118th Annual Conference Sessions

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Sessions for Sunday, June 9

Sun
9 Jun
2:40 PM-3:30 PM ET

Let’s Not be Petty: Getting Rid of Petty Cash

The petty cash drawer will always have a special place in our hearts—the hidden keys, the clang of the change, and a quick way to break a twenty or—but it's also an antiquated practice that is susceptible to fraud and abuse - and potentially can expose your organization to procurement policy or legal compliance issues. Petty cash can be difficult to track and presents challenges to ensuring expenses are recorded appropriately. Alternatives can provide better security and tracking of expenses and sometimes even provide cash back and other rewards. This session will discuss the risks of petty cash and how to help move not only the finance office, but all other departments to alternative forms of payment for small purchases.

1 CPE credit
Basic
Sun
9 Jun
2:40 PM-3:30 PM ET

LGBTQIA+ Caucus Annual Meeting

GFOA’s LGBTQIA+ Caucus exists to advocate for its members within the profession and works to increase the visibility of LGBTQIA+ people within GFOA and the profession as a whole. At this session, the Caucus will highlight key issues, discuss the previous year's activities and the results of the remote annual business meeting, and review the plans for the coming year. We encourage all members of the community and allies to attend and make themselves heard.

1 CPE credit
Basic
Sun
9 Jun
2:40 PM-3:30 PM ET

Rethinking Budgeting in Action

Through its Rethinking Budgeting research initiative, GFOA has developed a new operating system for its approach to local government budgeting. At this session, speakers will discuss the underlying challenges of budgeting, the principles for addressing those challenges, and ideas for how the principles can be applied under different circumstances. You will also get a sneak preview of how GFOA plans to incorporate these findings into its budgeting guidance.

1 CPE credit
Basic
Sun
9 Jun
2:40 PM-3:30 PM ET

Options for Cutting the Cost of Employee Health Benefits

For many local governments, the cost of employee health benefits takes up a bigger share of the total budget every year, but given how competitive the labor market is right now, many local governments are hesitant to cut benefits to achieve lower costs. This session will provide an overview of options for cutting the cost of employee health benefits without cutting the benefit provided to the employee.

1 CPE credit
Basic
Sun
9 Jun
2:40 PM-3:30 PM ET

A is for Analysis: Using the MD&A to Tell the Story Behind the Numbers

Readers often flip first to the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for a succinct overview of the financial condition and key financial highlights. However, past studies have shown that the typical MD&A is written at a level that the average citizen would not be able to understand. This session will cover tips for developing a great MD&A and provide examples. Speakers will identify ways for finance professionals to improve their analysis and ability to communicate important information to readers while also meeting financial reporting standards.

1 CPE credit
Basic
Sun
9 Jun
3:50 PM-5:05 PM ET

Black Caucus: Annual Meeting

The Annual Black Caucus Business Meeting will be used to address the business of the Caucus, including the election of new officers. An update on the activity of the Caucus will also be provided to members. Speakers and specific topics for the Black Caucus meeting will be announced at a later date.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Sun
9 Jun
3:50 PM-5:05 PM ET

Close But No Cigar: Common Errors Identified in GFOA's Award Program

Overall, GFOA members strive to meet a high standard for comprehensive and timely financial reporting - and do exceptionally well. GFOA's award programs recognize almost 5,000 different governments for their achievements. However, no one is perfect and GFOA tracks common deficiencies that are noted in the annual comprehensive financial reports summited to the Certificate of Achievement (CoA) program. This session will highlight common areas for improvement, criteria with higher rates of nonconformance, and "asterisk" items that may prevent an organization from receiving their award.

1.5 CPE credit
Overview
Sun
9 Jun
3:50 PM-5:05 PM ET

2024 Cybersecurity Update

The pace of technology innovation seems to be outpaced only by growth of risks that the same technology can expose an organization to. As we all witnessed over the past year, the development of artificial intelligence (AI) has had a significant impact on public finance, and with that raised the threat of more sophisticated threats. Speakers will provide an overview of the latest cybersecurity threats, including the legal, internal control, and fraud challenges that come with AI's ability to emulate voices, writing styles, and more. Attend this session to understand counter measures and essential practices to mitigate current risks and better prepare for what comes next.

1.5 CPE credit
Update
Sun
9 Jun
3:50 PM-5:05 PM ET

Performance-Informed Budgeting: The Prospects and Problems

The notion of basing budget decisions on performance rather than precedent or politics is a powerful one, but also a concept that can be much more easily said than done. As many governments have attempted to make this shift, they often face technical, communication, leadership, and political challenges that make sustainability of performance-informed budgeting a rare occurrence. Speakers in this session will confront the obstacles that stand in the way and identify what budget leaders can do to prepare for this transition and recommendations for achieving success, transforming the budget function, and benefiting the community.

1.5 CPE credit
Advanced
Sun
9 Jun
3:50 PM-5:05 PM ET

Why I'm a Finance Officer

There is no single path to becoming a finance officer. GFOA's 23,000+ members have just as many different motivations, stories, and journeys for how they got to this point in their career. However, they all now share the responsibility for maintaining trust, supporting their community, and working to build sustainable organizations despite increasing pressure from political polarization, workforce challenges, and overall distrust of government. During this session, hear from several finance officers about their career journey, how their experience puts them in a position to deal with current challenges, and what drives their dedication to the profession.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Sun
9 Jun
3:50 PM-5:05 PM ET

The Importance of an Investment Program

Governments need a robust investment program to manage risk and provide proper structure for carrying out investment activities. The core of an investment program is an organization's investment policy, which addresses investment strategies, permissible investment products, risk profile, and reporting requirements. This session, focused on GFOA's best practice statement, will highlight ways governments can develop or enhance their investment program, including utilizing the due diligence of external parties, understanding the risks of various financial products, and analyzing their investment profile to address multiple factors, all rooted in the core principles of public investing–the safety of public funds and managing liquidity needs.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic

Sessions for Monday, June 10

Mon
10 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Putting Assets to Work: Unlocking the Value of Underused Real Estate

GFOA's Putting Assets to Work (PAW) initiative has brought together 14 jurisdictions to explore best practices, policy tools, and approaches to unlock new revenue and other public benefits from unused or underutilized land. PAW leaders have identified underutilized government-owned real estate valued at billions of dollars in both small and large jurisdictions. These jurisdictions are already beginning to realize new revenue and other community benefits, including affordable housing, clean energy, infrastructure, and criminal justice innovations. At this session, you will hear from the partners leading these efforts and the governments that have engaged in and are implementing this transformative work and learn how your government could engage in this initiative.

1.5 CPE credit
Advanced
Mon
10 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Accounting and Auditing Year in Review

Each year, GFOA's Accounting and Auditing Year in Review provides conference attendees with an overview of changing standards and previews upcoming projects. During this perennial favorite, speakers will provide a comprehensive overview of the key developments in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting that affect state and local governments. Topics for this year include the new audit standards, GASB Statements 100 and 101, and upcoming implementations with related practice issues, as well as developments related to current GASB projects likely to affect preparers and auditors in the near future.

2 CPE credits
Update
Mon
10 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Halfway Through: What Can IIJA Still Do for You?

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides over a half-trillion dollars in infrastructure investment to communities due to a bipartisan effort to enhance the nation's traditional and non-traditional infrastructure network. Come to this session to hear from representatives from the U.S. Department of Treasury and Environmental Protection Agency to understand the investments already made and the opportunities ahead.

2 CPE credits
Update
Mon
10 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Staffing and Stations and Trucks, Oh My! Fire Service Basics for Finance Officers

The fire service may be one of the most complicated services that local government provides. Finance staff can easily be overwhelmed by the unfamiliar jargon, unusual schedules, and specialized equipment that fire and rescue staff use to keep communities safe. At this session, you will learn the basics of the fire service, including what the job of a firefighter entails and different options for staffing and scheduling. With this new knowledge, you can assist your colleagues in the fire service more effectively.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

On the Campaign Trail: How to Navigate the Politics of Budgeting

Budgeting is hard work, and when politics is thrown into the mix, it's even tougher. Most budget professionals are adept at the technical aspects of budgeting–developing revenue forecasts, counting positions, and estimating spending, but navigating the political landscape is something that many finance professionals try to avoid, usually unsuccessfully. This session will provide tools for navigating political traps, confronting special interests, and earning widespread support for decisions while also building on concepts of equity, fairness, and accountability. Speakers will share examples of how they successfully navigated the politics of budgeting and provide advice on how to hone your political leadership skills.

2 CPE credits
Intermediate
Mon
10 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Small Government Forum: Investing for Small Governments

This event will give GFOA members that work for small governments the opportunity to interact with their peers, exchange experiences and ideas, and make new connections. This year's session will also provide small governments with limited fiscal and/or personnel resources best practices and tools for investing public funds. Discussion of GFOA’s suite of investing best practices from practitioners will be highlighted during this session and tailored specifically for small organizations.

GFOA's Small Government Forum is free for GFOA members from small governments and exists to provide opportunities for networking and exchanging information on topics unique to the needs of managing organizations with limited staff or resources. The Small Government Forum is open to governments serving communities with less than 25,000 people or organizations with less than 500 employees.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Hot Topics in the Municipal Bond Sector

In addition to managing a debt program, finance professionals need to be aware of various initiatives afoot that impact the municipal bond market and bond issuances. This session will look at key matters being discussed by federal regulators, the issuer community, and market leaders in an effort to prepare governments for what’s next.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
1:30 PM-2:20 PM ET

New PCI Compliance Standards: What Governments Need to Know

Payment card industry (PCI) compliance for entities that accept payment cards is imperative for reducing the risk of fraudulent transactions and for keeping transaction costs in check. These standards are changing in 2024, and governments need to ensure their understanding and procedures are robust to address the new requirements, as well as the underlying standards. Speakers will provide an overview of the new standards and share key takeaways for governments to incorporate them into their PCI compliance program.

1 CPE credit
Advanced
Mon
10 Jun
1:30 PM-2:20 PM ET

Looking in the Mirror: Reflections on Different Leadership Styles

Effective and inspiring leaders are needed at all levels within an organization. You don't have to be a manager or a supervisor to be a leader. Depending on the situation, sometimes you may need to step up and fill a leadership role in your organization. At this session, learn what makes a great leader, how you can develop your leadership skills in different situations, and how to ensure your colleagues' knowledge, skills, and experiences are fully utilized to help your organization succeed.

1 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
1:30 PM-2:20 PM ET

From Point A to Z: Using Fiscal Maps to Guide Decision Makers

Even though budget information is public and readily available, it is also not presented in a way conducive to answering complex questions about spending in specific areas or on important initiatives. However, knowing the answers to these questions is imperative for making informed and aligned budgeting decisions to support better outcomes within our communities. This session will explore how fiscal maps can help and how you, as a finance professional can extract key funding details from the myriad of complex budget documents and distill that data into a format that lawmakers, advocates, and community members can use and understand. Speakers will highlight examples from the Children's Funding Project to show how complex budget information for government children service programs can be summarized and how to apply these lessons to other critical program areas.

1 CPE credit
Intermediate
Mon
10 Jun
1:30 PM-2:20 PM ET

Paint by Number: Steps for Producing a High Quality PAFR

GFOA encourages governments to supplement their annual comprehensive financial reports (ACFR) with popular annual financial reports (PAFR) geared for audience who may not be familiar with generally accepted accounting standards, technical jargon, or the complexities of government finance. However, producing a good report that can effectively communicate with a broad audience is not an easy task and involves much more than adding colored charts, photos, and the ever popular "dollar bill image" to statistics pulled from the ACFR. In this session speakers will discuss strategies for deciding what to include, provide tips for translating and better communicating information from your ACFR, and show examples from high-quality PAFRs.

1 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
2:40 PM-3:55 PM ET

Cash May Not be King: The Future of Contactless Payment in Government

The number of payment options available to customers has shifted dramatically in recent years, but many governments have yet to embrace new technology that makes payments easier for customers (or for the organization itself). This session will provide an overview of contactless payment options commonly available in other industries and how governments can accept these payments securely and safely. Speakers will also provide lessons learned on how to best integrate contactless payment options with current systems and cashiering functions.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
2:40 PM-3:55 PM ET

Not Getting Any Easier: Ongoing Difficulty with Reporting for Pensions and OPEB

Current accounting and financial reporting standards for pensions became effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014, and similar changes for other postemployment benefits followed three years later. Even now, many governments still struggle with accounting and reporting for postemployment benefits, given the large number and high complexity of estimates necessary to measure and explain these amounts. In this session, refresh your fundamental understanding of defined benefit pension and OPEB plans from presenters with relevant actuarial, accounting, and auditing expertise.

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate
Mon
10 Jun
2:40 PM-3:55 PM ET

The Climate Cost Collision: Addressing Climate Mitigation at the Local Level

Climate change will be felt at a local level and governments will need to better understand how they will be impacted and what they will need to do to address challenges from sea-level rise, flooding, drought, severe weather, public health, population change, or more. The session will help finance professionals identify key risks that governments face, provide tools for assessing the financial and long-term budget implications, and provide ideas for potential mitigation strategies. In addition, speakers will highlight innovative and creative solutions that governments can take advantage of now to better prepare their leaders, the organization, and overall community.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
2:40 PM-3:55 PM ET

Staying Afloat During an ERP Implementation

Implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system might be one of the most daunting projects a public finance officer ever undertakes. The financial stakes are high, and all parts of the organization are involved (or should be). Not only are these projects difficult, but they also put a significant strain on other operations. The pressure is enough to break even the most seasoned finance officer. This panel discussion will feature speakers who have recently led their organizations through a successful ERP implementation, were able to keep basic functions of the finance office going and maintain their sanity. Attend this session to learn what works well and what didn't in navigating an ERP implementation from the perspective of a finance officer.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
2:40 PM-3:55 PM ET

Managing Your Debt Portfolio and Program

Municipal bonds provide governments with a powerful tool to raise funding to address a variety of needs for the organization and community. However, knowing your organization's limits both in terms of overall debt capacity and ability to track and support post-issuance compliance requirements is critical. GFOA recommends all governments have a debt management program that addresses policies related to when to use debt, how to navigate the issuance process and roles and responsibilities after the debt is issued. In this session, speakers will provide an overview of these responsibilities and demonstrate ways to leverage technologies and best practices to help governments develop appropriate workflows and checklists.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
2:40 PM-3:55 PM ET

Decision Architecture: Designing the Blueprint for a Better Budget

The traditional budget process in many governments can take the form of exercise in balancing revenues and expenses. This requires making decisions in a variety of areas including what strategies to pursue, where to raise revenue, and how much revenue to allocate to each major function or program. Making these kinds of decisions is not easy. It’s also often done by groups of individuals who may have different points of view. Making it more difficult, there is almost always some level of uncertainty and potentially fraught with opportunities for bias and inconsistency. In this session, speakers will discuss the skills of a decision architect and help you come up with a plan for designing a better budget decision-making environment.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
4:15 PM-5:30 PM ET

All About ASOPs

GFOA recommends that governments use the Actuarially Determined Contribution (ADC) to determine how much it will contribute to its pension plan, and Actuarial Standards of Practice (ASOPs) can have a significant influence on these numbers. This session will provide an explanation of recent changes in ASOPs--including the how and why behind the standards--and provide guidance on how pension plan administrators can effectively and efficiently implement ASOP-recommended activities. Speakers will also highlight possible upcoming changes to ASOPs that pension plan administrators should be aware of.

1.5 CPE credit
Advanced
Mon
10 Jun
4:15 PM-5:30 PM ET

Changing Tides: Changes and Error Corrections in Financial Reports

Things change and mistakes happen. When this occurs, finance professionals need to be transparent and report the change. However different kinds of changes impact a government's financial statement reporting in different ways. This session will provide an overview of the accounting and reporting requirements for governments when there are changes to or within the reporting entity, changes in accounting principles, changes in estimates, and corrections of errors. Speakers will emphasize the new display requirements and clarify the requirements for prior periods reported in the Required Supplementary Information (RSI) and Supplementary Information (SI).

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
4:15 PM-5:30 PM ET

Utility Finance Forum: Lessons Learned in Modernizing Billing Systems

Utility billing systems (UBS) and related technologies for meter reading and asset management provide opportunities for improved efficiencies and customer service enhancements and can represent some of the most high-profile projects that a government takes on. In this session speakers will discuss the dos and don'ts of UBS procurement and implementation, provide an overview of the UBS market, highlight modern features, discuss how to best integrate UBS systems with enterprise resource planning (ERP), automated meter reading, and asset management systems and provide considerations for messaging with the public.

GFOA's Utility Finance Forum is free to GFOA members from utility organizations and other governments that operate utilities and allows members to learn more about rate setting, enterprise accounting, asset management, and utility-related regulations.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
4:15 PM-5:30 PM ET

Mission Impossible: Fixing the Challenges with Public Sector Hiring Practices

Hiring practices in the public sector are different than in other industries. However, as leading governments have proven, different doesn't need to mean slow, ineffective, and frustrating. This session will feature a panel of leaders from governments who were able to transform their hiring practices to increase efficiencies, increase applicable pools, reduce hiring times, and better attract qualified candidates for positions within finance and across the entire organization. Attend this session to understand how you can learn from their experiences and improve your own recruiting processes.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Mon
10 Jun
4:15 PM-5:30 PM ET

Public Engagement That Works

Research has found that the traditional public hearing featuring public officials seated at the front of the room and speakers who get a short amount of time at the microphone often does more harm than good when it comes to building trust and connection between government and members of the public. With this in mind, GFOA is encouraging its members to rethink their approach to public engagement. Based on GFOA's research on this topic, this session will feature speakers who will explain why the current model isn't working and highlight case studies of local governments that have achieved better outcomes from their public engagement efforts.

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate

Sessions for Tuesday, June 11

Tue
11 Jun
10:20 AM-Noon ET

Welcome to 2030. Long-Term Financial Planning in Government

As governments contend with new and more complex challenges in their communities, long-term financial planning has become even more important, as it is the key to ensuring that government can continue to provide the programs and services the community needs both today and in the future. While no finance professional can predict the future, GFOA believes it is the responsibility of all to develop financial forecasts, understand local demographic and socioeconomic trends, and project major changes revenues and expenses to position the organization to be successful in the future. This session will feature panelists who have prepared long-term financial plans for their organizations and provide tips for how to get started on planning for your own organization.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Tue
11 Jun
10:20 AM-Noon ET

The Language of Numbers: How to Clearly Communicate

Numbers are at the core of a public finance professional's job, and a big part of the job is communicating those numbers to other people. This is challenging because numbers are abstract concepts. We teach children to count objects, like their fingers and toes, to make number more concrete, but the numbers that finance professionals need to communicate often go well beyond what can be accommodated by fingers and toes. This session will share examples of how we can take a cue from our childhood and communicate numbers more effectively by relating them to human experience.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Tue
11 Jun
10:20 AM-Noon ET

Are We Done Yet? Recap from the Implementation of GASB 87, 94, and 96

To many in government finance, it can seem like there are always new accounting standards to implement. However, the last few years have been a whirlwind for most with implementation of new standards for leases, subscription-based information technology agreements (SBITAs) and public private partnerships (P3s). In this session speakers will leverage their experience with these recent implementations and GFOA staff will highlight trends from GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement program to help ensure governments are correctly meeting the accounting and reporting requirements.

2 CPE credits
Intermediate
Tue
11 Jun
10:20 AM-Noon ET

Year in Washington: Federal Updates

GFOA's Federal Liaison Center keeps a watchful eye on congressional and regulatory activity in Washington, D.C. for members. In this session, speakers will highlight major actions at the federal level and what finance professionals need to be aware of now. Attendees will also hear about what to watch for in the coming year including federal funding opportunities, upcoming unfunded mandates and predictions for the 119th Congress.

2 CPE credits
Update
Tue
11 Jun
2:00 PM-3:15 PM ET

Pension and Defined Contribution Plan Update

Keeping up with the latest changes and trends related to administering pension and defined contribution (DC) plans can be overwhelming. Plan administrators need to stay abreast of updates to laws such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the SECURE Act, as well as any potential changes to tax regulations affecting retirement plans. This session will provide an overview of what's new in this world and show you where to go for more information.

1.5 CPE credit
Update
Tue
11 Jun
2:00 PM-3:15 PM ET

To P3 or Not to P3

Some projects are perfect for public private partnerships (P3s). Others are just really complex deals that involve the private sector. What's the difference between the two? How do governments analyze, structure, and negotiate commercially complex deals. In addition, how can small governments do this when they don’t have the internal staff resources or expertise? Attend this session to learn how all governments can better work with the private sector to deliver complex capital projects and mitigate risk.

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate
Tue
11 Jun
2:00 PM-3:15 PM ET

The Who, What, Where and When of Budgeting

Finance professionals have lots of options to consider when designing the budget process. Who should be involved? What is included in the process? When do you include critical elements like public engagement or strategic planning?  Where in the organization should we assign responsibility for the entire process? There's no one right answer to these types of questions, but it's helpful to understand the pros and cons of your options as you are deciding what makes the most sense for your organization. At this session, a panel of government budget leaders will discuss the who, what, where, and when of their budget process, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that the different options present.

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate
Tue
11 Jun
2:00 PM-3:15 PM ET

Going With the Flow: The Importance of Cash Flow Forecasting

Governments should have a solid understanding of the movement of funds in and out of the organization. Cash flow analyses estimate expected inflows and disbursements during a given period to ensure sufficient liquidity, prevent the need for short-term borrowing or tapping into an entity’s reserve fund, and limit idle cash balances. This session will provide an overview of GFOA’s best practices and resources including a step-by-step guide to setting up a cash flow analysis.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Tue
11 Jun
2:00 PM-3:15 PM ET

Update on the Financial Data Transparency Act

In 2022, legislation passed congress requiring public entities to utilize articulated data standards in financial and other information reported to stakeholders through the MSRB's Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) platform. Come to this session to see where we are the process, what specific outreach is needed, and what you need to do to prepare.

1.5 CPE credit
Update
Tue
11 Jun
2:00 PM-3:15 PM ET

Let's Make Some Magic: The Basics of Business Process Improvement

Do you ever wish you could wave a magic wand to fix a broken process in your organization? Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple, but in this session, you will learn skills and techniques you can employ to improve all types of processes in your organization. Speakers will discuss their approach to business process improvement, give advice on managing change, and inspire you to make your own magic in your organization.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Tue
11 Jun
2:00 PM-3:15 PM ET

Debt Market Trends and Future Outlook

While some may long for the calm market days of just a couple years ago, issuers should be looking at current market conditions and trends to determine the opportunities available to them as they manage their outstanding portfolio and plan to issue new debt. Marketplace leaders will present insights and trends of interest to issuers, and issuance participants will provide an overview of different bond structures and financings that may help governments succeed in this dynamic environment.

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate
Tue
11 Jun
3:35 PM-4:50 PM ET

Urban Forum: Responding to the Homelessness Crisis

Homelessness is a growing challenge facing nearly every urban area across the United States and Canada. Just as there is not one cause of this crisis, there is not one solution either. Addressing this challenge will require a multi-pronged approach and partnerships between different organizations. This session is hosted by GFOA's Urban Forum and all current forum members. Those interested in joining the forum are invited to attend to learn how some communities are addressing homelessness and how they are funding these efforts.

GFOA's Urban Forum is free for GFOA members from large urban governments and exists to provide opportunities for networking and exchanging information on topics unique to the demands of managing large and complex organizations.

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate
Tue
11 Jun
3:35 PM-4:50 PM ET

What's In It For You: Leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

In 2023, Congress enacted federal funding aimed to revolutionize U.S. energy investments and production utilizing green and renewable methods. Billions of dollars of elective pay credits are available to governments. Come to this session to hear from the White House and U.S. Treasury on how best to utilize this unique opportunity in your community.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic
Tue
11 Jun
3:35 PM-4:50 PM ET

Triple Digit Heat Wave: Forecast for 102 and 103

Triple digits here we come! GASB’s new guidance on risk and uncertainties disclosures requires governments to assess various vulnerabilities in the governmental environment. This session will provide details on concentrations and constraints, two key aspects of the guidance, and explore scenarios that may lead to a disclosure. This session will also update participants on the long anticipated financial reporting model project and share what made the final cut regarding changes to governmental funds, proprietary funds, management’s discussion and analysis and more!

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate
Tue
11 Jun
3:35 PM-4:50 PM ET

Making a Good First Impression: How to Prepare for Your Bond Ratings

Governments have a tremendous opportunity to present their entity and its achievements during the bond rating process. Rating agency presentations and ongoing communications are integral to establishing and maintaining successful relationships with these important debt issuance partners. Join this session to hear from rating agency representatives who will discuss the essential variables in their rating evaluations, including recent changes to rating criteria within some agencies. Issuers from entities of various sizes will also present their approach to the ratings and rating presentation processes.

1.5 CPE credit
Intermediate
Tue
11 Jun
3:35 PM-4:50 PM ET

Rethinking Financial Reporting

GFOA knows government finance professionals face substantial opportunity costs with their time. Time spent on general purpose external financial reports is time not spent on other forms of decision support and public engagement. With this in mind, GFOA is rethinking financial reporting. This research initiative will examine whether lengthy, technical financial reports published many months in arrears are the most effective way to build trust with constituents and if producing these reports is a good use of the finance officer’s time, particularly if they are not providing accountability to the public. Come to this session to learn more about the research and weigh in on the benefits of traditional financial reporting.

1.5 CPE credit
Advanced
Tue
11 Jun
3:35 PM-4:50 PM ET

Doing Your Homework: Due Diligence for Financial Services Providers

Governments hold funds, short- and long-term, in a variety of financial institutions, including, but not limited to, depository banks and investment houses. When contracting for firms to hold public funds, governments should have a process for monitoring the financial standing of these entities, both at the start of and throughout the contract of services. GFOA’s new Best Practice, Due Diligence on Banks and Financial Services Providers, provides governments with an outline of considerations that should be addressed during this diligence process. Expert speakers will discuss these matters in an effort to help governments reduce the risk of financial losses, reputational damage, and other potential issues with their financial services providers.

1.5 CPE credit
Basic

Sessions for Wednesday, June 12

Wed
12 Jun
8:30 AM-10:10 AM ET

Touch All the Bases: Tips for Hitting Your 2024 Single Audit Out of the Park

The federal grants environment is complex, and finance staff often can't catch their breath with what seems to be constantly evolving requirements. This session will provide an overview of federal funding trends and key updates for the 2024 single audit environment. Discussion will include the new format of the data collection form and the 2024 Compliance Supplement. Speakers will provide strategies to assist governments in addressing common single audit challenges.

2 CPE credits
Update
Wed
12 Jun
8:30 AM-10:10 AM ET

Budgeting in a Post-ARPA World

Many local governments across the United States have relied on ARPA funds (and other COVID-related financial assistance) to balance their budgets in recent years. In many cases, these one-time funds were used to pay for ongoing costs, resulting in structural budget deficits. As local governments face the expiration of ARPA funds, additional challenges have emerged, including decreasing commercial property values, rising inflation, and difficulty recruiting new employees--not to mention the threat of a recession. This panel will discuss strategies for improving fiscal sustainability and recommend steps that finance officers can take now to protect community priorities as federal relief disappears.

2 CPE credits
Advanced
Wed
12 Jun
8:30 AM-10:10 AM ET

Do You Trust Me?

People need to be able to believe what they hear about their government and its finances. They need to be confident that local leaders have the community’s best interest at heart and that finance professionals are effective stewards of public funds. They also need to trust that the government can transform their hard-earned resources into something of value. At this session, you will hear real-life stories from finance professionals and how they've won (or lost) trust through their careers. Speakers will provide tips for attendees to assess their own level of trust and practical strategies for beginning to work on building trust both internally and externally.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Wed
12 Jun
8:30 AM-10:10 AM ET

A New Tool for Public Finance: Can AI Hack a Brighter Future?

Love it or hate it, artificial intelligence (AI) is not going anywhere. It won't solve all public finance problems, but it's a new and developing technology that has potential to make our jobs a bit easier. In this session, you’ll learn about the latest advancements in AI technologies and see how some local governments are utilizing AI-powered tools to work smarter, not harder. The session will also highlight concerns about legal, ethical, and security issues and how to prepare your organization for upcoming discussions and debate on effective introduction of AI.

2 CPE credits
Update
Wed
12 Jun
8:30 AM-10:10 AM ET

You've Got a Friend in Me: The Benefits of Succession Planning and Mentoring

It is often said that a great leader leaves their workplace in better shape than they found it. As someone in public finance, leaders have many opportunities to not only improve their organization, but also the people around them. In this session, you will learn how to start succession planning and mentoring initiatives in your organization and how you can not only prepare your successor to replace you, but also create a more cohesive team while you are still there. Speakers will provide practical strategies that leaders at all levels can initiate that will result in more resilient, flexible, and sustainable organizations.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Wed
12 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Relax and Reflect: An Overview and Panel Discussion on Liabilities for Compensated Absences

Vacation days, sick time, holidays, parental leave, and jury duty— all governments have dealt with compensated absences. New measurement requirements will impact how much liability to report, especially when there is no cash settlement involved. This session will explore the more common types of compensated absences and the factors that may cause them to be reported as a liability under the new GASB guidance. Speakers will highlight the proper accounting, financial reporting, and note disclosures for various types of compensated absence liabilities, discuss key changes from the prior guidance, and share tips for successful implementation.

2 CPE credits
Intermediate
Wed
12 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Outsourcing AP Functions

While once believed to only be an internal function of government, many governments are looking to outsource all or sections of accounts payables (AP) functions. Streamlining the payment process with the enhanced controls that are often part of bank and other payment providers’ infrastructure can save staff time, mitigate risk, and even generate revenues. This session will explore options for outsourcing AP functions, explain how it works with existing financial systems, estimate how it changes staffing needs in finance, and discuss the considerations a government should make when determining whether outsourcing payables is the right decision.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Wed
12 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Show Me the Money: Options for Increasing Revenue

When a budget is out of balance, we often look first at cutting costs, but sometimes there is nothing left to cut, and as finance officers, we need to explore options for increasing revenue. In this session, speakers will outline different revenue options available to local governments, including user fees and different types of taxes, along with the risks associated with each option. Speakers will share their experiences and provide advice on how to move forward with establishing new fees and taxes or raising existing rates.

2 CPE credits
Intermediate
Wed
12 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

Beyond the Finance Office: Building a Collaborative Relationship with Parks and Rec

In many communities, the Parks and Recreation department is the primary way the public interacts with local government. Constituents and their families visit parks, join sports teams, learn to swim, and engage in other activities that greatly increase their quality of life. At the time, these programs can have some unique or complex finance, budget procurement considerations. To ensure this important work continues in our communities, finance staff and parks and rec staff must collaborate. At this session, you’ll hear from both finance and parks and recreation professionals about how they have developed more collaborative relationships and how that helps with purchasing supplies, processing payroll, budgeting for facilities, and more.

2 CPE credits
Basic
Wed
12 Jun
10:30 AM-12:10 PM ET

The Role of Natural Assets in Planning for Resiliency

If we still think that cement and steel alone can save us, we are using 1950s thinking to battle 2020s issues. Recently, we dealt with floods filling subway tunnels, witnessed a hurricane reach the Maritimes, saw the largest dollar disaster in United States history (again), saw impacts from wildfire smoke cover practically the entire continent. Change is the only constant. How can finance professionals lead the charge to bring about differences in thinking about how we prepare for and protect ourselves against natural disasters. What can we be doing differently? What assets can we utilize to help protect our communities, and how can we create incentives for smarter, disaster aware planning to create more sustainable organizations and communities for the future.

2 CPE credits
Intermediate