Best Practices/Advisories

Best Practices/Advisories

GFOA Best Practices identify specific policies and procedures as contributing to improved government management. It aims to promote and facilitate positive change rather than merely to codify current accepted practice. Partial implementation is encouraged as progress toward a recognized goal.  

GFOA Advisories identify specific policies and procedures necessary to minimize a government’s exposure to potential loss in connection with its financial management activities. It is not to be interpreted as GFOA sanctioning the underlying activity that gives rise to the exposure.

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Sustainable Pension Benefit Tiers

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that jurisdictions considering new benefit tiers examine the following issues: A government’s authority to revise its pension benefits, the overall goals it wants to accomplish by doing so, and the effect of such changes on the workforce; and the financial impacts resulting from changes to pension plan design, as well as the effe

Committee: 
Retirement and Benefits Administration

Enhancing Reliability of Actuarial Valuations for Pension Plans

Best Practice

Because actuarial information directly affects the funded level and sustainability of pension plans, the GFOA developed this new best practice to urge pension plan fiduciaries to take appropriate steps to ensure that all information provided to the actuary is accurate and up to date. The best practice also provides guidance on how to engage actuaries and additional services that finance officers should consider having the actuary perform.

Committee: 
Retirement and Benefits Administration

Procuring Actuarial Services

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that state and local governments take the following steps to obtain high-quality actuarial services for their public retirement plans: 1) identify the actuarial services required; 2) establish selection criteria; 3) develop a clear and concise request for proposals (RFP); 4) determine, to the degree possible, the level of indepen

Committee: 
Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting
Retirement and Benefits Administration

Investment of Bond Proceeds

Best Practice

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends that state and local governments develop an understanding of the risks inherent in investing bond proceeds and incorporate steps in their investment strategy for each fund to minimize these risks.

Committee: 
Governmental Debt Management
Treasury and Investment Management

Points to Consider when Deciding whether to Use the Modified Approach for Recording Infrastructure Assets

Advisory

GFOA recommends that governments consider the following factors in the process of deciding whether to use depreciation accounting or the modified approach for a given network or subsystem of infrastructure assets:

Committee: 
Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting
Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy

Audit Committees

Best Practice

GFOA makes the following recommendations regarding the establishment of audit committees by state and local governments:

Committee: 
Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting

Complying with the Affordable Care Act

Best Practice

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends that state and local government employers that sponsor group health plans implement a process for reviewing federal health-care benefit requirements at least quarterly to ensure that they are aware of any newly issued or soon-to-be issued regulations.

Committee: 
Retirement and Benefits Administration