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GFOA Newsletter
May 12, 2016
EMPLOYMENT ADS  |  TRAINING  |  BEST PRACTICES
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Spotlight on GFOA's Annual Conference Sessions

GFOA’s annual conference sessions will feature public-sector practitioners discussing best practices, lessons learned, or innovative approaches to meeting challenges faced by governments across the United States and Canada. Take a look at some of the offerings--including slides for each session, which will be added early next week.

How to Build a Finance Office. As local governments begin to regain their financial stability, it’s time to make sure that the finance office is in good shape to function efficiently and respond to whatever comes next. At GFOA’s How to Build a Finance Office session (May 22, 2016, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.), find out about how other organizations organize the functions of the finance office, along with factors that lead to organizational restructuring, ways to assess the organization, pathways to reorganization, and ways to address cultural change.

The Accounting and Auditing Year in Review. Learn about the most recent developments in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting that affect state and local governments. Accounting and Auditing Year in Review session (May 23, 10:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.) also considers ongoing emerging issues regarding the GASB Technical Agenda.

Budget Process 101. Having a rigorous budget process becomes increasingly important as governments work to confront 21st century challenges. The Budget Process 101session (May 24, 10:20 a.m. to 12 p.m.) will focus on the budgeting framework developed by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting (NACSLB), and speakers will present implementation tips and lessons learned on implementing NACSLB principles in all organizations.

Lean Finance: Where Are We Now? A number of years ago, Lean and Six Sigma process improvement entered the consciousness of the public-finance profession, bringing great expectations for improved efficiency and better service. A number of governments have committed to these continuous improvement philosophies, but what have the results been? At the Lean Finance: Where Are We Now? session (May 25, 10:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.), we will review the progress that local governments have made, the lessons they have learned along the way, and the implications for you.

Take a look at all the sessions being offered at GFOA’s annual conference.

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Association News

GFOA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
See You Soon in Toronto!

Thank you to the participants who have registered so far to attend GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, Sharing Solutions & Strategies, May 22−25, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If haven’t yet registered, go to GFOA’s website today to sign up online or download the registration form, which you can mail, fax, or scan and e-mail to GFOA. 

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GFOA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Your Attendee and Exhibitor/Delegate Badges Are in the Mail

If you do not receive your conference badge or Conference Finale ticket in the mail or need to make a change to your badge, go to GFOA Registration on the 600 level of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during conference registration hours. You’ll see signs indicating where you can pick up your badge or make changes. GFOA conference registration hours follow:

  • Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 22, 9 a.m.– 5 p.m.
  • Monday, May 23, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 8:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 25, 8 a.m.– 12 p.m.

GFOA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Enhance Your Experience: Plan Ahead!

Check out GFOA’s conference program guide before you arrive in Toronto. Any changes to the program will be made available on the conference update page on GFOA’s website, at the GFOA Message Center, and in the GFOA Today newspaper, available onsite.

GFOA’s mobile site (m.gfoa.org) is a convenient tool for finding out the latest conference information, find sessions, look up maps for the city and the convention center, filter exhibitors, and connect to GFOA’s social media.

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto! If you have questions about the conference, go to GFOA’s FAQs or contact GFOA.

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GFOA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Getting There: Travel Resources for a Smooth Trip

After you register for the conference:

  • Reserve your housing online through GFOA’s official hotel block.
  • Toronto is Canada’s largest city and the fourth largest in North America making travel to Toronto easy.
  • Take advantage of a favorable exchange rate.
  • Don’t miss this year’s tours!
  • All delegates traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport.
    Click here for information on accelerated processing.  
  • U.S. citizens who are driving to Toronto will need one of the following to reenter 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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Update Your Profile: Add a Photo!

GFOA members can now add a photo to their membership profiles. This is a great way to easily locate colleagues and to put a face with a name for those colleagues you have not met yet. If you would like to add a photo to your profile, please follow the below instructions:

  • Log in to your member account.
  • Click on “My Account” in the top menu section.
  • Scroll down to the “Your Picture” section and click on the “Edit” tool (pencil symbol) on the right of the screen.
  • Select the picture file to upload and then click on “Save & Close.”
  • The file formats allowed are .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, .BMP, and the maximum file size allowed is 3 MB.

While you’re signed in, we encourage you to confirm that your contact information is current. Simply click the edit tool in the section you need to update. If you’ve forgotten your login information, please e-mail GFOA Logins instead of creating a new account. If you create a new account, it will not be linked to your membership record, and any purchases or registrations will be processed at the higher non-member rate.

Should you have any questions about your profile, contact GFOA Membership.



Take 10 Minutes to Grow your Professional Network by Helping us Grow Ours

One of the many benefits of membership in GFOA is the opportunity to connect and network with nearly 18,700 top public- and private-finance professionals from across the United States and Canada. The goal of GFOA’s new membership referral program is to broaden the network of all our members. Please take 10 minutes to grow your professional network by helping us grow ours. Click here for more information and to submit an application.

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GFOA Alert Recommends Voluntary Public Disclosure of Bank Loans

Over the past five years, the municipal securities market has witnessed a dramatic increase in the use of bank loans by municipal issuers as a tool to finance capital improvements and refund outstanding debt. Bank loans, which may be structured with fixed or variable interest rates and with defined maturities or flexible payment provisions, can offer a number of potential advantages over a public offering of municipal securities. The increasing use of bank loans has recently attracted the attention of regulators such as the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the credit rating agencies, which are growing increasingly concerned about bank loan disclosure practices among municipal issuers.

GFOA recommends that governments provide voluntary public disclosure of bank loans. This alert provides governments with the tools, resources, and best practices they need to prepare voluntary bank loan disclosure. The Bank Loan Alert also encourages governments to keep abreast of the current regulatory environment surrounding bank loan disclosure.

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GFOA Awards 2016 Scholarships 

The GFOA Scholarship Committee met recently to award the 2016 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students preparing for careers in state and local government. Congratulations to all the recipients.

Receiving the $13,000 Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship is Bo Daniel Weichel, who will graduate in December 2016 with a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina. The scholarship is funded by the Girard Miller Foundation.

The recipients of the two awards for the Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship will each receive an $8,000 award funded by the Government Finance Officers Association. They are:

  • Jean Iannuzzi, who will graduate in May 2016 with a Master of Science degree in accounting from Albertus Magnus College.
  • Cassandra J. Roush, who will graduate in September 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Phoenix.

The recipient of the $8,000 Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship is Angela G. Barner, who will graduate in the spring of 2017 with a Master of Science degree in accounting from the Keller Graduate School of Management-DeVry University. The scholarship is funded by Tyler Technologies.

The recipients of the four awards for the Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship will each receive an $8,000 award funded by the Government Finance Officers Association Scholarship Reserve. They are:

  • Kaye M. Matucheski, who will graduate in May 2016 with a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin. 
  • Shonna Neary, who will graduate in May 2019 with a Master’s degree in business administration from Lakeland College.
  • Scott Smith, who will graduate in August 2016 with a Master’s degree in business administration from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.
  • Danielle Denise Young, who will graduate in May 2016 with a Master’s degree in public administration from the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs at Wichita State University.

If you have questions about GFOA’s Scholarship program, please contact Steve Solomon or Peg Hartnett.

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Pension Resource Center Added to Federal Government Relations Page

Continued scrutiny of state and local government retirement plans is expected to last into 2016. GFOA will continue to educate members of Congress about the true fiscal condition of public pension systems, consider whether proposed initiatives provide the flexibility the public sector needs to provide retirement security to its employees, and oppose congressional proposals that undermine state and local governments’ authority to effectively govern and finance their pension plans.

GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center has created a new Pension Resource Center, a repository for pension facts and tools for government finance officers. Our new resource center gives GFOA members the information you need to communicate the true fiscal health of state and local pension systems and the tools to communicate these fairly complex topics to elected officials.

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A Somewhat New Strategy: Marketplace Fairness and a Case for the SCOTUS

GFOA, along with Big Seven members of the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC), have filed amicus briefs in every stage of Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, a Colorado law requiring remote sellers to provide Colorado purchasers with an annual summary of their purchases and to send the same information to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Each amicus brief has cited the devastating impact that the 1992 Quill Corp. v. North Dakota Supreme Court ruling has had on state and local governments in light of the rise of Internet purchases, Congress’s failure to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, and states’ need to improve use tax collection through statutes like Colorado’s.

GFOA continues to work with the SLLC to help communicate the necessity of states’ ability to enforce the collection of use taxes already due to the courts. We will continue to keep members updated on any developments of this case, as well as keeping the success of the Marketplace Fairness Act a priority in GFOA’s legislative activities.

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News Links
GASB Seeks To Identify Governmental Units with Equity Interest Ownership in Legally Separate Entities
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is conducting research on how governments are currently reporting their equity interest ownership in legally separate entities. The GASB fears that current financial reporting in such cases may be inconsistent. As part of its research, GASB staff is requesting that anyone who knows of a governmental unit in that situation communicate the name of that unit to Susannah Baney at smbaney@gasb.org by no later than June 30, 2016.
 
Global Trade Has Intensely Local Effects

Trade and global engagement are important to U.S. city and regional leaders, and local leaders need to help firms and workers navigate the benefits and drawbacks inherent in globalization, according to the Brookings Institution. “They should continue to embrace a bottom-up competitiveness agenda that includes helping firms and institutions tap global demand and investment while arming workers with the skills to adjust to new realities.” The 100 largest metro areas generate 86% of the nation’s exports, attract 74% of jobs from foreign direct investment, and draw 85% of the foreign students investing in an American education, the article notes. 

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Colorado Counties’ Election Costs Decline by 40% 

Colorado’s Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act of 2013 made a number of changes to the state’s voting process, including mandating that mail ballots be sent to every registered voter for most elections; eliminating assigned polling places; establishing voter service and polling centers where any voter in a county can cast a ballot, either early or on Election Day; authorizing in person same-day registration; and shortening the state residency requirements for voter registration. Initial research from the Pew Charitable Trusts included the finding that costs decreased by an average of 40% in five election administration-related categories

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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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