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Sessions for Sunday, June 5
Things Will Never Be the Same: Accounting Changes and Error Corrections
Estimates and expectations change nearly moment to moment and sometimes we all make mistakes. Learn from GASB's Director of Research and Technical Activities about GASB 's new standard on financial reporting, disclosures and supplementary information for accounting changes and error corrections, including new rules for classifying, recognizing, measuring, displaying and disclosing changes to our accounting principles, estimation methods and the best available information to which we can apply them.
Post Pandemic Process Improvement
Out of necessity and panic, many governments were forced to implement significant process changes to accommodate remote work, fewer staff, and changing customer expectations. Now that many in government are returning to "normal" (or whatever comes next), there is a growing need for more process improvement and additional work to ensure that gains made over the last two years stick. Attend this session to hear from project managers, process improvement specialists, and those involved initiating change about how you can get started with process improvement efforts across your entire organization and work to build more lean, modern, and responsive processes and practices.
Overview of GFOA's "Rethinking" Initiatives
Status quo can be a powerful force in state and local government. However, government revenue structures are largely based on assumptions that no longer hold today due to digitization, globalization, demography, political changes, and other trends, which will continue to threaten to be threats to efficiencies, sustainability, and fairness. Attend this session to hear about GFOA's efforts to "rethink" both revenue systems and the overall budget with an eye toward the future. These interactive projects have many opportunities for member engagement and offer resources to help finance officers consider employing some new tactics to solve problems in your own community.
Getting Your Time Back: Strategies to Improve Your Personal Productivity
Finance officers report not having enough time during the day to accomplish all that needs to be done. As alternatives to working longer, GFOA has developed a series of research reports that provide strategies for reducing interruptions, hosting more effective meetings, managing your time better, and improving your own levels of productivity. Attend this session to learn how you can employ these tactics improving your performance and levels of satisfaction with your role.
The Weakest Link: Remote Work and Cybersecurity
It’s no surprise why cyberattacks are more frequent and more successful than ever before. Technologists learn early that people are the weakest link in any security model. Globally, one-third of all local governments were hit by ransomware attacks and we are not learning from these past mistakes. In fact, protecting enterprise data – coupled with a remote workforce – will require a change in operational policies and larger investments in technology security. Attendees will will explore different approaches for risk mitigation including solutions for hardening enterprise applications, policy options such as staff training, and cyber insurance. Speakers will also provide strategies for how IT professionals and finance professionals can work together to implement these safeguards successfully.
Finance and the Environment: A Conversation with AGU Thriving Earth Exchange
Through a partnership with AGU Thriving Earth Exchange, GFOA provides finance officers the opportunity to leverage free resources to help community leaders and scientists work together to solve local challenges related to natural resources, climate change, and natural hazards. This session will feature case studies to show the intersection between finance and the environment.
The Basics of Structuring Debt Issuances
Having an extensive understanding of debt structuring variables can help finance officers better appreciate and direct their debt issuances. This session will lay out the basics of couponing, call features, credit durations, tax-exempt vs taxable bonds, credit enhancements, and refunding opportunities that will be useful when structuring debt and conversing with finance professionals on these matters.
Retaining Talent Among the Great Resignation
Mission Square Research found that over half of the public sector workforce is considering leaving their jobs. Seeing colleagues depart affects morale and adds to workload burden some already face. What are governments doing to keep employees? What can managers do on a personal level? How does the Great Resignation affect resources, allocation planning, and essentially operational finances? Speakers in this session will discuss the magnitude of their challenge, what strategies they are employing to retain talent in all operations as well as in the finance function.
For governments unsuccessful with traditional recruiting or without options for succession planning, alternative options for replacing staff in the finance office may be necessary. In this session, speakers will explore options that may be available for outsourcing finance. Many models exist from 1099 "employees" to staffing firms, to shared services, and turning over complete control of financial operations. Speakers will discuss pros and cons of each approach and next steps for anyone interested in exploring further.
Dealing with Extreme Polarization
Left unchecked, political polarization can create a toxic work environment where distrust and gridlock flourish and employees believe they are not valued. To put it mildly, these conditions are less than ideal for addressing the complex problems facing your community. In this session, learn what you can do to address polarization and nurture an environment where trust, collaboration, and creativity can thrive.
Black Caucus Business 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. This year’s business meeting will feature a guest speaker from the City of Austin’s Equity Office. Recently marking the five year anniversary of its creation, caucus members will hear about the success and challenges as the office works to make Austin the most livable city for all. Attendees of this meeting will be eligible for CPE credits.
The Price is Right: Setting User Charges and Fees for Government Services
State and local governments, utilities, and stand-alone business-type organizations use charges and fees to help fund services (both external and internal), and well-designed charges and fees can reduce the need for additional revenue sources and promote service efficiency. However, for many organizations, setting user fees and charges can be difficult. This session will explore the important elements to consider during the charge and fee setting process for all organizations including organizational politics, community preferences, cost recovery, and fairness. The session will also highlight from GFOA's rethinking revenue research on segmented pricing and use of imposed fees.
Tap! Swipe! Click! Push! Receiving Electronic Payments
With the ever-growing types of electronic receivables, it is important for governments to remain both aware of new technologies and up-to-date on the tried and true electronic payment methods. Governments continue to adapt to provide more positive experiences for customers and vendors. In this session, industry experts will discuss the variety of electronic payment methods available in the government sector, and what is in store for the future of payment acceptance.
The Double Life of a Small Government Finance/Technology Officer
It's a well known secret that the typical finance officer in small government wears many hats. One of those hats has the inscription CTO (Chief Technology Officer). As CFO/CTO, your day may begin with cash projections and paying bills and end with creating selection criteria for a payroll application or establishing cybersecurity policies. This facilitated panel session will address the technology role of the finance officer and what emerging trends that finance officers need to be aware of not only to protect against risk, but also to enable innovation and improvement.
Sessions for Monday, June 6
Accounting and Auditing Year in Review
This annual survey of recent developments affecting accounting, auditing and financial reporting for state and local governments is a staple of GFOA's annual conferences, and will provide a comprehensive overview of the key developments in the field. Topics covered will include recent pronouncments from the American Institute of CPAs, Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and other standard setters. In addition, attendees will receive an update about on-going GASB projects that will likely have significant effects on accounting and financial reporting in the next few years.
Artificial Intelligence and the Finance Office
This session will focus on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) tools in public sector finance. The session will begin with a brief overview of AI by focusing on the question, everybody has heard about AI but do people really understand it? Next, the session will describe methods in which the private sector is leveraging AI to assess risk and make better management and investment decisions. The session will conclude with how AI strategies in the private sector can be leveraged in the public sector, particularly in the areas of collections, economic development, and financing.
Improving Your Budget with Behavioral Science
Developing a budget requires a lot of decision-making. Approaching these decisions from a behavioral scientist’s point of view can give finance officers a better understanding of–and control over–how those decisions play out. In this session, learn how to recognize decision-making biases in yourself and your stakeholders, how to fix them with small changes, and how you can re-design the choice environment to shape how choices are made.
Hot Topics in the Muni Market
The municipal market has weathered the COVID storm quite well, but as with the general economy, changes are likely to be found ahead. This session will bring together market experts to discuss the most topical matters for issuers today. These include preparing for the transition out of LIBOR; market conditions, trends and products; investor input; and regulatory actions that issuers will want to know.
You Can Do It: Developing Your First CIP
Would you like to develop a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), but don’t think you can muster the resources to put one together? Not sure where to begin or who to involve? This session will demystify the process of developing a CIP and outline the steps your organization can take to get started. Learn how to convince other stakeholders in your organization of the benefits of a CIP, how to develop objective criteria for evaluating and prioritizing projects, and how to present the CIP for approval to your governing body.
Rethinking School Budgeting
Now is the time to critically examine patterns of spending to ensure that the goals for student achievement are driving the budget process. GFOA's Smarter School Spending series provides resources focused on academic and finance collaboration to address baseline budget assessments, collaboration and communication between all stakeholders, a rigorous process of goal setting, a data-driven evaluation of instructional priorities, and a budget that communicates the financial steps necessary to implement and support the district’s strategic plan. Attend this session to learn more about GFOA's resources and learn from your peers how to put these tools into practice.
Why I'm a Finance Officer
According to the GFOA Code of Ethics, communities places a special trust in their public finance officers. But why have you chosen to be a part of this profession? What drew you do it and what keeps you in it? These are consequential questions given the pressures like polarization, public distrust of government. and drawing new people into the profession. At this session, we will discuss the importance of finance officers role and how to maintain good morale. Most importantly, though, we'll hear from you on why you are finance officer.
More than Pay: Public Finance Has Workforce Challenges
From a purely financial perspective, replacing a government employee can cost 150% of the worker's salary. With an ever more difficult job market, recruiting new finance officers to replace those that get away, is not going to be sustainable for most governments. To respond, learn from leading governments on how to focus on employee engagement and improving the employee experience.
Year in Washington: GFOA FLC Update
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 provided much needed funding for state and local governments, and constant need to focus on Washington, DC for the latest guidance, regulations, and updates. Add on IIJA infrastructure implementation efforts and potential new attempts to regulate the municipal market, GFOA's Federal Liaison Staff is prepared to give you the most recent information from Washington DC and provide opportunities for outreach efforts. Attend this session to learn about important developments in Federal Policy related to state and local governments and where we are likely headed for the rest of 2022.
Plans, Plans, and More Plans: The Role of the CIP
Governments create a myriad of plans to cover land use planning, long-term finances, strategic goals, and more. Often, long-term plans require capital investment and must be coordinate with an organization's capital improvement plan (CIP). Attend this session to hear how the CIP can serve to coordinate other planning processes, but also inject reality into each by ensuring the plans are properly funded and that funding is coordinated with timing of available resources.
Living Your Worst Nightmare: How to Deal with a Cyber Attack
It is well known that local governments are an attractive target for cyber criminals and possible that your organization will suffer an attack. How are you as finance officer going to respond and are you prepared in the event this? In this session, speakers will cover immediate steps to take after a cyber incident, how to ensure proper business continuity, mitigate ongoing risks, control the situation, and begin to recover. Additional resources will also be highlighted to help governments prepare an appropriate disaster response plan.
Investing in the Cultural Economy
Art for art's sake is a noble notion that needs the seeds of support to find fruition. Local government plays a role in a strong and vibrant arts scene for its citizens, visitors, patrons, artists, and culture bearers. Public financing for cultural and creative sectors creates surprisingly powerful benefits. This can be in small rural communities or large urban cities. This session will explain some successful approaches local governments have been taking, along with the public expenditure models, and explore the role of non-governmental/non-profit funding groups.
What is CPFO?
Certification. Career. Community. The Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) Program for GFOA is a broad educational program designed to verify knowledge in government finance disciplines. Once enrolled, GFOA has many options to assist candidates with educational offerings on the way to their certification. Once obtained, GFOA supports CPFOs throughout the career and you will join a community of leaders and engaged members to help drive the profession. Attend this session to learn more about GFOA's CPFO program and the benefits it can provide to you or your staff.
Identifying, Classifying, and Disclosing Component Units
It is often difficult to determine whether a legally separate entity should be reported as a component unit (CU) of another government and, if so, whether it is properly included as a fiduciary, blended or discretely presented CU. Topics include the criteria for identifying and classifying CUs and the disclosures required to explain how and why each has been incorporated.
When the Free Money Runs Out
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and various other federal and state funding opportunities have injected local governments with much needed funding to pay for COVID relief, essential workers, infrastructure, and more. However, when the money runs out, many communities will be faced with the headache of how to pay for ongoing maintenance or continue services. Attendees will learn how to plan for long-term costs, budget sustainably, and enact smart financial policies to ensure governments are using one-time funds responsibly.
Trends in Defined Contribution and Deferred Compensation Plans
What are important elements to consider with defined contribution and deferred compensation plans? This session will explore common questions of plan sponsors and will explore examples from a defined contribution plan and a supplemental deferred compensation. Attendees will learn about plan design and fiduciary responsibility of these DC plans.
Team First: Case Studies in Collaboration
Teamwork and collaboration can be difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it. For the past two years, GFOA has seen it in our members and documented great examples in Government Finance Review. Attend this session to discuss in an interactive discussion based format how leading finance officers and their teams have discovered the benefits of having a strong team culture.
Banking Services: What's New and How to Develop an RFP
Governments need to understand the variety of services available to them through their banking partner, as new support opportunities related to payables, receivables, cash management, and fraud prevention become available. This session will provide an overview of core banking services, explore new and emerging treasury services your bank can assist you with, and what to think about when issuing an RFP for banking services.
Recovery Lessons: 3 Years after California's Camp Fire
Three years after the 2018 Camp Fire destroyed most of Paradise, California, the town is rebuilding itself into a more resilient community. Despite many roadblocks, Paradise has been making its way toward recovery. This presentation will go into depth about the risk assessment, capital planning, economic development, and leadership facets of the town's recovery process, along with lessons learned. We will also look to the future, including the obstacles the town still faces.
Disclosure: What you NEED to Do and What you SHOULD Do
GFOA has been a leader in municipal bond disclosure standards for nearly fifty years. During that time and especially today, the conversation around disclosure practices is dynamic and important. This session will discuss issuers’ disclosure responsibilities, from the necessary to the voluntary, and include a review of GFOA’s suite of Best Practices in this area.
Paying Not to Perform: Compensated Absence Accounting Under GASB’s New Guidance
GASB's statement on Compensated Absences reexamines and updates the accounting and financial reporting for compensated absences. This session will delve into the use of paid time off (PTO) by some governments rather than the more traditional approach of separate sick and vacation leave, and explain how PTO and other forms of compensated absences will be accounted for and reported based on the new standard.
Procurement on a Mission
Billions of dollars flow through the procurement functions of state and local governments and where those dollars go and how they are used can have significant impact on communities and industries. Governments have long used purchasing requirements to help achieve environmental, social, and community goals. Attend this session to learn about best practices in promoting diversity, sustainability, and community interests through procurement and how to align procurement policies with larger organizational initiatives to help build thriving communities.
Navigating the Maze of Federal Infrastructure Funding
After numerous "infrastructure weeks" without any actual movement in infrastructure policy, local governments can now look to a future with significant federal investment in capital. Attend this session to better understand the options that are available and how GFOA's resources can be of assistance for providing clarity in what can be a confusing mix of enhancements to existing programs, new notices of funding opportunities, and the reporting and compliance requirements that will be a part of implementation over the next five years. Don't miss out on these opportunities that may be available to your community.
Is Outsourcing the Payables Function Right for Your Entity?
Governments make payments to vendors, citizens and other entities through a variety of methods, including checks, ACH, wire transfers, procurement cards, cash, e-payable platforms, and other methods. Some smaller governments may benefit from outsourcing portions of their payables operations. This session will explore case studies from governments who have had success in outsourcing their payables functions.
Inclusive Communication Strategies for the CFO
Effective communication is a well-documented trait of effective leaders and essential for finance officers working in government. As our world, communities, and workplaces become more diverse, and we realize we need more diverse perspectives to solve complicated problems – its imperative we understand how to communicate in a way that reaches and engages all. Learn what inclusive communication is, why it matters, and how you can both apply it to your own leadership style and introduce it to your team. In addition, attendees will receive practical tips to change the way you currently communicate that will enhance workplace culture, maximize the contributions of your team, and build bridges with other peers, elected officials, and community members.
Preparing an ACFR Statistical Section
Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) require governments that produce an annual comprehensive financial report to include a statistical section. This session will focus on how to create the required schedules for each of the five categories of a statistical section, and where to obtain the relevant trend data using some practical examples from a variety of governmental entities.
Young Professional Speed Networking Event
Open to attendees under the age of 40, this is an interactive speed networking session for young professionals in public finance. Attendees will speed network in a small group format to discuss issues they're experiencing and to share recommended strategies. So, practice your elevator pitch and connect with other young professionals!
ESG in Muniland: What Issuers Need to Know
E-S-G, Environmental-Social-Governance, factors are becoming more commonplace in the municipal market. Whether it is issuing labeled “green” or “social” bonds or material ESG factors related to an entity’s general credits, governments need to be aware of how they can drive these conversations. Join this session to get grounded on these topics, including an extensive review of GFOA’s new Best Practices in these areas. Governments of all types of sizes will be able to learn and use information to assist with their next credit rating presentations, disclosures that may be appropriate for posting, and when and how labeling a bond as “green” or “social” may be appropriate.
Sessions for Tuesday, June 7
Can You Hear Me Now: How to Communicate and Educate Employees on Benefits
Public sector benefits are often touted as a key differentiator to recruit and retain talent. Employers are also mindful of holistic financial wellness of employees as anxieties and worries from personal finances can affect the overall well-being of an individual. So, how can we better communicate the retirement and fringe benefits we offer? This session will feature case study examples on innovative and practical ways to communicate and educate employees on their retirement and fringe benefits.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) provides $350 billion in additional funding for state and local governments to help recover from COVID and make lasting improvements to communities all over the United States. However, federal funding does not come without strings attached. Attend this featured 2-part series at the GFOA conference to learn about the nuances of eligible expenditures, procurement regulations, and treasury implications as you work to spend these resources. GFOA staff and leading practitioners will be available to answer questions and engage in an interactive discussion highlighting the most challenging aspects of ARPA.
Austin Underground: A Case Study in Financial Leadership
In a conference focused on innovations and best practices focused on building strong communities, the City of Austin is making great strides towards completing a transformational project that highlights the importance of strong financial leadership. A partnership between the City of Austin, the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, and the Waller Creek Local Government Corporation, the Waller Creek District and Tunnel addresses floodplain and safety issues to revitalize a section of downtown, create parks and open space, and provide opportunities for public and private investment. Attend this session to hear from City leaders on how they work together to drive this project, the role of finance in making it a success, and lessons learned you can use in your own community.
Do You Feel Lucky: Planning Under Uncertainty
Long-term financial planning is widely considered a “best practice” in public finance. This is for good reason, as it is important to think strategically and long term in a volatile and resource-constrained environment. However, this lack of clarity might discourage governments from planning at all or put governments at increased risk of failing to adapt to changing conditions. In this session, we will discuss how you can adapt your planning process to environments characterized by political, economic, technological and other kinds of uncertainty. Attendees will also learn how to adopt processes where plans are continuously reviewed and modified to be responsive to changing conditions.
Small Government Forum Annual Business Meeting & Networking Event
GFOA's Small Government Forum provides an opportunity for members of small governments to network and exchange information on topics unique to the demands of managing small government. Created in 2015, the Forum is currently open to GFOA members in small jurisdictions from the United States and Canada with populations of 25,000 or less, or with employee counts of 500 or less. Attend this session to learn more about the Forum and meet/network with your peers.
Living Your Ethics in Tough Times
That last couple of years have been stressful in many ways. Part of that stress has been increasing distrust of government. This puts a new kind of pressure on public finance officers to demonstrate strong ethics. In this session we will explore new (and old) ethical pressures that finance officers face and how the GFOA Code of Ethics can help finance officers can increase their reputation for trustworthiness.
Managing Investment Portfolios for Today and Tomorrow
Governments must always keep an eye on their investments and stay ahead of the game regarding their investment strategies. While the core tenets of investing strategies – liquidity, safety, and return - rest within a government’s investment policy, knowing about market conditions, investment products, and determining if there are opportunities for core investing outside of investing for liquidity are important tasks of the treasury office. This session will discuss core portfolio management strategies and explore current issues in investing, including cryptocurrency, ESG/SRI investing, and others.
The Role of the Head Finance Coach
Traditionally, managing has been defined as a directive and authoritative role to oversee and drive employees toward a specific outcome. While workplace coaching has the same objective as managing, the approach is more focused on helping individual employees develop professionally. Coaching your employees is an important step in developing an internal culture that supports the mission and customer experience. In this interactive session, we’ll explore how coaching differs from managing and share some tips to help managers become more effective coaches.
Beyond Crypto: Practical Uses for Blockchain in Government
Blockchain is about more than cryptocurrency. This session will focus on how blockchain technology can be used outside of the cryptocurrency world to benefit the public sector, such as reducing election fraud or producing contracts that are self-monitoring. Experts will provide an overview of the blockchain concept; how it works; and why it's so secure. Next they will describe how the blockchain is put to creative uses outside of cryptocurrency. The session will close with a discussion on why it is important for finance officers to understand the technology and make room for public sector innovations dependent on this public ledger technology.
Beyond Public Hearings: Design Principles for Better Engagement
Public engagement is, perhaps, the most difficult part of local government budgeting. Many local governments rely on the public hearing model of engagement, where government officials are seated at the front of the room and community members can sign up to speak on a given topic for a predetermined number of minutes. However, that is probably the least effective way for a government to understand the preferences of the community. In this session, you will learn how to design a more effective public engagement initiative, have more meaningful interactions, generate greater civic understanding, and work towards earning public trust.
Fraud Prevention in Treasury Operations
Governments should all be on heightened alert regarding fraud, especially the treasury office. Of particular concern are the sophisticated methods being used by external players including phishing scams, cyberattacks, and actions involving 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 cyberattacks about lessons-learned and discover appropriate tools to prevent and react to fraudulent schemes.
Debt Trends for Small and Infrequent Issuers
Governments that may not be frequently in the debt market still have numerous responsibilities and need to be aware of market issues so that they manage their debt portfolio well and are prepared for their next debt issuance. This session will focus specifically on how smaller governments and those that infrequently issue debt manage their debt program, use different products such as bank loans, state revolving funds and bond banks; and maintain compliance with federal tax and securities law matters.
Coming Up Next: Implementing GASB 94 (P3) and 96 (SBITA)
Coming on the heels of implementing new guidance on leases, governments must now implement GASB statements on accounting and reporting for subscription-based information technology arrangements (SBITAs) and public-private and public-public partnerships (PPPs). This session will review the new statements and share lessons learned from governments that have implemented these standards, as well as those that can be extrapolated to these arrangements from implementations of the lease standard.
Putting Public Assets to Work: Urban Wealth Funds
Local governments are sitting on a "gold mine." Just as a private individual or corporation uses assets (like machinery and buildings) to generate income, governments can generate income from their assets. Urban Wealth Funds (UWF) are assigned government assets with commercial value under unified, professional management who own and manage these assets for the betterment of the local community. UWFs have been used by governments in Europe and East Asia to generate billions of dollars to fund local infrastructure while maintaining public control of these local assets. A few local governments in North America have also begun to explore UWFs, as a complement to taxes as a source of revenues. At this session, you will learn more about what an Urban Wealth Fund is, the benefits, and how can begin to unlock the benefits for your community.
Business Assurance or Cyber Insurance?
Cyber risk is out there. All governments are susceptible to attack and potential damage, business continuity issues, or rose. The questions is, given limited resources, is it best to invest in remediation or protection? Pros and cons of using cyber insurance as part of an overall strategy are dynamic and not well understood. In this session speakers will describe the factors organizations should consider when assessing risk and debate the costs and benefits of cyber insurance for various types of government. Attend this session to gain the tools and information you need to assess your own situation.
Telling Your Financial Story
A finance officer's role is made more difficult when other's don't speak the language of finance or accounting. To important messages are understood, the finance officer must be able to translate key issues at a level appropriate for the audience - whether that be staff, department leaders, elected officials, grantors, investors, or the public. Being able to identify key messages, support claims with relevant information, and deliver concise and professional presentations is a learned and practiced skill. This session will provide strategies, lessons learned, and case study examples of how to effectively tell your financial story through data, data visualization, examples, and compelling stories.
The Hunter and the Hunted: Perspectives from a Tough Job Market
As the demand for talent grows, recruiting becomes harder. Similarly, securing a job you want can be difficult. This session takes on both perspectives: the employer and the applicant. Hear from speakers on different ways they are attracting talent, including for some of the most sought after functions within government, while also hear from speakers on how they entered public finance and the barriers that they faced.
Community Transformation and the CIP
Mixed in with projects for street resurfacing, facility repairs, and vehicle replacements, the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) can provide the tool to make a lasting investment in your community. In this session, speakers will highlight case studies that show how the CIP can include considerations for environment, social, and governance (ESG) factors and work to achieve equity, transparency, and collaboration from both inside and outside of local government. Come be inspired and see what effective capital planning looks like when brought to fruition in communities of various sizes.
Case Studies in Budgeting: Focus on Equity
Is your organization interested in developing a more equitable budget process? Not sure where to start or even what that would look like? In this session, you will hear how other local governments have incorporated equity into their budgets, lessons learned from implementation, and advice on how to ensure your budget process supports an equitable allocation of resources.
Free but Not Easy: How to Find and Manage Grants
Local governments often turn to grant opportunities to help fund new initiatives, provide for new capital projects, or support important initiatives that otherwise would be unaffordable. However, the effort required to find, manage, and report on grants can be significant, especially for a small government. Attendees will learn how to distinguish between types of grants, write a better grant proposal, and learn how to implement and comply with complex grant requirements.
Not Again! Avoiding Common Financial Reporting Errors
Each year, GFOA staff and volunteer reviewers for GFOA's Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program perform reviews on over 4,300 annual comprehensive financial reports (ACFRs). This session will examine a number of the more common deficiencies identified during these reviews, with a special emphasis on the calculation of net investment in capital assets.
Sessions for Wednesday, June 8
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) provides $350 billion in additional funding for state and local governments to help recover from COVID and make lasting improvements to communities all over the United States. However, federal funding does not come without strings attached. Attend the second part of GFOA's featured 2-part series at the conference to learn about ARPA and internal controls, uniform guidance, and implications for the single audit. GFOA staff and leading practitioners will be available to answer questions and engage in an interactive discussion highlighting the most challenging aspects of ARPA.
If it's Not Broke You Still Might Want to Fix It: Lifecycle Costing Analysis for Capital Assets
Just like a fine wine, capital assets seem to only get more expensive with age. However, the finance office plays a critical role in informing the timing of decisions on repair, maintenance, and replacement based on total lifecycle costs and working with engineers and operators to get the maximum return. In this session, speakers will address how to get started with lifecycle costing and how to use lifecycle cost data to both improve the performance of assets, reduce total operating costs, and eliminate costs repair or replacement needs in an asset's last few years of service.
Technology Solutions for Debt Management
There are numerous new products emerging to help governments specifically with various aspects of their debt management program. Whether it is overall tracking and management of an entity’s debt portfolio, disclosure and investor relations systems, or accessing market data, this session will give an overview of what is available and upcoming to help governments with their debt management responsibilities.
Rethinking Popular Reporting of Financial Information
GFOA encourages all governments to produce an annual comprehensive financial report in conformity with GAAP. In response to challenge of getting financial information to citizens, best practices also recommend preparing a popular annual financial report (PAFR), budget in brief, communicate financial information on the website, and more. The key question is despite all of these efforts, do citizens read it or even care? In this session, hear from leading practitioners about strategies for communicating financial information that goes beyond the standard PAFR or website PDF and the actual benefits they see to justify the effort.
Building a Strong Financial Foundation with Financial Policies
Financial policies play a key role in building a strong financial foundation by promoting accountability and encouraging long-term thinking. In times of fiscal uncertainty or distress, they can guide decision-making and set boundaries for acceptable action. At this session, learn how to develop and implement effective financial policies, including essential topics need to be addressed in your policies, who to involve in drafting policies, and how to monitor compliance. Attendees will leave this session prepared to evaluate their existing financial policies and to draft new or updated policies.
Riding the E-Procurement Wave: Improving Your Vendor Relationships
Remote work combined with the challenge of supply chain disruption, fiscal crisis, and COVID relief funding provided the many governments the perfect opportunity to invest in e-procurement systems to modernize the government-supplier relationship. In this it can provide to both governments and vendors, provide strategies on implementation, and explore integration considerations with other systems. Additionally, speakers will emphasize the role of e-procurement in building a modern and responsive procurement function for governments of all sizes and types.
Preventative Medicine: Applying GFOA's Fiscal First Aid Treatments in Advance of the Next Recession
With fears of the next recession on the horizon, what should governments be doing now to start preparing to help deal with potential for fiscal distress. GFOA's Fiscal First Aid research series, developed originally to help deal with the 2009 Great Recession and then refined through the pandemic offers several strategies to reduce budget expenses, create flexibility, and assess risk associated with different options with the goal of long-term sustainability. Attend this session to learn how we can all take lessons learned from the past decade and apply them proactively to address challenges of the next recession.
Making Peace with Leases
Many governments have or will soon be finalizing their first financial statements prepared using GASB’s new lease guidance now in effect. For some, this will be a post-mortem, a chance to compare notes on how the transition went, and get suggestions on ways to make future accounting and financial reporting for leases easier. For others, this will be an opportunity to fine-tune initial implementation before "pulling the trigger" on lease accounting. Speakers, including practitioners who have already implemented the new guidance and auditors, will address some of the more common issues seen with implementation thus far.
Public Pensions 101
What is happening in the world of public pensions? With greater market volatility and economic uncertainty, finance officers have to prepare for the ups and downs, and everything in between. In this session, we will explore an actuarial perspective on risks affecting pension plans and how finance officers can be informed and prepared for how those risks could affect operating budgets. We will also explore how pension plans are faring overall and resources finance officers can utilize to compare across plans.
The Link between Land Use Planning and Revenues
Land use planning decisions are often made without considering the impact on a local government's revenues - yet land uses determine a local government's tax base! This session will feature research from GFOA's Rethinking Revenue initiative and you will see how local governments have begun to connect their land use planning to revenue planning. Attendees will come away from the session with practical advice on how to make the case for linking land use planning and revenue planning in your community and the steps you can take make land use planning decisions that are more supportive of strong local revenues.