Tren) Wang if you are interested in 
participating in the program or becoming a reviewer.


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. Please note: raffle items are limited to annual conferences.

Share! 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.