Preconference Seminars

GFOA’s preconference seminars provide an opportunity for attendees to get in-depth training on topics vitally important to finance officers. Come to Denver a day or two early and multiply the benefits you’ll get by signing up for these added training offerings. Preconference sessions will be held at the Colorado Convention Center.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fastracks Project Tour and Lessons Learned

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 8 CPE Credits


Governments from across the United States and Canada have utilized public-private partnerships (P3) to help finance critical infrastructure improvement projects. In 2004, voters approved a referendum for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver’s FasTrack multi-modal transit expansion program. This project expanded transportation options to citizens of Denver’s metropolitan area, including the recent light commuter rail expansion to Denver International Airport, and provided a successful example of a P3 agreement to operate and maintain the system. Speakers with wide-ranging knowledge of the project, especially in the complex areas of program finance, will discuss some of the project’s successes and lessons learned in the areas of project planning, financing, and ongoing monitoring. In addition, participants will be taken on a guided tour of the project’s facilities to get a behind-the-scenes perspective and witness RTD’s FasTrack program in operation.

* Note: Lunch and transportation for the facility tour is included as part of the registration fee. Specific locations on the tour stop will be announced at a later time. This session is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 8 CPE Credits

Connecting resource allocation and student achievement is the most essential aspect of planning and budgeting for school districts; however, it can also be challenging for most districts. This seminar is designed for school districts participating or interested in learning more about GFOA’s Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting (“Alliance”) program and will provide participants an opportunity to collaboratively discuss and complete a number of exercises using information from their own districts. Districts involved in the first group of the Alliance will help facilitate the session, as well as share their own experiences and successes in implementing the Best Practices in School Budgeting. Topics will include evaluating choices between programmatic offerings, finding available resources to pay for new initiatives, and developing a strategic financial plan.

The Role of Leadership, Technology, and Finance in a Resilient Government

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 4 CPE Credits

The concept of “resiliency” has captured the attention of governments in recent years, and with that experience, finance officers have learned about what it means for their governments to be resilient and how to achieve resiliency. In this seminar, participants will learn from the experiences of other governments about their resiliency journeys and how they have used technology along the way. Structured around the seven characteristics of resiliency—recognizing risk, exercising foresight, being robust, being adaptable, looking deeper, building connections, and being flexible—this session will highlight the role of leaders in implementing resilient practices, focusing on those related to technology and financial processes throughout the organization.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Building Your Professional Network

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 4 CPE Credits

Building a professional network is a great way to expand your knowledge base, stay current with industry trends and in touch with colleagues, share lessons learned, leverage specific expertise when necessary, raise your professional profile both in and out of your organization, and provide opportunities for career growth. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many other social networking sites have made identifying “a network” much easier. However, building and maintaining that network and investing in it so that it can be useful are challenges for many finance officers. This seminar will provide strategies that all finance officers can implement to make useful connections and get the most out of social networking, as well as explore some other less common places for developing effective professional relationships. In addition, speakers will discuss how to successfully use your network and relationships to help accomplish goals within your organization and in your career.

Cost, Risk, and Customer Service: Managing an Effective Revenue Collection Function

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 4 CPE Credits

Finance officers are faced with many difficult decisions in establishing and managing a government revenue collection function. Governments need to balance the need for process efficiency, strong internal controls, new technology, and citizen expectations. This seminar will feature several case studies from governments that have successfully implemented a modern revenue collection function, taking advantage of innovations in technology and banking services, while maintaining effective internal controls and mitigating risks. Speakers will discuss opportunities for centralized collections, better integration from across the organization within a financial system, and acceptable payment options.

Personnel Budgeting

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 4 CPE Credits

Personnel budgeting can be extremely complex. Not only do governments budget for an assortment of positions, they must take into account position counts, service levels, staffing ratios, overtime, various funding sources, collective bargaining requirements, political pressures, and the need to forecast fringe benefits related to insurance, pensions, or OPEB. Managing this complex task efficiently requires that the finance or budget officer utilize a sound approach, and also coordinate resources from across the organization, that include finance, human resources, and many other departments. This seminar will provide best practice recommendations for creating and managing a position control structure, establishing the structure within an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and using that structure for budgeting personnel costs, techniques for estimating salary and fringe benefit costs, and managing positions throughout the year.

Essentials of Debt Issuance

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 4 CPE Credits

The municipal marketplace is rapidly evolving after a push from investors and the federal government over the last few years for stronger disclosure requirements. This seminar will provide an overview for issuers and other marketplace participants on how current debt issuance and management trends are affecting public-sector entities. Presenters will guide participants through the responsibilities before, during, and after bonds are sold, common transaction stakeholders, rating agency expectations, as well as other functions of debt management. The seminar will feature practical examples, highlight recent regulatory changes, and encourage interactive discussion on each topic. Relevant best practices, advisories, and resources created by GFOA’s Committee on Governmental Debt Management will also be discussed. Participants will gain a better understanding of the risks associated with issuing debt and how to navigate an increasingly complex marketplace.

Managing Small Teams

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 4 CPE Credits

Teams are an essential feature of the modern workplace, but as you are probably aware from personal experience, the quality of teamwork can vary significantly from one team to another. When employees have a bad experience on a team, it can lower morale and productivity. However, when teams are at their best, the result is a whole that is greater than the sum of each member’s capabilities. This seminar will examine how to apply the latest research in team effectiveness, including how to run productive meetings, how to get team members to contribute, and how to create a sense of commitment to the team that results in the team reaching its full potential. The lessons learned from this session can be used for teams within the finance department, teams composed of staff from across departments, and even teams that bring together members from different organizations. 

Taking a full-day session on Friday?

  • Enjoy a continental breakfast and lunch.

Taking an afternoon session on Friday or Saturday?

  • An afternoon snack will be available in your session room.

Taking a morning session on Saturday?

  • A continental breakfast will be available in your session room.

Taking a morning and afternoon session on Saturday?

  • Enjoy a continental breakfast and afternoon snack in your session room, as well as a grab-and-go lunch