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GFOA Newsletter
February 25, 2016
Financial Policy Drives Outcomes in Boulder

The implementation of financial policies often yields strong, positive results for local governments over time. The City of Boulder, Colorado, is an example – the use of financial policies allowed the city to identify the best courses of action, establish parameters in which the government would operate, and develop standards to use in judging the government’s fiscal performance. 

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Association News
Don’t Delay ─ Register Today for GFOA’s Annual Conference

GFOA’s Annual Conference, May 22−25, will feature more than 60 educational sessions on topics related to accounting and financial reporting, auditing, budgeting, capital planning, debt administration, economic development, pension and benefit administration, and treasury and investment management.

Come hear leading practitioners and recognized experts in the field of public finance discuss case studies, lessons learned, and innovative approaches to addressing common challenges. Speakers, both U.S. and Canadian, will provide delegates with a unique and valuable opportunity to network and share with a wide variety of state and local government public finance practitioners.

Register today! If you’re unable to attend the full conference or interested in sending your junior staff to participate, take advantage of the one-day rate on May 23 or May 24. Download the registration form to complete and submit to the GFOA.

If you have questions about the conference, refer to GFOA’s FAQs or e-mail GFOA Conference.

Apply for a First-Time Attendee Scholarship
Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state or province in the amount of the full-conference registration fee to first-time conference attendees who are GFOA active (government) members. To apply for a scholarship, e-mail First Annual Conference.


  • All delegates traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport. Please plan ahead. Obtaining a passport can take approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Information on applying for or renewing a passport / Information for first-time passport application
  • U.S. citizens driving to Toronto will need one of the following to get back into the United States: U.S. passport, passport card, enhanced driver’s license, Trusted Traveler Program card (Nexus, Sentri, Fast), U.S. Military ID card (when on official orders), U.S. merchant mariner document (when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business), or form I-872 American Indian Card. Click here for more information.
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New to Government? Get Up to Speed with GFOA’s Immersion Courses in Chicago

Maximize your training opportunities by registering for the following subject-intensive courses held at GFOA’s offices in Chicago, Illinois.

Training for new budget analysts, March 15 to 18. If you’re a new or an intermediate analyst, or new to government and looking to gain important budgeting skills, sign up for GFOA’s Budget Analyst Training Academy, March 15–18. This course will cover essential elements of public-sector budgeting, including goal setting, program development, revenue and expense analysis, position budgeting, capital budgeting, and more.

Earn 30 CPE credits with your participation. Click here for details and to register today. Please note the new course times: Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Wednesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Network with other accountants and auditors new to the public sector, April 11−15. Accountants and auditors who are new to the public sector face immediate and daunting challenges in familiarizing themselves with the highly specialized rules, guidelines, and practices applicable to state and local governments. GFOA’s Accounting Academy: An Intensive Introduction to Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting, April 11−15, is intended for those who already possess at least a basic knowledge of private-sector accounting. The session will combine lecture, discussion, and exercises to help newcomers make this difficult but essential transition.

Earn 32 CPE credits with your participation. Click here for details and to register today.

Contact GFOA with Questions.
Last Chance to Save on GFOA Elected Official’s Guide Sets

There’s only a few days left to get a 29% discount on GFOA’s popular Elected Official’s Guide Sets! The series covers accounting, budgeting, cash management and debt, management, monitoring and control, and pensions and benefits. You can order a starter or a complete set to fit your financial management needs.

GFOA’s Elected Official’s guides provides practical and easy-to-understand explanations – in plain language – on a variety of public finance topics. Using a simple question-and-answer format, each booklet provides a thorough introduction to a single topic. They are ideal for distribution to newly elected officials, government employees, citizen and taxpayer groups, the media, and anyone who is interested in local government finance.

Download the publication titles listing and submit the enclosed order form to GFOA. Enter code GFOA29 on the order form. (This offer expires on February 29, 2016. The discount cannot be applied when ordering online using GFOA’s e-store. The offer applies to new publication orders only and cannot be combined with any other discount.)

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Correction: Popular Annual Financial Reporting Awards Program Award Winners

The listing of GFOA’s Popular Annual Financial Reporting Awards Program winners, published February 19, failed to include the jurisdictions from the State of Missouri. Following are the winners from that state:

Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District, Blue Spring, Creve Coeur, Des Pere, Jefferson, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System, Richmond Heights, Webster Groves
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GFOA Announces Most Recent Canadian Award for Financial Reporting Winners

GFOA established the Canadian Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAnFR) in 1986 to help Canadian local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles, as set by the Public Sector Accounting Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. Following are the CAnFR winners for the fiscal year ended in 2014.

City of Airdrie, City of Brooks, City of Calgary, City of Edmonton, City of Lethbridge, City of Medicine Hat, City of St. Albert, County of Lethbridge, County of Newell, Parkland County, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County, Town of Stony Plain, Town of Taber

British Columbia
City of Abbotsford, City of Burnaby, City of Coquitlam, City of Duncan, City of Fort St. John, City of Kamloops, City of Kelowna, City of Maple Ridge, City of Port Alberni, City of Port Moody, City of Richmond, City of Salmon Arm, City of Surrey, City of Vernon, City of Victoria, Corporation of the City of Port Coquitlam, Corporation of the District of Central Saanich, Corporation of the District of North Cowichan, Corporation of the District of Pitt Meadows, Corporation of the District of Saanich, District of Coldstream, District of Kent, District of Lake County, District of Mission, District of Sechelt, District of West Vancouver, Sunshine Coast Regional District, Town of Oliver, Town of Sidney

New Brunswick
City of Moncton

Northwest Territories
City of Yellowknife

City of Greater Sudbury, City of Mississauga, City of Toronto, Corporation of the City of Brampton, Corporation of the City of Brantford, Corporation of the City of Markham, Corporation of the Town of Oakville, County of Wellington, Regional Municipality of Durham, Regional Municipality of Halton, Regional Municipality of Niagara, Regional Municipality of Peel, Regional Municipality of York, Town of Caledon, Town of Milton, Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake

City of Prince Albert, City of Regina

City of Whitehorse

Thanks to the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting Program Reviewers

Cathy An, Finance Manager, Corporate Financial Reporting, The City of Calgary, Alberta; Mark Beauparlant, Manager, Corporate Financial Services, City of Mississauga, Ontario; Kris Boland, Manager of Finance, District of Mission, British Columbia; Archie G. Johnston, Partner KPMG Government Services, Burnaby, British Columbia; Aleks Nelson, Senior Financial Advisor, Alberta Municipal Affairs; Chris Parkins, Manager, Financial Advisory, Alberta Municipal Affairs; Antonella Risi, Principal, Public Sector Accounting, CPA Canada; Scott Ross, Manager of Accounting Services – Finance Department, District of Mission, British Columbia; Curtis Smith, Manager, Policy & Risk Management, Finance Department, Regina, Saskatchewan; Peggy Tollett, Treasurer, Town of Caledon, Ontario; Kevin Travers, Audit Partner, KPMG, Toronto, Ontario; Theresa Trott, Finance & Payroll Analyst, Town of Gravenhurst, Ontario; Mike Veenbaas, Director of Financial Services, Fraser Valley Regional District, British Columbia; Kaleigh Wills, Manager of Financial Reporting and Accounting Services, City of Winnipeg, Manitoba

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News Links
Engaging Residents Can Transform Distressed Neighborhoods
The lack of affordable housing, combined with the ongoing challenges associated with older, obsolete, and rundown housing, have resulted in distressed neighborhoods that offer little opportunity for residents. Evaluating the Role of Local Government and Project Stakeholder Engagement in Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Planning and Implementation, a new research report published by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) explores the role of local governments and citizen engagement in transforming distressed neighborhoods. Chief among the report’s findings is that local governments need to consider the economic and social needs of public housing residents to ensure successful transformation of the greater neighborhood. Traditional neighborhood improvement planning focuses largely on the built environment. Based on the three report case studies, however, improving the lives of public housing and neighborhood residents requires strategic planning around the delivery of social and economic services as well.
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Tips for Government Tweets

Encouraging talented employees to tweet about what’s going on in the jurisdiction is a great way to keep a government’s social presence authentic and compelling – but policies and education are obviously needed. An article from Careers in Government provides tips including how to find the experts, make the best use of their Twitter talents, and establish effective social media polices.

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Innovative Approaches Get Things Done in Two Cities

One way to provide valuable services in these days of constrained resources is to try something new. For instance, in its first six months, the City of Detroit’s Improve Detroit smartphone app was downloaded more than 6,500 times, and more than 10,000 complaints made via the app have been closed, the Smart Cities Council reports. Another approach, from Schenectady, New York, is to “borrow” the expertise of GE retirees from nearby Wise Labs, which connects experienced scientists and engineers to businesses and investors who can help them take their innovations to market.

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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Jeffrey Esser

The GFOA Newsletter (ISSN 1051-6964) is published weekly by
the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
Correspondence regarding editorial and/or business matters should be sent to
GFOA, 203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60601-1210. Phone - 312/977-9700 FAX - 312/977-4806.


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