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GFOA Newsletter
March 9, 2017
The Case for Electronic Payments
Moving funds electronically is efficient, effective, and common within local government; however, many governments still rely on producing paper checks to distribute funds. This method is not only costly, but it includes additional risk for fraud, requires additional handling and processing time, and is more difficult to track than using electronic payments. Using electronic payments eliminates the storage, handling, and processing of paper checks, reduces the time spent on reconciliation, eliminates the occurrence of lost or stolen checks and the cost of check reissuance, reduces security risks, and improves the tracking of payments through enterprise resource planning systems and integration with banking technologies.
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Association News
Help GFOA Research Financial Crisis Planning

Organizations plan and prepare for natural disasters, but do they do the same for potential financial crisis? GFOA is working on a project that will use real-life experiences with developing and implementing financial crisis policy to illustrate successful strategies and principles used by local governments. You can help by sending us the details of your endeavors. Please send related correspondence to Emily Jensen.

Improve Your Leadership Skills at GFOA’s Annual Conference

GFOA’s 111th Annual Conference, May 21–24, in Denver, Colorado, will feature many opportunities for finance officers to hone their leadership and management skills. Sessions focused on project management, managing teams, recruiting and identifying new employees, and how to improve communication will allow you to advance in your career and become a more valuable asset to your organization’s leadership team. GFOA recognizes the need to develop finance officers as organizational leaders and this is a key strategy to help create sustainable and financial resilient organizations. Register by April 6 to save with an advanced discounted registration fee.

An Opportunity Not to Be Missed! Click here for details on how to apply for GFOA’s first-time annual conference attendee scholarship or share the information with a colleague. Please note that all 50 scholarships are committed for the States of California and Colorado.

We look forward to seeing you in Denver! If you have any questions about the Annual Conference, contact GFOA.

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Cost, Risk, and Customer Service: Learn How to Manage an Effective Revenue Collection Function

Finance officers are faced with many difficult decisions in establishing and managing a government revenue collection function. Learn how to balance the need for process efficiency, strong internal controls, new technology, and citizen expectations by registering for GFOA’s preconference seminar, Cost, Risk, and Customer Service: Managing an Effective Revenue Collection, May 20, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, in Denver, Colorado.

The session will feature several case studies from governments that have successfully implemented a modern revenue collection function, taking advantage of innovations in technology and banking services, while maintaining effective internal controls and mitigating risks. Speakers will discuss opportunities for centralized collections, better integration from across the organization within a financial system, and acceptable payment options.

Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation. Read more and register today for this preconference seminar and GFOA’s other preconference seminars.

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Stay Current with Developments and Trends in Government Finance

Register for GFOA’s upcoming training seminars and unite with peers from across the United States and Canada whose careers, studies, or interests involve government financial management. View GFOA’s latest training guide and check out an expanded calendar listing here. Keep watch for more listings to be added.

Space is limited so register today! If you have any questions about GFOA’s training seminars, contact GFOA.

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Jurisdictions Win Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award for First Time

GFOA would like to congratulate the following jurisdictions for receiving GFOA’s Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) Award for the first time: City of Geneva, Illinois; Village of Oswego, Illinois; and Village of Winfield, Illinois.

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News Links
The Majority of Americans Support Retirement Plans and Public Pensions

Three-fourths of Americans surveyed by the National Institute on Retirement said they are concerned about economic conditions affecting their ability to achieve a secure retirement. A new study, Retirement Security 2017: America's View of the Retirement Crisis and Solutions, also found that 82% of Americans view pensions favorably, and 85% say all workers should have access to a pension plan so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement. In addition, respondents strongly support pensions for police officers and firefighters (90%), and teachers (81%).

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Questions to Help Your Strategies Succeed

Leaders often succeed because they’re able to ask questions that help envision the future, assess risk and reward, and anticipate trends, according to Leadership Now. Strategic questions, which look at the big picture, asking about long-term goals, interests, and priorities, require the following steps:

  • Start with “big question” items that define your strategy; these are the basic issues like “what are you trying to do?” and “Why?”
  • “Cost and consequence” questions are about the steps required to achieve your objective; they should be specific and include practical issues like costs and consequences.
  • “Trade-off” questions address the negatives you aren’t thinking about to determine the winners and losers.
  • “Alternatives” questions look for a better way of achieving the same outcome.
  • It’s also crucial to ask questions that will define success, including how it will be measured and over what period of time. 
  • Next, it’s time to listen. “Invite questions from a wide range of perspectives. Then listen closely, actively. Listen for unexpected obstacles or unexplored risk. Listen for scenarios that call for additional consideration.”
  • Finally, it’s time to bring your idea to a larger group, explaining the reasoning behind it and asking group members to challenge it.
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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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