State/Provincial Update - October 27, 2015

Have you registered yet for this year’s GAAP Update?

The GFOA’s 20th Annual Governmental GAAP Update is a few weeks away! If you have not yet registered to participate, there’s still time! The training program will take place November 5 with an encore presentation on December 3, 1:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern), both days. This four-hour presentation will bring you and your staff up-to-date on a year’s worth of developments in accounting and financial reporting, including the latest GASB statements, exposure drafts, and implementation guidance. Four continuing professional education (CPE) credits will be available for each participant. New Click here to view the agenda.

Sign Up as a Host Viewing Site

Make a day of it and build an event around this training as an affordable way to train staff and/or educate clients. Sign up with your colleagues and save with group pricing. 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.

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

Sign up by November 6 to take advantage of an early registration fee on the December offering. To register a group of people, attach the Excel group spreadsheet for November or December to your registration form. Please note: We ask that you please read the frequently asked questions and follow the steps in the frequently asked technical questions before the training day. If you have any questions on the training, contact the GFOA.

Plan now to attend GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference

Mark your calendar for GFOA’s 2016 Annual Conference. If you have not yet done so, we ask that you please post the dates, May 22-25, 2016,  to your organization’s website for GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, Sharing Solutions and Strategies, at the Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Registration for the conference will open in late fall on GFOA’s website. 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.  GFOA member and group discounts will also be available as well as information on how to apply for GFOA’s first-time conference attendee scholarships. 

  • Apply or renew your passport ─ All delegates traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport. Click here for information on how to apply or renew yours today. Visit See Toronto for information on what to do while in Toronto.
  • Save the date for GFOA’s state/provincial representatives and presidents meeting ─ The meeting will take place Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the Toronto Convention Centre (time and room number TBA). Please attend this meeting to learn more about the GFOA’s activities and to share information with your fellow state/provincial GFOA colleagues.
  • Exhibitor leads exchange ─ In preparing for upcoming conferences, we all are aware of the value of obtaining contact information for possible exhibiting companies to have at our events. If you are interested in exchanging exhibitor contact information with us, please e-mail Natalie Laudadio. View our current list of exhibiting companies. 

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

Help us spread the word about GFOA’s upcoming in-person training courses 

Take advantage of meeting colleagues face-to-face in your home state or surrounding area during GFOA’s group-live courses. Training courses are presented at basic, intermediate, or advanced levels.

  • Chicago, Illinois ─ November 9-13, 2015
  • Chicago, Illinois ─ November 16-19, 2015
  • San Antonio, Texas ─ December 7-11, 2015
  • Orange County, California ─ January 11-15, 2016
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida ─ February 8-12, 2016
  • Denver, Colorado ─ March 7-11, 2016
  • Seattle, Washington ─ April 4-8, 2016

Go to GFOA’s training schedule to view course listings and to read about future training announcements. Take advantage of early and group discounts.* We look forward to your participation! If you have any questions on the training, contact the GFOA

Register today! Registration form / Register online / Hotel information

* Save 10 percent when three or more of your colleagues sign up together for the same course. Registrations must be received and paid together. This discount cannot be applied when registering online using GFOA’s e-store.

Are health insurance dependent eligibility audits bad for morale?

A health insurance dependent eligibility audit (DEA) has the potential to cause real friction among employees because of the records and personal information they are asked to submit, and the need to demonstrate the eligibility of their dependents. In addition, employees who do not have dependents are excluded from the audit, which can also seem unfair at first glance. But a DEA does not have to cause morale problems.

In fact, the City of Corpus Christi, Texas, was surprised by the low number of employee complaints it received when it conducted its first DEA – most likely because of the city’s thorough communication effort. Early communication to employees, including direct mail to employees’ homes before any official planning action, helped set the tone for their project. The communication continued with posters in common areas sharing information about the audit, electronic communication, and word-of-mouth communication from managers and staff. Special outreach was also made to the city’s public safety unions and other employees under collective bargaining agreements explaining the purpose and benefits of the audit prior to initiation. Once the project began, most communication was generated by the third-party auditor, reinforcing what employees had already heard and guiding them through the steps of the process.

Providing additional support through the organization’s human resource department (e.g., reaching out to employees who had not provided needed documents directly) prior to disenrollment also ensured that each employee had a clear understanding of why the audit was taking place and what the city hoped to accomplish, as well as what was expected of the employee and the consequences of non-compliance. The emphasis on a thorough communication strategy was believed to be critical in curbing morale issues and mitigating employee discontent.

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

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 612 individuals who have received the CPFO designation.

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

  • Jennifer Cooperman, Treasurer, City of Portland, Oregon
  • Joseph Johnson, Budget Manager, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Georgia
  • Susan Paul, Project Coordinator, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Georgia
  • Laurie Puckett, Accounting Director, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Georgia
  • Penny Purchell, Financial Reporting Manager, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Georgia
  • Richard Reagan, Deputy Director – Business and Staff Services, Department of Water Resources, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Georgia
  • Joseph Weatherford, Strategic Business Development Division Director, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Georgia
  • Maria Woods, Department Director/Chief Finance Officer, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Georgia 

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 September 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

Please 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.