Conference Sessions

GFOA’s 113th Annual Conference was held on May 19-22, 2019, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It included more than 75 concurrent sessions featuring leading practitioners, subject matter experts, and top researchers. Each session contained 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. Information on each session including speakers, bios, handouts, and more is available below.

11 Sessions

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Assistant Treasurer
City of Chicago
Speaker
Senior Portfolio Manager
Hilltop Securities Asset Management
Speaker
Assistant City Administrator/Chief Financial Officer
City of Franklin, TN

Government officials have a fiduciary duty to serve the interests of their entity and protect public funds. Even when governments rely on the advice of outside professionals, that duty remains intact. External advisors such as investment advisors and municipal advisors have federally mandated fiduciary duties to put the interest of their clients (governments) ahead of their own. Other market players – such as brokers – are impacted by factors like suitability standards and some federal regulatory actions. This session will give an overview of what the parameters of fiduciary duty standards are for internal government staff as well as external professionals to help governments understand what is expected of themselves and others.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Director of Finance
Township of Upper St. Clair, PA
Speaker
Finance & Central Services Division Manager
Anoka County, MN
Speaker
Budget Director
School District of Palm Beach County
Speaker
Finance Director
Lake County, IL

Even as governments have utilized online procurement mediums and purchasing card technology in recent years, implementation of a comprehensive P-card function can still be challenging from process, technology, and management perspectives. This session will focus on the pros and cons of P-cards, how to manage the implementation of a P-card program, and tips for developing, training, and enforcing organizational policies on P-card use. The session will also address developing P-card policies, building a relationship with your P-card provider, preventing fraud, integration of P-cards with your ERP system, and managing difficult departments/users.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Treasurer
City of St. Paul, MN
Speaker
CEO
Vulcan Consultants, LLC
Speaker
Chief Investment Officer
Alameda County
Speaker
Senior Portfolio Manager
KCM Investment Advisors

With the Great Recession lingering in the minds of finance professionals, as well as having a more dynamic market than in previous years, governments need to be aware of what these changes in the market landscape mean for state and local governments. It is also critical that finance officers are able to discuss these trends with members of their governing bodies and the public in an accessible way. This session will provide attendees with an overview of how to review their existing investment policies and what types of investment strategies may be needed in the near future related to investment portfolios, and how to best communicate the investing landscape to those outside the finance office

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Finance Director/Tax Commissioner
Village of Indian Hill
Speaker
Vice President of Sales
Paymentus
Speaker
Treasurer
St. Louis County, MO

As electronic payment technology grows and changes, citizens will increasingly expect their governments to accept payments from a broad spectrum of platforms. The expansion of traditional online payment methods as well as new options like virtual wallets, mobile apps, self-service devices, and other payment applications, requires finance officers to understand both the benefits and limitations of each and to make decisions that balance government interests and customer service demands of the public. Governments must also weigh the costs associated with accepting payments via new technologies and accurately assess the viability of new technologies long term. This session will explore how governments can better utilize electronic payment portals, discuss the necessary internal controls and systems to accept different electronic payments, detail the current technology landscape and usage trends, and highlight electronic receivables policies and procedures for local governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
Hall G
Moderator/Speaker
Associate Professor, School of Accountancy & MIS
DePaul University
Speaker
Chief Inspector
U.S. Marshals Service

The city comptroller and treasurer of Dixon, Illinois, stole $53 million of public funds across 20 years–making her the perpetrator of the largest case of municipal fraud in American history. She used the funds to build one of the nation’s leading quarter horse-breeding empires, all while forcing staff cuts, police budget slashing, and neglect of public infrastructure. While extreme, her story provides learning opportunities for all local governments to better protect themselves against the next case of fraud. Speakers will share their unique and direct experience with this situation and provide recommendations for all governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Vice President
Multi-Bank Securities, Inc.
Speaker
CEO, Chief Investment Officer
Chandler Asset Management
Speaker
Assistant City Manager/CFO
City of Weston, FL
Speaker
Director of Finance & Tax Commissioner
City of Forest Park, Ohio

Small governments have the same responsibilities and duties as their large counterparts when it comes to managing and investing public funds. This session will focus specifically on how smaller entities can develop appropriate investment policies and strategies, including investing for liquidity, choosing the right benchmarks, and hiring advisors and broker/dealers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Administrative Services Director and Finance Director
City of Chico, CA
Speaker
President
Rahban CPA & Consulting Inc.
Speaker
Manager, Accounting I
Ventura County Sheriff's Business Office
Speaker
Principal, Business Risk & IT Services
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Government services must be able to withstand not just natural disasters, but also other emergencies such as terrorist attacks, cyber crimes, mass shootings, and IT fraud. Ensuring your government’s ability to provide essential services during and after a disaster means planning to protect critical systems and business processes. In this session, experts will discuss the components of a business continuity plan and include how to manage IT systems, handle accounting tasks, prepare necessary invoices, maintain internal controls, and safely accept and distribute funds. This session will highlight case studies of entities who have had to address these issues – and the tips they have to help other governments prepare for the unforeseen.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
411
Speaker
Managing Director
PFM Asset Management, LLC
Speaker
City Treasurer / Deputy Finance Director
City of Pasadena
Speaker
Chief Investment Officer
City of Albuquerque
Speaker
Treasurer
City and County of San Francisco

Many large governments approach their investing strategies with a strategic approach. Balancing risk and return help them to achieve their constituents’ expectations of optimizing taxpayer-provided resources. However, the key tenets of safety, liquidity, and return remain intact. This interactive session will provide an opportunity for larger entities to discuss: various aspects of their investment programs, events on the horizon that could impact public sector investing, and share other investing ideas and experiences with their peers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Accountant
City of Peoria
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Simmons Bank
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administrative Services
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Every government finance officer worries about internal and external fraud exposures facing their government. Even the most robust policies and controls may not prepare a government against the fraud of the future. This session will highlight various fraud schemes involving internal and external sources. Attendees will also learn about methods for identifying fraud, and how to have appropriate internal controls to safeguard against such events.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Innovation Practice Lead
Change and Innovation Agency
Speaker
Department Fiscal Administrator
City of San Antonio, TX
Speaker
Executive Director
Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, Inc.
Speaker
Economist
California Legislative Analyst’s Office

Whether new taxes are supported by the community or not, the finance officer plays an important role in tax administration by ensuring that taxes are collected efficiently, fairly, and correctly. Speakers in this session will discuss how governments implemented new sales taxes, marijuana taxes, sugar taxes, land taxes, business taxes, or adjusted existing taxes to changes in legislation, court rulings, or citizen behavior governments. In addition, speakers will highlight key impacts that governments can expect from the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision and the streamline sales tax initiative.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
152
Speaker
Deputy Director of Finance
City of Kansas City, MO
Speaker
Senior Vice President, Market Leader
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Speaker
Deputy Treasurer
Town of Cary, NC

GFOA recommends that governments procure banking services through an RFP process, which are discussed in GFOA’s RFP for Banking Services Checklist. Industry experts will discuss how governments should determine their banking services needs related to credit card processing, cash management, and general treasury operations, and know the types of banking services available. In addition to establishing the criteria for a banking services RFP, Industry experts will also address selecting the right bank for your entity, negotiating banking services contracts and fees associated with various services