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


Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

Software-as-a-Service (Saas) products are becoming the standard for most public sector applications. With the shift from on-premise software to cloud technologies, finance officers must also reset their expectations for how to evaluate, contract for, and implement software. Speakers in this session will identify how SaaS is different, its potential benefits, and the critical steps that governments need to take to control cost and mitigate risk.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

Unfunded pensions are a drag on government. However, the benefits of funded these liabilities are not always obvious to elected officials, the public, and current employees. In this session, you will hear from speakers who have made the hard decisions to fully fund their pensions. You will learn how stakeholders were convinced that this was the right thing to do and how the funding mechanisms were structured.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

Governments already have several required disclosures for debt, but users of financial statements continually want more. As a result, finance officers must now become familiar with the latest round of new reporting requirements for debt. In this session, speakers will discuss what constitutes debt and the additional debt disclosures required by GASB 88, the issuance of GASB 91 for conduit debt, and the soon-to-be-issued new guidance on derivatives related to changing from LIBOR to SOFR.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

It has been popularly noted that there are organizations that have been hacked; those that are being hacked; and those that will be hacked. Where does your organization fit? Join this session to learn practical strategies to mitigate your risks against cyber threats. Speakers will discuss the remedies outlined in GFOA’s whitepaper, “A Byte of Prevention” and how to implement them. Participants will learn how developing a strategy focusing on people, process, and technology will prepare your organization against the next cyber threat.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

Each year at the annual conference GFOA presents this can't miss round-up to discuss key developments in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting that affect state and local governments. Topics covered will include recently promulgated standards, including GASB's statements on public-private and public-public partnerships, the transition from LIBOR, and IRC Section 457 deferred compensation; the AICPA's and GAO's auditing standards developments, and the standard setters' on-going projects likely to affect issuers and auditors in the near future.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

The software industry has embraced agile methodologies for some time and lately it has been embraced by firms responsible for implementing software. Originally developed as an alternative to waterfall project management methodologies that require sequencing and identification of dependencies, agile focused on customer engagement, design affirmation, team effort, and monitoring. Lately, agile has become a “buzzword” to hide behind when tasks are late or incomplete. Project Managers are quick to report that agile permits these anomalies. Join this session as facilitators compare and contrast project management methodologies and the impact they have on your ERP project. The audience will also learn how to develop contracts that support the benefits of agile, waterfall, and hybrid approaches, while also incorporating essential public-sector best practices related to quality assurance, testing, acceptance, and payment.

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.

Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

No one expects it to happen to them. However, mass shootings have unfortunately become more and more common in our society and the world of public finance is not immune from such terror. In this session practitioners will present first hand examples of how these types of incidents in their community have impacted the organization, changed conversations and office culture, and how the finance officer can leverage a different skill set to help in times of need.

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 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm

An audit committee provides an independent review and oversight of a government's financial reporting processes, internal controls, and independent auditors. GFOA's best practice guidance recommends that all governments establish an audit committee. This session will be based on GFOA's best practice statement and will provide answers to frequently asked questions on audit committees including: What should the committee do? Who should serve on the committee? How much financial knowledge is required to serve? How often should the committee meet? What is the proper level of funding for an audit committee?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

Each year, GFOA reviews almost 5,000 submissions to the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Award Program). Using data from those reviews, speakers will identify the most common reporting deficiencies by CAFR sections and will discuss how all governments can improve their financial reporting. Speakers will also discuss the best way to prepare your CAFR for submission to the GFOA Award Program, and how you can participate as a volunteer reviewer.

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 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm

Cash flow forecasting is an essential aspect of a government’s operations that sets the stage for budgeting, cash management, and investing decisions. GFOA’s best practice and resources related to cash flow forecasting highlight the need for governments to conduct this exercise regularly using a 12-month rolling period separate from the entity’s fiscal year. Speakers will discuss how to establish cash forecasts, which help governments make decisions related to outlays and investing for both liquidity and core portfolios. Government and market leaders will also discuss the importance of and how best to review, update, and report an entity’s cash flow forecast.

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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Everyone, even finance officers, have biases. Some biases reside in our subconscious and are formed through our different life experiences. More importantly, our biases affect the decisions we make. How do we become more aware of them both personally and professionally? Dedicated life coach, trainer, and facilitator, Kenston Henderson Sr., will define what implicit bias is and how we can mitigate it. As the Citywide Training & Development Coordinator, he will also share the implicit bias programming the City of Columbus, OH offers its employees to help understand the diverse perspectives of the community they serve.

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

Ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent in government and each week we learn of additional governments that have become victim to these paralyzing hacks. While governments need to understand risks and prepare preventative strategies, they also must be prepared in the event you fall victim. Do you have a plan when you find your electronic files have become encrypted and cannot be unlocked unless you pay a ransom? Some governments have elected to give in to the criminals while other governments have decided to fight – often at great cost. Listen, as your peers and professionals in the industry discuss how to react in the even of ransomware attack, considerations for paying the ransom, other strategies you may have available to deal with this latest threat to our communities.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

The budget process has many stakeholders and a quality budget process must engage all in a collaborative discussion about priorities, proposed services, and appropriate allocation of funding. While many finance officers understand the budget and the process used to develop it, do they also understand how other key stakeholders view it? This session will feature several department heads from non-financial positions in local government in a discussion about what makes a budget process successful. Attendees can expect to hear honest feedback on how to make a budget process more transparent, more inclusive, and more focused on allocating resources to the right programs to achieve the right results.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

As the dust settles from the recent amendments to SEC Rule 15c2-12, issuers continue to grapple with how to identify, record, and report event #15 and #16 notices. This session will include a discussion on the issuer experience managing their disclosure programs and guidance from outside professionals on the advice they provide to their governmental clients. Attendees will also be updated on changes to GFOA Best Practices and Advisories related to disclosure practices.

Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

Governmental business-type entities (BTAs), such as public utilities, transit systems, airports, colleges and hospitals occupy a special place in the world of accounting and financial reporting. Subject to GASB standards, including many based on old private-sector guidance, these governments have unique challenges. This session will be a discussion of current accounting and financial reporting topics of particular interest to BTAs, based on the experiences of current officials responsible for such entities. Likely topics include the impact on BTAs of recent GASB guidance, such as on leases, PPPs, interest capitalization and those that affect governments that follow regulatory accounting.

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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:10am

Virtually all communities are susceptible to some unexpected events that can put a strain on daily life. When disaster occurs resources need to be made available immediately so recovery and repair can begin. But how do you know if your jurisdiction is prepared? What is required to successfully navigate the financial needs that a disaster can bring? FEMA experts will provide an overview of the Disaster Financial Management Guide, provide a presentation on their new Just In Time Training program, and practitioners at the local level will share how their experience has affected preparedness in their communities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Finance officers spend time taking care of retirement planning for all the other government employees, but finance officers retire, too! And the to-do list can be overwhelming, both professionally and personally. At work, there’s succession planning and grooming of the new leaders, wrapping up long overdue projects, and ensuring the policies are in place to allow for a successful transition. At home, the list of issues can range from how to explore new interests to calculate when to draw from your personal retirement plans, to simply adjusting to a new kind of life. This session will provide practical guidance to prepare finance officers and their governments for this important transition.

Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm

The availability of data has increased exponentially in recent decades. As the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and natural language generation have emerged, organizing and searching big data has become easier, making this trend likely to continue. This increase in data availability in the private sector has left some government struggling to keep up. Financial information can be complex and nuanced and the rules governing how public money must be managed can be difficult to explain. This session will focus on how local governments can be transparent in an appropriate and responsible way. Speakers will offer ways how best to provide context to financial data as it’s shared with various audiences.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

GFOA member surveys repeatedly show recruiting and maintaining qualified employees is a top challenge faced by many government finance offices. As part of an overall strategy of recruitment, fringe benefits can play an important role in helping attract and retain motivated and productive employees – salary isn’t enough on its own. In fact, in one survey, 80% of employees said they would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. Employees want more benefits that address their total well-being, not just their financial well-being. In this session, speakers will present information that all governments can use to better inform benefit decisions and help sort out which benefits employees desire and which ones they don’t care about.


Pages