Conference Sessions

GFOA’s 114th Annual Conference will be held on May 17-20, 2020, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Scheduled sessions are listed below with times and dates. Speakers will be posted under each session when confirmed. Each session will contain a panel of speakers carefully selected to provide best practice guidance, discussion of current events, case studies, debate, and interactive exercises to cover a complete suite of topics pertinent for finance officers of all types and representing all forms of state and local governments. Final and complete information on each session including speakers, bios, handouts, will be available by February 28, 2020.

For more information on conference sessions, please contact Mike Mucha.

75 Sessions

Pages


Monday, May 18, 2020 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm

When governments facing increasing expectations and decreasing tax revenues turning to user fees, fines, and penalties can help raise additional revenue. However, those approaches are not without drawbacks and recently, there has been a new debate on not only sustainability of such an approach, but also problems with efficiency of collecting fees, ramifications for equity, and negative public perception. In this session, speakers will discuss how to develop user-fee policy, consider which services are appropriate for user fees (or should stay as a tax), determine how to set user fee prices, and analyze the potential social, economic, and fiscal impacts of a shift to more fees, fines, and penalties as a method of raising needed revenue.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Speaker
Director
Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement

Public procurement is not defined by endless approvals, mountains of paper, and outdated contract requirements. In fact, many organizations employ innovative practices to help procure vital goods and services, manage supply chain relationships, and assist staff from all over government deliver efficient and effective services. In this session, recognized subject matter experts and innovative practitioners will share case study examples, industry trends, and the latest innovations in the field of procurement.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Speaker
Director
Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement

Public-sector organizations can’t succeed without talent – the right people with the right skills in the right places at the right times. This is particularly true for government financial management. But just having talented employees isn’t enough – they must also be committed and engaged. This session will cover how to measure employee engagement and then achieve a high level of engagement in your organization – in order to drive superior performance and outcomes. Attendees will learn how employee engagement improves performance and service in order to improve customer satisfaction and, ultimately, trust in government.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

Capital infrastructure underpins the vitality of our communities. However, the investments required for good infrastructure are substantial. Good asset management practices allows a local government to get the most bang for the buck across the asset’s lifecycle. They also protect original investments in infrastructure by adequately maintaining assets. In this session, you will see how different kinds of local governments have put in place strong asset management practices.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

What if the only thing standing between you and greater success for your organization, your team, and your career is confidence? Much has been documented on how an over or under confident leader can create a negative environment and damage a team. In this session, Ben Fauske, a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst and Trainer, respected researcher, and sought after consultant and author, will provide the secret pattern relied on by some of the greatest recording artists of the past half century to overcome their confidence challenges and achieve significant levels of success. Attendees will discover what happens to your confidence under stress, understand confidence bias and core beliefs of world-class influencers, and learn empowerment strategies to build your leadership capacity and the culture of your team.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

Incremental budgeting is easy, convenient, and readily accepted as a standard process in government. But is it the best approach? Incremental budgeting can make it difficult to reallocate funding based on current priority, compare funding to service levels or performance, or facilitate strategic long-term decision making. Unfortunately, many governments never test what is best because changing a key organizational process is difficult. This session will provide a plan forward using smaller (achievable) steps to build a better budget process. Speakers will discuss how they were able to initiate efforts to reform the budget process and how they overcame common challenges along the way.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

Actuarial reporting can be complex, but is important for understanding the status of pension and OPEB plans. Speakers in this session will focus on key components of an actuarial report and will guide finance officers on how to interpret their government’s actuarial reports. In addition, speakers will address frequently asked questions about the actuarial reports to allow finance officers to better understand and explain this information to other stakeholders in the government.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

Since issuing GASB 87 on Leases, GASB has followed up not only with extensive implementation guidance for that statement but also with guidance on accounting and financial reporting for cloud computing and public-private (and public-public) partnerships that is explicitly based on the leases standard. This session will be an opportunity to review the authoritative literature and hear about GASB 87 from those who have begun or completed implementations. In addition, speakers will present similarities and differences between the newer guidance and lease accounting as well as provide tips that all governments can use to prepare for this next change.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

Acceptance of electronic payment methods is finally a standard practice in the public sector. Many governments now accept a variety of electronic payment types for taxes, fines, user charges and fees. While the benefits to accepting electronic payments are vast, governments must understand requirements for doing so in a safe and efficient way. This session will provide attendees with a deep dive into the electronic payment world, discuss various electronic payment methods, and discuss the policies and processes that governments should have in place. This session will also highlight the importance of maintaining customer data in a secure way and how to include PCI compliance as an essential component of successful electronic payment acceptance processes.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

Financial system implementations can be challenge, risky, and expensive. They can also deliver significant benefits that set the foundation for your government to become more efficient, pursue best practices, and modernize operations. For small governments, these projects can present unique challenges for business process improvement, change management, staffing and backfill, and dealing with problematic vendors. In this session, a panel of practitioners will discuss lessons learned from past ERP projects and communicate strategies for facing the specific challenges that small governments face.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

It’s common for governments to develop multi-year plans. Oftentimes, though, plans are not comprehensive and are written as simple wish lists that change from year-to-year based on political considerations or the influence of outspoken citizen groups. To develop a true multi-year capital plan, governments need a structured approach to capturing capital needs, identifying both capital and operating financial impacts, prioritizing project requests, and developing appropriate funding strategies. Speakers in this session will highlight GFOA's best practice and provide case study examples of multi-year planning in governments of varying sizes, types, and complexity.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

Many projects don't fail for technical reasons or because of poor project execution. They fail for because no one has prepared the organization to navigate the coming changes or communicated changes early enough with the stakeholders ultimately responsible for the day-to-day changes. While your staff may never fully embrace all changes, completely ignoring change management will certainly make things more difficult. In this session, speakers will explain why change management is so important, how to get started with simple change management strategies, and how you can adopt basic change management principles to suit a wide variety of projects that your government will face in the future.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

Finance officers must stay aware of the many factors that impact a government's investments. While the core principles of an investment strategy – liquidity, safety, and return - rest within a government’s investment policy, knowing about market conditions, current events, and investment products is just as important in determining if there are opportunities for core investing beyond liquidity. Speakers for this session will provide an economic update and expert predictions on interest rates and other factors related to government investing, provide an overview of new products that are being used by your peers, and engage in conversation about what governments need to do in order to prepare for investing in the next decade.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

Online transparency is becoming standard practice within government. Governments of all types and sizes have launched transparency portals for financial, performance, and community level data. However, this shift to accessible data is not without risk and government need to understand the explore the impact of transparency on a variety cyber security issues. Speakers in this session will discuss the balance that governments must consider between openness and security and will present lessons learned, ongoing considerations, and potential future consequences of greater public access to data.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

Financial policies set guidelines for decision making and communicate the strategic intent for financial management. They are also central to a strategic, long-term approach to financial management and essential for all small governments. Presenters will discuss common challenges in developing policies in a small government, make recommendations on appropriate roles for finance staff and elected officials in policy setting, and provide an opportunity for discussion of common policies. In addition, GFOA will provide sample policies for the top ten policy areas in local government that are specific to small governments.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

GASB Statement No. 84, and the related implementation guide 2019-2, both named Fiduciary Activities, became effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, eliminating the ambiguity that has existed in defining a fiduciary activity, but also changing the way that many governments will report on fiduciary funds. This session will provide a comprehensive review of fiduciary activities and and fiduciary fund accounting and financial reporting, including discussion of challenges of implementation by finance officers who have recently implemented the standard.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

GFOA's Urban Forum will provide networking opportunities and speakers discussing issues facing larger organizations, in particular GFOA attendees representing governments from metropolitan areas with over 1,000,000 people. Specific discussion topics will be based on a survey of GFOA Urban Forum members and will be announced in April 2020.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm

Are you a young professional looking to expand your public finance network? Join fellow GFOA young professionals aged 40 and under in this interactive speed networking event! In small group formats, you will meet peers, learn about their career journeys, and hear challenges as well as the innovative work their governments are doing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

Trust is the most important asset finance officers and our communities have. Without it, we can't do our jobs. With it, we can perform at our best. This session will show you how finance officers and their communities have built and lost trust. You will leave the session with practical steps you can take to build and maintain trust in your career and between your government and your community.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

While the term may not be as prominent in the municipal bond space, many governments are already incorporating environment, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their issuance process and more broadly in decisions related to strategic planning, capital planning, and budgeting. In interacting with the investor and analyst communities, issuers should be prepared to discuss ESG risks and considerations. Speakers in this session will discuss the emergence of ESG investing and what questions issuers should be prepared to address when accessing capital in the municipal bond market.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

Finance officers from state and local governments don’t need to be told how helpful federal funding can be to a capital project. Luckily, the federal government makes billions available in grant funds every year to support a wide variety of government projects and government functions. Unfortunately the federal grant system is complex and can be difficult to navigate. In this session, speakers will provide tips and strategies for finance officers and their staff looking to obtain those elusive additional grant funds and how to better "work" the existing system. In addition, speakers will provide an overview of major sources of available funding and how to determine which program is best suited for common needs and projects.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

New in 2020, GFOA will release a brand new edition of Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Government Reporting (the "Blue Book") GFOA's signature publication and the definitive source on the subject. This is the first new edition since 2012, and the first release since the 2014 supplement. In addition to updated content, this edition marks the beginning of a new era, with the transition to an on-line subscription service that will keep the Blue Book - and you - up-to-date going forward. Come to this session to find out what's new in the book and to get tips on using the on-line subscription.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

Governments are on heightened alert regarding fraud matters that impact their entities, especially the treasury office. Of particular concern are the sophisticated methods being used by external players to commit fraud, including phishing scams, cyber attacks, and 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 cyber attacks about lessons-learned and discover appropriate tools to prevent and react to fraudulent schemes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

Budgeting is just as much about values and priorities as it is about dollars. Unfortunately, in times of a recession and when decisions get tough,governments can fall into focusing too much on getting the dollars to work out and abandon those principles. While universally true, but especially important in times of fiscal stress, it is important for governments to communicate their priorities and values as strategy to improve budget transparency, demonstrate fairness, and help justify difficult decisions. As governments work to prepare for the next recession, how much have you communicated on "why" you budget the way you do? In this session, speakers will present practical strategies on how to develop a framework and set priorities for making those tough decisions and ways to communicate to those most impacted.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:20am to 12:00pm

Sometimes the practices that GFOA and its members advocate can seem like an aspiration - something to strive for, but rarely obtained. However, governments have proven it can be done. In this session we will hear from finance officers who have received national recognition recently for their comprehensive and high quality financial decision-making systems. Speakers will discuss how they got started, challenges they had to overcome during implementation, and what they do not to ensure that the best practice continues. Speakers will also discuss the impact that national recognition had on their government and how to best use and take advantage of that increased publicity.