Preconference Seminars

Preconference seminars will begin June 7, 2024. Below is the list of current preconference sessions offered at GFOA's 118th Annual Conference.

Important Registration Information

  • GFOA has streamlined the registration process combining both the preconference seminars and full conference registration into a single transactional flow. If possible, please register for conference and preconference seminars at the same time. Click here to begin the process.
  • If you have already registered for conference and would like to add preconference seminars, please fill out the selected options on this PDF and submit it to The link for purchasing Tuesday night finale tickets will be released at a future date.

Preconference Seminars

Friday, June 7, 2024

Federal Funds Single Audit for Governmental Grantees

1:00 pm–5:00 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W230

Many governments continue to receive federal funding and are required to undergo a federal funds single audit. This session will provide an overview of the entire audit process, with an emphasis on the preparation of a Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA), required documentation, including a discussion of changes regarding the evaluation of audit evidence by auditors and how they will affect government auditees, and preparation of a corrective action plan and monitoring its implementation by auditees. The selection of major programs by auditors, auditees’ understanding and use of the auditor’s schedule of audit findings and questioned costs, and preparation and submission of a data collection form by both parties will also be addressed. 

Understanding Fire and Finance

1:00 pm–5:00 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W 232

Finance professionals and staff in fire service both want the best for the communities they serve, but sometimes misunderstandings can get in the way of these good intentions. Finance professionals might not understand the inner-workings of the 24-hour operations of fire service, and fire chiefs might not fully appreciate the difficulties of balancing the budget across several different business units within one organization. To help address these misunderstandings, GFOA and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) are working together to develop resources to promote better collaboration between finance officers and fire chiefs. We encourage finance professionals and fire chiefs to attend this session together to learn more about the pressures your colleagues face and how you can work together to achieve better outcomes for the community.

Overview of Debt Management Best Practices

1:00 pm–5:00 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W 231

GFOA has a long history of advocating for best practices in debt management and has a suite of resources to guide both policy and practice of government debt management. During the session, attendees will be able to learn and discuss the importance of having debt policies and procedures related to capital finance programs, the mechanics of issuing debt including method of sale and execution of sale, and the necessary procedures for ongoing debt management. Marketplace experts will guide attendees through these discussions and provide case studies and market data to present the topics in a manner that is applicable to a wide range of governments.

Note: This seminar has reached capacity.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

The Why, How, and What of Local Government Budgeting

8:30 am–12:30 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W 231

Budgeting serves many objectives for local governments, from outlining spending plans and priorities to demonstrating accountability. This introductory-level session will highlight the core purposes of budgeting and the steps local governments should take as they develop their budget to ensure those core purposes are fulfilled, emphasizing internal and external collaboration. Speakers will use GFOA’s Financial Foundations Framework to provide guidance and examples of how local governments can use the budget process to support a thriving community over the long term.

Note: This seminar has reached capacity.

Procurement and the Modern Government

8:30 am–12:30 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W 232

Procurement best practices can play a critical role for modern governments by ensuring compliance with laws, promoting organization-wide efficiency, and ensuring alignment around outcomes and results. However, some organizations fail to realize this potential and suffer through ineffective procurement policies that were developed during a completely different time and now are outdated. In this session, speakers will provide practical strategies on how to overcome common gripes about procurement being too slow, too complicated, and too bureaucratic. Specific focus will be on using technology, building relationships, creating an environment for partnerships with suppliers that foster innovation, provide results, and maintain accountability.

Note: This seminar has reached capacity.

Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting

10:00 am–5:00 pm | 6 CPE Credits | Room W 225

GFOA’s Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting is a networked group of districts working collaboratively to implement best practices in school budgeting and deal with current challenges facing all school districts. This session will address the most pressing challenges that school districts face in budgeting including long-term financial planning, budgeting for equity in school districts, introducing Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI) to your budget process, measuring student achievement, and communicating the budget to your stakeholders. Attend this session to explore these topics, learn from your peers, and develop ongoing relationships through GFOA's school network.

Overcoming Politics in Budgeting PLUS Access to Online Learning

1:00 pm–5:00 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W 232

Budgeting is a political process. "Politics" is often considered a dirty word in our profession, but finance professionals need to not just survive a political environment, but thrive in it. In this session, speakers will discuss common political power plays the finance professional may encounter, the sources of the finance professional's own political power, and how to ethically exercise that power and redirect potentially destructive political impulses to more productive outcomes. Attendees will learn how to promote ideas for better financial management that allow for constructive debate about public money, recognizing and making the hard trade-offs that public budgeting often requires.

In addition to the Preconference session fee, Overcoming Politics in Budgeting, carries an additional fee of $100 and includes registration for Perspectives (, an online program that helps teams create the best ideas across divides.

Retaining, Recruiting, and Restructuring the Finance Office

1:00 pm–5:00 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W 231

In recent years, government finance offices have faced unprecedented staffing challenges. Alleviating these workforce issues will likely involve implementing a mix of strategies to retain existing staff, recruit new employees, and restructure the role of staff and the current version of the finance function. This session will provide an overview of the public finance hiring crisis and outline a variety of staffing strategies that local governments have implemented to address these concerns. Strategies presented will allow governments to take steps to improve their near-term outlook while considering more significant long-term reforms to transform how finance professionals serve their organization and community.

Building a Stronger Foundation with Financial Policies

1:00 pm–5:00 pm | 4 CPE Credits | Room W230

A comprehensive set of financial policies offers many benefits to governments. In addition to helping guide decision-making and promote long-term strategic thinking, financial policies can also demonstrate procedural justice and build perceptions of fairness and objectivity in your organization. To help governments create and implement financial policies, GFOA has developed several resources that will be highlighted in this session. Attendees will learn what categories of financial policies GFOA considers essential for all governments. Speakers will also discuss why policies are necessary, how to develop policies, and what to include in policies. The session will allow time for you to draft actual policies in a few categories for your organization as well.