Conference Sessions

With the spread of COVID-19, the health and safety of GFOA members and staff is paramount in our minds. To that end, the 114th Annual Conference in New Orleans will be moving from in-person to digital. The below list of sessions is not final and will be updated as information is finalized. As this is a fluid and rapidly developing situation, please have patience with us as we develop the remote options.

For more information on conference sessions, please contact Mike Mucha.

77 Sessions

Pages


Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

Sometimes the practices that GFOA and its members advocate can seem like an aspiration - something to strive for, but rarely obtained. However, governments have proven it can be done. In this session we will hear from finance officers who have received national recognition recently for their comprehensive and high quality financial decision-making systems. Speakers will discuss how they got started, challenges they had to overcome during implementation, and what they do not to ensure that the best practice continues. Speakers will also discuss the impact that national recognition had on their government and how to best use and take advantage of that increased publicity.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of New Bedford, Massachusetts
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas
Speaker
Finance Director
City of Surfside, FL
Speaker
Co-Founder / Director
Assetic

Capital infrastructure underpins the vitality of our communities. However, the investments required for good infrastructure are substantial. Good asset management practices allows a local government to get the most bang for the buck across the asset’s lifecycle. They also protect original investments in infrastructure by adequately maintaining assets. In this session, you will see how different kinds of local governments have put in place strong asset management practices.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Moderator
Accounting & Finance Director
Washington County, MN

Everyone, even finance officers, have biases. Some biases reside in our subconscious and are formed through our different life experiences. More importantly, our biases affect the decisions we make. How do we become more aware of them both personally and professionally? Dedicated life coach, trainer, and facilitator, Kenston Henderson Sr., will define what implicit bias is and how we can mitigate it. As the Citywide Training & Development Coordinator, he will also share the implicit bias programming the City of Columbus, OH offers its employees to help understand the diverse perspectives of the community they serve.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Finance officers spend time taking care of retirement planning for all the other government employees, but finance officers retire, too! And the to-do list can be overwhelming, both professionally and personally. At work, there’s succession planning and grooming of the new leaders, wrapping up long overdue projects, and ensuring the policies are in place to allow for a successful transition. At home, the list of issues can range from how to explore new interests to calculate when to draw from your personal retirement plans, to simply adjusting to a new kind of life. This session will provide practical guidance to prepare finance officers and their governments for this important transition.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Starting in 2022, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) will replace the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as the benchmark for derivative and swap transactions in the municipal market. This session will summarize work done so far by representatives from GFOA to the Alternative Reference Rate Committee (ARRC) on the transition to the alternative rate. Speakers will also discuss how governments can understand their potential exposure and the complexities of the conversion process to inform on how all finance officers should approach existing and future transactions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Speaker
Director of Accounting
City of Detroit
Speaker
Deputy Treasurer
Town of Cary, NC
Speaker
Director of Finance
Township of Upper St. Clair, PA

Governments make payments every day through a variety of methods, including checks, ACH, wire transfers, procurement cards, cash, and other methods. It is critical that governments have appropriate policies and procedures in place, as well as efficient payable processes, to ensure timely payments, maintain government operations, and prevent against fraud. The use of emerging payables technologies can help make governments more efficient, but can also add challenges and risks if proper controls are not implemented. This session will provide attendees with an overview of payables methods typically used by governments, examine the third-party relationships required and available for governments to make payments, and discuss strategies for implementing new technologies in the treasury office

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Throughout history, long-standing and stable industries have been disrupted by innovative technologies or ideas. With each shift, governments must be able to quickly adapt or risk losing out an essential revenue streams. For example, recent shifts away from landline phones, retail sales, and taxis has presented challenges. In this session speakers will address what is next on the horizon and what governments need to prepare for so they are able to adapt to inevitable change.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

When GASB issued Statement No. 33, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Nonexchange Transactions, it required the reporting of taxes, grants, fees, and fines with an economic resources measurement focus. However, different interpretations and application of these principles by governments have led to inconsistencies in financial reporting. In the near future, the GASB plans to issue a preliminary views due process document proposing a very different model for classifying and recognizing inflows and outflows of resources. This is expected to have a profound effect on government accounting and financial reporting. Speakers in this session will preview proposed changes and prepare GFOA members to provide feedback to GASB on these fundamental changes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

Headlines tend to focus only on unfunded liabilities when it comes to public employee retirement. However, the bigger mix of factors that could impact retirement readiness for employees and local government finances is not always obvious. Whether it’s strategies employed at the state level for defined benefit plans or changes in federal law that impact defined contribution participants, join this session to hear about the jumble of factors in the ever-changing retirement landscape.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Speaker
Executive Director
Minnesota Higher Education Facilities Authority
Speaker
Finance Director
Clark County, Washington
Speaker
Budget Director
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Information Resource Mgmt Division

Governments already have several required disclosures for debt, but users of financial statements continually want more. As a result, finance officers must now become familiar with the latest round of new reporting requirements for debt. In this session, speakers will discuss what constitutes debt and the additional debt disclosures required by GASB 88, the issuance of GASB 91 for conduit debt, and the soon-to-be-issued new guidance on derivatives related to changing from LIBOR to SOFR.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

GFOA’s Best Practices in School Budgeting is a budget process framework centered on aligning resources to student outcomes. Strong collaboration between the finance and academic teams plays a crucial role in GFOA's Best Practices in School Budgeting for an improved process that also includes better stakeholder engagement, improved goal setting, comprehensive strategies to achieve goals, long-term financial planning, and a budget document that tells your district’s “story.” This session will include practical examples from districts who are implementing GFOA's best practice recommendations and also highlight resources readily available to any district looking to improve its budget process.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

Cash flow forecasting is an essential aspect of a government’s operations that sets the stage for budgeting, cash management, and investing decisions. GFOA’s best practice and resources related to cash flow forecasting highlight the need for governments to conduct this exercise regularly using a 12-month rolling period separate from the entity’s fiscal year. Speakers will discuss how to establish cash forecasts, which help governments make decisions related to outlays and investing for both liquidity and core portfolios. Government and market leaders will also discuss the importance of and how best to review, update, and report an entity’s cash flow forecast.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

For some governments, the only thing more confusing to operating departments than finance, information technology, benefit administration, legal services, or facility maintenance is how those services are costed and charged. Governments use internal service funds to capture costs associated with these administrative functions and charge back costs to departments or programs directly serving citizens. Do these approaches provide benefit, or is it just an exercise in moving funds throughout an organization? Speakers in this session will identify services best suited for internal service funds and address in a question and answer format the most challenging aspects of establishing this type of charge back system. Attend this session to identify which approach works best for budgeting, capturing costs, and allocating charges, how to correctly report on internal service funds, options to introduce competition, and how to use a charge back model to incentive cost-saving behaviors across the organization.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Sycamore Advisors

The issuance of taxable bonds increased drastically in 2019, due in large part to recent tax law changes and favorable market conditions. As governmental issuers are weighing their options when issuing debt, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding to issue taxable bonds instead of tax-exempt bonds. Speakers will discuss their recent experience in the bond market issuing taxable debt and discuss how governments should evaluate their options if they plan to issue in the near future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Speaker
Finance Manager - Budget and Management Office
City and County of Denver
Speaker
Finance Director
County of Chatham, GA

If reserves are a hedge against risk, how do they complement the other risk management tools that local governments have at their disposal? In this session speakers will present case studies on how they have calibrated their reserves to the risks that they face. Speakers will also describe the process used to get there and how the analysis into the various risk factors, and the likely occurrence and impact of each, helped them think about reserves differently and prepare more effective risk management programs for their government and community.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

Public sector finance professionals in the utility industry continue to express interest in taking the opportunity to network with others facing the same problems and issues that they face on a daily basis. This session will not only offer a networking opportunity with others in public sector utility finance, but will also provide discussion on current issues and topics specifically requested through engagement in the Forum.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

It has been popularly noted that there are organizations that have been hacked; those that are being hacked; and those that will be hacked. Where does your organization fit? Join this session to learn practical strategies to mitigate your risks against cyber threats. Speakers will discuss the remedies outlined in GFOA’s whitepaper, “A Byte of Prevention” and how to implement them. Participants will learn how developing a strategy focusing on people, process, and technology will prepare your organization against the next cyber threat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Moderator/Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Roseville, CA
Speaker
Finance & Accounting Services Manager
City of Gresham, OR
Speaker
Partner
BKD, LLP

Each year, GFOA reviews almost 5,000 submissions to the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Award Program). Using data from those reviews, speakers will identify the most common reporting deficiencies by CAFR sections and will discuss how all governments can improve their financial reporting. Speakers will also discuss the best way to prepare your CAFR for submission to the GFOA Award Program, and how you can participate as a volunteer reviewer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

Virtually all communities are susceptible to some unexpected events that can put a strain on daily life. When disaster occurs resources need to be made available immediately so recovery and repair can begin. But how do you know if your jurisdiction is prepared? What is required to successfully navigate the financial needs that a disaster can bring? FEMA experts will provide an overview of the Disaster Financial Management Guide, provide a presentation on their new Just In Time Training program, and practitioners at the local level will share how their experience has affected preparedness in their communities.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

There are a myriad of ways in which governments can embrace technology solutions in the treasury office to better facilitate receivable and payable functions. These include integrating treasury data and procedures into government-wide ERP systems, facilitating cash and check handling in a more streamlined and anti-fraud manner, and accepting customer payments using new technology platforms. Finance officers should be aware of solutions that can assist with the processing of treasury functions to prevent fraud and know about what is on the horizon that could be of value to a government’s treasury operations.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

Equitable distribution of resources is about more than just ensuring everyone has an equal share. For some is equal enough? Is equal fair? Fairness in budgeting is almost an impossible goal. By definition, the budget process requires prioritizing and allocating limited funding for what seems nearly like unlimited needs. In this session, speakers will present approaches for incorporating equity factors in budget decisions to address growing socioeconomic disparities. Attendees will learn from leading jurisdictions on how they approach allocating funding in diverse communities according to community-informed impact-based factors such as health, education, transportation, housing, public safety, taxation, environmental sustainability, quality of service, and economic opportunity/vitality.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

What is culture? Every organization has one and it's true that some can be better than others. However, do you understand why culture matters in a finance office and how to systematically work to improve it? In this session speakers will present case studies on how to apply culture improvement strategies made popular by several best selling books and championed by many successful organizations. This session will provide practical strategies for everyone to try to improve both the culture in your department and your entire organization.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Speaker
Senior Director
Fitch Ratings
Speaker
Assistant City Administrator/Chief Financial Officer
City of Franklin, TN

Most governments have a local debt limit prescribed by state or provincial law. However, this limit is rarely calibrated to local conditions. Without a sense of what is truly affordable it is impossible to make truly wise decisions about the use of debt. This session will review the best measures of local debt affordability, show you how you can come up with local limits that make the most sense for your community, and develop a policy that facilitates responsible, affordable use of debt.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Carrollton, TX

While GASB's new statement on deferred compensation plans may be only a few paragraphs long, it has the potential for significant changes to many local governments and will plung them to the world of pension and benefit accounting. Speakers at this session will discuss GASB's new statement, explain why it is necessary, provide an overview of pension accounting, and show examples of how local governments have been successful with implementation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Speaker
Executive Director
Participatory Budgeting Project

Effective public engagement goes beyond website surveys, required public meetings, and ongoing conversations with interest groups. Governments, through the capital planning and budget process allocate funding to invest in initiatives, projects, and services that can have a profound impact on the communities it serves. For an effective process, public engagement is not only a legal mandate, it is a necessity for identifying needs, understanding the complex social, environmental, and demographic factors in play, and being responsive to all stakeholders. In this session, speakers will present case study examples how how improving public engagement improved the decisions they made. Each case study will also identify lessons learned that can be applied to all governments on how to implement effective strategies for "real" public engagement.