Conference Sessions

GFOA’s Annual Conference will include more than 75 concurrent sessions featuring leading practitioners, subject matter experts, and top researchers. Each session will contain a panel of speakers carefully selected to provide best practice guidance, discussion of current events, case studies, debate, and interactive exercises to cover a complete suite of topics pertinent for finance officers of all types and representing all forms of state and local governments. GFOA’s concurrent sessions will be organized into separate “core” tracks that focus on essential elements within public financial management. GFOA will also place an emphasis on emerging topics that provide finance officers with information critical to supporting their organizations and communities in today’s current environment.

The complete program for the GFOA annual conference is now available below.

83 Sessions

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Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

Government budgets are driven upward by personnel costs and related benefits. Generally, one of the biggest personnel budgets belongs to the police department. However, the nature of services that police do exposes local governments to additional financial risk. While they make headlines across the country for the social impact, everything from car accidents, bias and discrimination lawsuits, employee relations issues, to excessive force cases and more can have a significant financial impact. This session will features speakers that help discuss some of these difficult issues from the perspective of a finance officer and provide recommendations for how to limit the financial risk that is inherent within public safety.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

GASB continues to evaluate making changes to its reporting model which received its last comprehensive review in the project leading to the adoption of GASB Statement No. 34 issued in 1999. At the same time, the GASB examines the way governments currently report all revenues and expenses. This could have wide-ranging effects on the method and timing of revenue and expense/expenditure recognition both government-wide and in all types of funds. Speakers will provide an update on both of these important projects. Attend so you can provide feedback to the GASB and comment on how these potential changes will affect your government.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

When engaging the public on finance and budget-related matters on social media, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for a large city probably doesn’t work for a small town. Similarly, different types of organizations may find they need a different approach to attract followers. At this session, speakers will provide examples from a variety of organizations who use social media but adopt different approaches. Speakers will also discuss how to effectively present finance and budget-related topics to citizens and how all organizations can engage the public through video, polling, and more.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

This session will highlight the recent tax reform debate and its effect on governments' ability to collect revenues and issue debt. Discussion of legislative proposals that could impact infrastructure finance and online sales tax collection will be discussed. Speakers will also highlight discussions in Washington, D.C., surrounding public pensions, rating agency requirements, and other proposals that impact a government’s comprehensive fiscal structure.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

For finance officers working with a specialized mass transit agency, knowledge of the industry may be standard. Finance officers who operate transit services as part of a larger general purpose government, coordinate their government's services with a transit agency, or are looking to better utilize transit to serve a community, should attend this session. Speakers will provide information on the latest mass transit trends and issues; discuss financing opportunities; identify grant programs or other incentives for both transit-focused development and operations; and provide background knowledge to enhance the understanding of the current transit environment across the United States and Canada.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

GFOA will host a networking session designed specifically for governments that have achieved an AAA rating. This session will allow delegates to discuss the unique challenges in achieving and maintaining that esteemed rating.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

Preparing for the role of a chief financial officer is challenging; each day is different. Being flexible and learning on the job is key, and navigating how to provide technical expertise while communicating in a political environment can be difficult. This session will feature several senior CFOs who will share lessons learned from their careers. Stories will highlight case studies of successes and failures to advise on actions you should consider or avoid in your own career.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

Government officials have a fiduciary duty to serve the interests of their entity and protect public funds. Even when governments rely on the advice of outside professionals, that duty remains intact. External advisors such as investment advisors and municipal advisors have federally mandated fiduciary duties to put the interest of their clients (governments) ahead of their own. Other market players – such as brokers – are impacted by factors like suitability standards and some federal regulatory actions. This session will give an overview of what the parameters of fiduciary duty standards are for internal government staff as well as external professionals to help governments understand what is expected of themselves and others.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

The last two decades has seen a steady increase in the amount of municipal debt held by new and/or foreign investors. With high yields and historically low default rates, tax-exempt and taxable municipal bonds are often viewed as safe investments to European and Asian investors that have a tough time finding comparable yields in their own countries. This session will focus on how issuers can market their communities and investment opportunities to this steadily growing pool of investors.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Having an internal audit function provides government officials with an important tool to monitor and evaluate internal control activities that are essential to meeting government’s objectives. Learn why governments should have an internal audit function and how a government can develop and operate an effective one. For governments interested in contracting the internal audit, the session will discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing this function and how to oversee contract auditors to assure effectiveness.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Finance leaders may be good at constructing budgets and financial plans but budgeting and financial planning for construction can be challenging. Whether it's the fluctuating cost of asphalt, uncooperative weather patterns, difficult labor unions, or a less-than-financially savvy public works director, completing a successful project requires more than preparing a good budget. This session will explore the role that the finance office can play to create and maintain an effective construction project monitoring function and help reduce the risk of high-profile construction projects going over schedule and/or over-budget.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Even as governments have utilized online procurement mediums and purchasing card technology in recent years, implementation of a comprehensive P-card function can still be challenging from process, technology, and management perspectives. This session will focus on the pros and cons of P-cards, how to manage the implementation of a P-card program, and tips for developing, training, and enforcing organizational policies on P-card use. The session will also address developing P-card policies, building a relationship with your P-card provider, preventing fraud, integration of P-cards with your ERP system, and managing difficult departments/users.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Finance officers and human resource managers provide core administrative services that many organizations split into multiple departments. This can lead to tension, conflict, and inefficiency. Although recognizing that these departments serve various purposes and should be different, they often need to work together. This session will feature views from both finance and human resource professionals on balancing purpose, style, culture, and goals between distinct functions. Speakers will share how they stepped out of their box to understand different stakeholder viewpoints. Techniques that consider leadership styles will be emphasized. Working arrangements, such as service level agreements, policies, and business process strategies for creating a more cohesive delivery of services, will also be addressed. Lessons learned during this session may also apply to any process requiring cooperation among multiple organizations.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

What is going on in the world of public pensions? This session will highlight trends seen across pension plans and the implications they have on state and local government finance offices. Representatives from pension plans and other industry experts will provide updates on changing standards and requirements and inform finance officers what they should be aware of in the coming year.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Are we headed for a recession? Some economists are worried economic expansion will not continue and warn to tread cautiously. Recognizing strong revenues might not continue, some governments are already preparing for a bear market. In this session practitioners from local governments will share their preparation strategies for thinking about budgeting over the long term. Speakers will discuss an economic outlook on state and local governmentsand provide perspectives on unique considerations for state and local governments.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Are you a young public finance professional looking to build your professional network? Join us in this interactive session to network with peers across the U.S. and Canada. During this session, you will have an opportunity to discuss issues you and your organization are facing and seek advice from other GFOA members aged 40 and under.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am

James and Deborah Fallows will provide lessons from their journey across America to understand the prospects of cities, towns, and places (many of which represented by GFOA members) who despite the paralysis of national politics are working to craft solutions and make things better. Their work, Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, is a collection of stories from their meetings with hundreds of civic leaders, workers, immigrants, educators, business people, artists, public servants, city planners, and entrepreneurs. They will provide perspective on topics that will help all finance officers confront challenges and work towards building strong communities.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Speaker
Director, Technical Services
GFOA
Speaker
Chairman
Governmental Accounting Standards Board

Speakers will provide a comprehensive overview of the key developments in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting that affect state and local governments. Topics covered will include recently promulgated standards and upcoming implementations with related practice issues as well as developments related to current GASB projects likely to affect issuers and auditors in the near future.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

Insurance helps protect against the consequences of rare events that have a big negative impact. However, because the events which insurance protects against are rare, it can be easy for insurance to fade into the background. This session will demonstrate smart practices in using insurance and applying risk management. You will learn how to help optimize your government’s approach to insurance, thereby better protecting your community from the unexpected.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

Whether it’s recruiting the next big business, building a sports stadium, or competing for a large convention, economic development is about generating profitable activity beyond the sum of a community’s parts. This session will focus on several different concepts of economic development and the pros and cons of each. Ranging from sports to entertainment to good old-fashioned fun in the sun, speakers will discuss both positive and negative experiences and identify lessons learned from each project. Speakers will also cover how to monitor a project to ensure promised benefits are developing as planned.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

As populations evolve and grow, public finance officials must be prepared to plan for capital project developments that grow with their community and addresses the constantly changing needs of their fellow citizens. The current budgetary environment for state and local government's demands evaluating every available funding option to support growth and a high standard of living. With many localities operating through the year on slim margins, public finance officers must search for smart and innovative ways to fund their capital projects and ensure the future of their communities.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

With the Great Recession lingering in the minds of finance professionals, as well as having a more dynamic market than in previous years, governments need to be aware of what these changes in the market landscape mean for state and local governments. It is also critical that finance officers are able to discuss these trends with members of their governing bodies and the public in an accessible way. This session will provide attendees with an overview of how to review their existing investment policies and what types of investment strategies may be needed in the near future related to investment portfolios, and how to best communicate the investing landscape to those outside the finance office

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

Financial sustainability is more likely to occur if everyone is working towards that goal. However, finance officers sometimes feel that the actions of department heads or independent elected officials are not financially sustainable. At this session, you will hear about how the independently elected sheriff of San Bernardino County and the appointed chief executive officer built a relationship which enabled the County to meet its public safety objectives and be financially sustainable. The lessons you will learn are equally applicable to the relationship between finance officers and departments heads in all types of governments and across all functional area not limited to public safety.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm

Small governments face numerous hurdles in their debt management programs including in-house subject expertise. This session will focus on effective strategies for issuing debt, hiring outside professionals, meeting disclosure requirements, and utilizing checklists, policies, and procedures to best manage these responsibilities through the lens of a small government.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Moderator
Chief Executive Officer
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP)

The procurement office (or procurement function within a finance office) can be a strategic resource to assist departments aiming to streamline sourcing processes, save money through competitive purchasing, encourage competition and transparency, and promote societal goals. However, in many departments, the procurement function struggles to go beyond something more than just a hoop to jump through. In this session, procurement professionals will speak about how to establish a strong partnership between finance and procurement and provide lessons learned from integrating procurement into the finance office. Additionally, for organizations looking to define purchasing, representatives from the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) will communicate key elements from their competency model that will certify procurement officers.


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