The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), founded in 1906, represents public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada. The association's more than 18,000 members are federal, state/provincial, and local finance officials deeply involved in planning, financing, and implementing thousands of governmental operations in each of their jurisdictions. The GFOA's mission is to enhance and promote the professional management of governmental financial resources by identifying, developing, and advancing fiscal strategies, policies, and practices for the public benefit. The GFOA has accepted the leadership challenge of public finance. To meet the many needs of its members, the organization provides best practice guidance, consulting, networking opportunities, publications including books, e-books, and periodicals, recognition programs, research, and training opportunities for those in the profession.
An 18-member Executive Board elected by the membership governs the organization according to the GFOA bylaws. The Executive Board establishes policy and direction for the association. In addition, there are seven standing committees, made up of 25 GFOA members, each of which studies issues in their respective areas and proposes statements, best practices, and advisories to the Executive Board. These committees are in the areas of accounting, auditing and financial reporting; budgeting and financial policies; debt management; economic development and capital planning; pension and employee benefits administration; treasury and investment management; and Canadian issues. Policy statements adopted by the Executive Board are voted on by the membership at the annual business meeting held each year during conference.
The GFOA is headquartered in Chicago with offices in Washington, D.C. The association staff is organized as follows:
Office of the Executive Director
The Office of the Executive Director is responsible for the overall management of the association, external relations, and international relations. Strategic initiatives developed by the Executive Board are provided funding through member dues and overall association operations. (Chicago)
Federal Liaison Center
The center informs the GFOA members about federal legislation, regulations, judicial actions, and policies that affect public finance functions, and represent the interests of the GFOA in Washington, DC. GFOA's public policy statements are highlighted during regular contact with congressional leaders and key administration officials. Working with regulatory bodies that address issues affecting state and local governments is also a component of the center's work. Center staff also collects, analyzes, and disseminates information to GFOA members about Washington activities. Additionally, by developing and promoting best practices and policy statements, the center helps the GFOA members and public finance professionals enhance their operations. The center coordinates the efforts of the GFOA's seven standing committees, the Women's Public Finance Network, and the Black Caucus. In addition, the center conducts the Advanced Government Finance Institute, an intensive week-long program that provides GFOA members from the United States and Canada an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and focus on emerging trends within the public finance community. (Washington, D.C.)
Financial Administration Center
The goals of the Financial Administration Center are to provide administrative and IT support to all GFOA centers, manage the financial affairs of the organization, and administer the organization's website. (Chicago)
Operations and Marketing Center
It is the responsibility of the Operations and Marketing Center to handle all logistics and marketing for the associations training programs including the annual conference, national training, live-streaming events, Internet training, and committee meetings. Through marketing and advertising, the Operations and Marketing Center promotes membership in the association, participation in the annual conference, training events held throughout the year, publications, and the association's awards programs. This center also manages administration for the association. (Chicago)
Research and Consulting Center (RCC)
GFOA’s Research and Consulting Center staff provide consulting services to state and local governments, conduct ongoing research on many financial management topics, produce the Government Finance Review, maintain the Financial Management Self-Assessment Model, and support many of GFOA’s training, conference, publications, and best practices committees. GFOA consulting services focus on business process improvement (Lean Government), long-term financial planning, budgeting, and planning and procurement assistance for technology projects including needs analysis, RFP development, requirements definition, system selection, and contract negotiations for financial management, human resource, payroll, and other administrative systems. (Chicago)
Technical Services Center (TSC)
The center provides technical information, products, and services to GFOA members and others interested in government finance regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting, and the preparation of budget documents. At the heart of the center's activities are five professional recognition programs: the Award Program for Small Government Cash Basis Reports, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program, the Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program, the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting Program, and the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award Program. The center also offers a technical inquiry service for individuals interested in the proper application of governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting standards; the preparation of high quality budget documents; and best practices in accounting and budgeting. Members of the TSC staff also serve as authors of publications and periodicals; prepare educational materials, and serve as instructors in numerous national training seminars, including Internet and live Web-stream events. (Chicago)