Preconference Seminars

GFOA's preconference seminars provide the opportunity for attendees to get in-depth training on topics vitally important to finance officers. Come to Philadelphia 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 Pennsylvania Convention Center.


Friday, May 29, 2015


Best Practice Trends in Public-Sector Procurement

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 4 CPE Credits
New technology, process improvement, and focus on outcomes have enabled many organizations to evolve their procurement function. This seminar will cover new best practices in purchasing based on the Principles and Practices of Public Sector Procurement ( resources developed by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing. Speakers will discuss how to integrate the best practices into high-performing finance organizations to create policies and processes around lease-purchase decision making, the evaluation process, performance-based contracting, cooperative contracts, outsourcing, and more.

Strategic Planning

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 4 CPE Credits
The strategic planning process is important to identifying priorities, setting overall goals, defining key actions, and communicating to stakeholders. Once created, the strategic plan then becomes the foundation for many other activities, such as budgeting and financial planning. It is important, therefore, that the strategic plan be realistic, relevant, and connected to or aligned with other planning processes. When done correctly, strategic planning can be a invaluable tool for the finance officer. This seminar will cover how to develop and facilitate an effective strategic planning process that can be used to guide decision making. Attendees will learn practical techniques, including how to involve the correct stakeholders, properly evaluate opportunities and risks, develop goals, and track results.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Evolution of Financial Transparency

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 4 CPE Credits
To be effective, financial transparency needs to reach a wide audience and provide useful information to the public about the ways resources are used and decisions are made. This kind of information typically requires a government to go beyond posting its CAFR or budget document online to include creative use of online tools, strategic communications, and other innovative public outreach methods. A more informed public can help provide government with many benefits––from greater public participation and engagement, to improved trust, to enabling collaboration to help solve challenges. Attend this seminar to hear case studies, lessons learned, tips, and effective strategies from leading practitioners who have developed innovative methods of taking an often complex subject matter to a wide audience. Topics discussed will include how to understand your audience, how to reach different segments of the population, how much it costs to be transparent, how to get started, and if it is possible to be too transparent.

Infrastructure Finance

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 4 CPE Credits
State and local governments need large investments in infrastructure to maintain and replace aging (and in many cases outdated) roads, bridges, tunnels, utility lines, and ports, and to build new assets to meet future demands. This seminar will provide guidance on how to prepare for and manage an effective capital financing function focused on infrastructure. Topics covered will include capital planning, determining return on investment for capital expenditures, capital finance strategies, the current capital finance environment, how to leverage public-private partnerships, and use of alternative funding strategies.

Security in an IT Environment

1:00 – 5:00 p.m. 4 CPE Credits
As IT applications increasingly utilize “the cloud” and organizations rely more heavily on the web to deliver services, finance officers must be aware of the associated security concerns. This seminar is designed to help governments differentiate myth from reality when making decisions and managing the business side of IT security related to finance. Speakers will discuss how to develop security policies, develop an overall IT risk management framework, implement procedures to address common vulnerabilities, and monitor or audit the effectiveness of the security strategy.


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 both 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.