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. 

Sessions for the 2020 virtual conference are listed below.  Each session will be presented live at the time listed in the schedule and available for CPE credit.  All registered for the conference will also be given the opportunity to view recordings of each session after the annual conference.

  • Individuals registered for the annual conference do not need to register for individual sessions.  You will recieve access to all sessions and can choose the sessions to attend. Only sessions attended live will be eligible for CPE credit.
  • All registered for the conference should have recieved information to access the virtual conference on your registration confirmation.  GFOA will also send out communications with instructions by the end of May 15, 2020.

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

Note: All times listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

  • Enhance Your Conference Experience with GFOA's Mobile App

Download the new “GFOA Conference” mobile app from the App Store or Google Play store. You can add sessions to your calendar, browse our sponsors and exhibitors, access GFOA’s Fiscal First Aid Resource Center, and more!

  • Join the Conversation

Share your conference experience with us on social media and follow along with what others are saying. On Twitter, use the hashtag #GFOA or #GFOA2020. We’ll be scrolling comments on the screen during our Virtual Conference.

47 Sessions

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Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:40pm
Moderator
Debt Manager
Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority
Speaker
Partner
Nixon Peabody
Speaker
Capital Finance Director
State of Wisconsin
Speaker
Managing Director and Associate General Counsel
SIFMA
Speaker
Research Analyst
Fidelity Investments

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, issuers are still required to meet their disclosure responsibilities for their outstanding debt obligations. This session will include a discussion on the issuer experience managing their disclosure programs and guidance from outside professionals on the advice they provide to their governmental clients. Attendees will also be updated on changes to GFOA best practices and advisories related to disclosure practices.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Moderator
Deputy Director Water Administration
City of Aurora, CO - Water Department
Speaker
Deputy Finance Director
County of Fairfax, Virginia
Speaker
Finance Director/Treasurer
Village of Villa Park, IL
Speaker
Budget & Planning Administrator
Office of Budget and Management, Cuyahoga County

Financial management processes often evolve over time. However, these changes can build in inefficiency, complexity, lack of standardization, and confusion. Speakers in this session will present how simple tools and strategies, like asking "Why?" can break a pattern of "we've always done it this way" and lead to effective process improvements. The session will also provide practical strategies for leading process improvement efforts, change management, documentation, training, and developing a plan for sustaining the change.

Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:15pm
Speaker
Assistant Director, Accounting Services & Internal Audit
City of New York Mayor's Office of Management & Budget
Speaker
Senior Project Manager
GASB
Speaker
Speaker
Comptroller
Fairfax County Public Schools

GASB Statement No. 84, and the related implementation guide 2019-2, both named Fiduciary Activities, will become effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019, eliminating the ambiguity that has existed in defining a fiduciary activity, but also changing the way that many governments will report on fiduciary funds. This session will provide a comprehensive review of fiduciary activities and fiduciary fund accounting and financial reporting, including discussion of challenges of implementation by finance officers who have recently implemented the standard.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:15pm
Speaker
Senior Finance Manager
University of Minnesota
Speaker
Supervising Project Manager
Governmental Accounting Standards Board

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 document 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, June 2, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
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 and streamline processes, 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.

Friday, May 29, 2020 - 11:00am to 11:50am
Speaker
Director of Finance
City of Lincoln. NE
Speaker
Vice President
Avero Infrastructure Advisors

Technology infrastructure has traditionally been left to the private sector. However, as technology becomes more integrated into our lives, it has become an indispensable utility. Citizens of communities without adequate technology infrastructure could find themselves with reduced educational and economic opportunities. This session will explore the role local government has in investing in technology infrastructure, either by encouraging private investment or through public investment.

Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:40pm
Moderator
Managing Director, Public Finance Group (retired)
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Iowa Finance Authority
Speaker
Director of Finance
Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York
Speaker
Head of Communications Strategy
Wells Fargo LIBOR Transition Office
Speaker
Managing Director
Mohanty Gargiulo LLC

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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:15pm
Speaker
Partner
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Speaker
Research Manager
National Institute on Retirement Security
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Segal

Headlines about the market impacts caused by COVID-19 tend to focus only on unfunded liabilities when it comes to public employee retirement. But the bigger picture—the factors that could affect employees' retirement readiness and local government finances—is not always obvious. Join this session to learn about the jumble of factors in the ever-changing retirement landscape, including strategies states are employing for defined benefit plans or changes in federal law that impact defined contribution participants.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Speaker
Finance Director
County of Chatham, GA
Speaker
Finance Director/Treasurer
City of Newport Beach, CA

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.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:15pm
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Missouri LAGERS
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System
Moderator
Senior Manager
GFOA

Market volatility, a low interest rate environment, and ongoing pressure to manage costs are just some of the issues facing public pension plans. What are plans to do when they're facing state reforms or recurring initiatives at the federal level? This session will highlight the challenges for pension plans and strategies that they have adopted or are on the horizon, and explain the implications for local government finances.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:15pm
Speaker
Executive Director
Participatory Budgeting Project
Speaker
Budget Manager
Mecklenburg County
Speaker
Enterprise Management Analyst
Mecklenburg County

Effective public engagement goes beyond website surveys, required public meetings, and ongoing conversations with interest groups. Governments, through the capital planning and budgeting process, allocate funding to invest in initiatives, projects, and services that can have a profound impact on the communities they serve. 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 stakeholders. In this session, speakers will present case studies of how enhanced public engagement improved the decisions they made. Each case study will identify lessons learned on how to implement effective strategies for "real" public engagement.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:40pm
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of Rock Hill, SC
Speaker
Chief Performance Officer
City of Austin, TX
Speaker
Budget Manager
City of Duluth, MN

Budgeting is just as much about values and priorities as it is about dollars. Unfortunately, in times of fiscal distress, governments can fall into focusing too much on getting the dollars to work out and abandon those principles. While universally true, but especially important in times of fiscal stress, it is important for governments to communicate their priorities and values to improve budget transparency, demonstrate fairness, and help justify difficult decisions. As your government works to address and recover from fiscal distress, how much have you communicated "why" you budget the way you do? In this session, speakers will present practical strategies to help you prioritize your organization's values and develop a framework to make those tough decisions and communicate them to those most impacted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 3:00pm to 3:50pm
Speaker
Assistant Finance Director
City of Stuart, FL
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Simmons Bank
Speaker
Director of Finance and Administrative Services
City of Riviera Beach, FL

Governments are on heightened alert regarding fraud matters that impact their entities, especially the treasury office. Of particular concern are the sophisticated methods being used by external players to commit fraud, including phishing scams, cyber attacks, and false vendor invoicing or banking information. Governments need to have strong prevention policies, procedures, and plans in place to identify and address fraud before it becomes a reality in the finance office. In this session, attendees will hear from experts in the field and fellow finance officers who have experienced instances of external fraud and cyber attacks about lessons-learned and discover appropriate tools to prevent and react to fraudulent schemes.

Monday, June 22, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Speaker
Principal
Groom Law Group, Chartered
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Carrollton, TX
Speaker
Partner
BKD, LLP

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 27, 2020 - 3:00pm to 3:50pm
Moderator/Speaker
Manager of HR and Organizational Development
GFOA
Speaker
Confidence Coach

Most of us can recognize a good leader when we see one. Becoming one, however, can be much more challenge. Even after reading some of the best selling books on leadership, attending keynote lectures, or working with a leadership coach, many find it difficult to apply these principles into their day to day work. In this session, speakers will translate leadership theory into practice by providing practical and actionable steps to help you develop as a leader and integrate leadership into your organization.

Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 11:00am to 11:50am
Speaker
Assistant Director of Publications, Technical Services
GFOA
Speaker
Director, Technical Services
GFOA

New in 2020, GFOA will release a brand new edition of Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Government Reporting (the "Blue Book") GFOA's signature publication and the definitive source on the subject. This is the first new edition since 2012, and the first release since the 2014 supplement. In addition to updated content, this edition marks the beginning of a new era, with the transition to an on-line subscription service that will keep the Blue Book - and you - up-to-date going forward. Come to this session to find out what's new in the book and to get tips on using the on-line subscription.

Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Moderator/Speaker
Investment Officer/Assistant Portfolio Manager
City & County of San Francisco
Speaker
Senior Treasury Analyst
Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority
Speaker
Assistant City Manager/CFO
City of Weston, FL
Speaker
Chief Investment Officer
PMA Asset Management, LLC

Finance officers must stay aware of the many factors that impact a government's investments, especially given the new investment landscape in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. While the core principles of an investment strategy–liquidity, safety, and return–rest within a government’s investment policy, knowing about market conditions, current events, and investment products are important to ensure your entity's access to liquidity as well as maintain longer-term investment strategies. Speakers for this session will provide an economic update and expert predictions on interest rates and other factors related to government investing, provide an overview of new products that are being used by your peers, and engage in conversation about what governments need to do in order to prepare for investing post-COVID-19 crisis and in the years ahead.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:40pm
Speaker
Director of Research and Technical Activities
Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)
Speaker
Chief Project Manager
Ohio Auditor of State

Since issuing GASB 87, Leases, GASB has followed up not only with extensive implementation guidance for that statement but also with guidance on accounting and financial reporting for cloud computing and public-private (and public-public) partnerships that is explicitly based on the leases standard. This session will be an opportunity to review the authoritative literature and hear about governments that have begun or completed GASB 87 implementations. In addition, speakers will present on the similarities and differences between the newer guidance and lease accounting and provide tips that all governments can use to prepare for this next change.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:40pm
Speaker
Assistant City Manager
City of Georgetown, TX
Speaker
Principal
Urban3
Speaker
Assistant City Manager
City of Fate, TX

For most governments, a large part of their revenues and expenditures are determined by how land is used within the jurisdiction. However, land use planning usually happens with little consideration given to how land use choices will impact the long-term financial health of the local government. In this session, you will hear about how to bridge the divide between land use planning and financial planning in order to build communities that are both livable and that have a strong financial foundation in the future.

Monday, June 22, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:15pm
Moderator/Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA)
Speaker
Senior Actuary
South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS)
Speaker
Vice President and Consulting Actuary
Segal

Actuarial reporting can be complex, but important for understanding the status of pension and OPEB plans. Speakers in this session will focus on key components of an actuarial report and will guide finance officers on how to interpret their government’s actuarial reports. In addition, speakers will address frequently asked questions about the actuarial reports to allow for finance officers to better understand and explain this information to other stakeholders in the government.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Speaker
Finance/Accounting Consultant
University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service
Speaker
Director of Finance
City of Milpitas, CA
Speaker
Budget Director
Anoka County, MN

Incremental budgeting is easy, convenient, and readily accepted as a standard process in government. But is it the best approach? Incremental budgeting can make it difficult to reallocate funding based on current priority, compare funding to service levels or performance, or facilitate strategic long-term decision making. Unfortunately, many governments never test what is best because changing a key organizational process is difficult. This session will provide a plan forward using smaller (achievable) steps to build a better budget process. Speakers will discuss how they were able to initiate efforts to reform the budget process and how they overcame common challenges along the way.

Monday, June 22, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Moderator
Accountant
City of Peoria
Moderator/Speaker
Treasurer
St. Louis County, MO
Speaker
Treasury Management Division Manager for U.S. Government Banking and Canada
Wells Fargo Bank
Speaker
Finance & Central Services Division Manager
Anoka County, MN

There are myriad 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. Embracing technology solutions can also enhance processes when physical operations are limited as staff works remotely. Finance officers should be aware of solutions that can assist with the processing of treasuring functions, know about technology solutions that can assist with preventing fraud, and what may be on the horizon that could be of value to your government’s treasury operations.

Monday, June 22, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:15pm
Moderator
Debt Manager
City of St. Paul, MN
Speaker
Assistant City Administrator/Chief Financial Officer
City of Franklin, TN
Speaker
Senior Director
Fitch Ratings
Speaker
Debt Manager
Wake County, NC
Speaker
Director
Public Financial Management (PFM), Inc.

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 to come up with local limits that make the most sense for your community, and how to create a policy that facilitates responsible, affordable use of debt.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 3:00pm to 3:50pm
Moderator/Speaker
Co-Director, Center for Digital Government
e.Republic
Speaker
Head of Commercial Banking Identity & Access Management and Data Management, Protection and Privacy
J.P. Morgan Chase Commercial Banking Cybersecurity and Technology Controls

Ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent in government and each week we learn of additional governments that have become victim to these paralyzing hacks. While governments need to understand risks and prepare preventative strategies, they also must be prepared in the event you fall victim. Do you have a plan when you find your electronic files have become encrypted and cannot be unlocked unless you pay a ransom? Some governments have elected to give in to the criminals while other governments have decided to fight – often at great cost. Listen, as your peers and professionals in the industry discuss how to react in the even of ransomware attack, considerations for paying the ransom, other strategies you may have available to deal with this latest threat to our communities.

Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Moderator/Speaker
Professor of Practice
University of Virginia Darden School of Business

GFOA’s new code of ethics outlines the values that are essential to building trust in our communities, but putting these values into action can sometimes be difficult. In fact, ethical tragedies are often the result of people who sit silently on the sidelines afraid or uncertain of what to do about a transgression. In this session, you will learn a distinctive new approach to these situations called “Giving Voice to Values” by discussing real-life scenarios of ethical challenges that have occurred in governments.


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