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.

7 Sessions

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

Preparing note disclosures to basic financial statements can be the most challenging part of preparing financial statements. The GASB last took a comprehensive look at note disclosures leading up to the issuance of GASB Statement No. 38. While that project had been expected to reduce the volume of notes, in reality, the opposite occurred. Governments ended up adding disclosures and subsequent standards have only continued that trend. The GASB is now taking a conceptual approach to answering the question of what should be included in note disclosures. Speakers in this session will discuss the proposals in the exposure draft and how a final concept statement might ultimately affect the nature and quantity of notes.

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 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm

When GASB issued Statement No. 33, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Nonexchange Transactions, it required the reporting of taxes, grants, fees, and fines with an economic resources measurement focus. However, different interpretations and application of these principles by governments have led to inconsistencies in financial reporting. In the near future, the GASB plans to issue a preliminary views due process document proposing a very different model for classifying and recognizing inflows and outflows of resources. This is expected to have a profound effect on government accounting and financial reporting. Speakers in this session will preview proposed changes and prepare GFOA members to provide feedback to GASB on these fundamental changes.

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.

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

For some governments, the only thing more confusing to operating departments than finance, information technology, benefit administration, legal services, or facility maintenance is how those services are costed and charged. Governments use internal service funds to capture costs associated with these administrative functions and charge back costs to departments or programs directly serving citizens. Do these approaches provide benefit, or is it just an exercise in moving funds throughout an organization? Speakers in this session will identify services best suited for internal service funds and address in a question and answer format the most challenging aspects of establishing this type of charge back system. Attend this session to identify which approach works best for budgeting, capturing costs, and allocating charges, how to correctly report on internal service funds, options to introduce competition, and how to use a charge back model to incentive cost-saving behaviors across the organization.

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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:10pm

While GASB's new statement on deferred compensation plans may be only a few paragraphs long, it has the potential for significant changes to many local governments and will plung them to the world of pension and benefit accounting. Speakers at this session will discuss GASB's new statement, explain why it is necessary, provide an overview of pension accounting, and show examples of how local governments have been successful with implementation.