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GFOA Newsletter
August 31, 2017
Best Practices to Help You Implement GFOA’s Smarter School Spending Framework

The need for better budgeting is ever more pressing given the constant pressure to provide high-quality services with limited resources. This is especially true in school districts, where budget decisions can affect the education of future generations. GFOA’s best practices in school budgeting focus on a comprehensive budget process framework for academic and finance collaboration to best align resources and desired student outcomes.

The framework is organized around the following five phases:

  1. Plan and prepare. That includes establishing a partnership between the finance and instructional leaders, developing principles and policies to guide the budget process, and identifying communications strategy.
  2. Set instructional priorities. Develop goals, identify root cause of gap between goal and current state, research and develop potential instructional priorities, and evaluate choices among instructional priorities.
  3. Pay for priorities. Apply cost analysis to the budget process and evaluate and prioritize use of resources to enact the instructional priorities.
  4. Implement your plan. Develop a strategic financial plan, develop a plan of action, allocate resources to individual school sites, and develop a budget presentation.
  5. Ensure sustainability by putting your strategies into practice and evaluating your results.

The best practices are available online or collected in a booklet. GFOA also provides additional resources, including tools for implementing recommendations and case studies on ways districts are using the framework.

Read More.
Association News
Register by Tomorrow to Save on the October Offering of GFOA’s Second Annual Better Budgeting Web-Stream Event

Are you looking for ways to budget better? Don’t miss GFOA’s Second Annual Better Budgeting web-stream event from 1:00 to 5:00 pm (Eastern) on October 5, 2017, (with an encore presentation on January 11, 2018). Sign up by tomorrow to save with an early registration discount on the October course offering.

Click here to read about the topics to be covered during the new 4-hour training as well as view a list of presenters. Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation.

Register now! Brochure, including registration form / Online

Save with group discounts. Please submit the training registration form and attach the group spreadsheet. Group discounts cannot be processed through online registration.

 If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

Read More.
We Want to Hear from You About This Year’s GAAP Update

GFOA’s 22nd Annual Governmental GAAP Update web-stream event will take place from 1:00 to 5:00 pm (Eastern) on November 2, 2017, (with encore presentations on December 7, 2017, and January 18, 2018).

For the program we’re looking to address real-life challenges that you’re facing in your government. If you have a question involving accounting and financial reporting issues that you would like covered, please submit it to gaapupdate@gfoa.org by September 14, 2017. Please note that we will attempt to answer as many questions as we can during the program; however, we cannot guarantee that all questions submitted will be answered.

If you’re not yet registered to participate in the GAAP Update, sign up today! Brochure, including registration form / Online

Save with early and group discounts. Please submit the training registration form and attach the group spreadsheet. Group discounts cannot be processed through online registration. 

Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

Read More.
News Links
Transit Agency Moves Buses to Higher Ground, Saving Fleet from Hurricane Harvey

As Hurricane Harvey loomed, Harris County, Texas, figured out a way to protect a bus fleet parked in a low-lying area, RouteFifty reports. The agency moved the buses “to a high-occupancy vehicle lane in the center of Interstate 69, which is elevated and safely out of reach from the floodwaters, and lined the buses up, 120 of them, one by one for “a literal mile (and then some).” It was a good move, helping the city avoid repair and replacement costs while also making the fleet available to get service restarted as soon as possible.

Read More.
Public Employees Overwhelmingly Choose Pensions over Defined Contribution Plans

Public-sector employees with a choice in their retirement plans overwhelmingly choose defined benefit (DB) pension plans over defined contribution (DC) individual accounts, according to a recent study by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). The DB pension take-up rates in 2015 were 80% or more for four of the eight plans studied, and 95% for two of the plans. Even when the retirement plan default option favors a DC plan, most employees still select a DB pension plan. 

Read More.
Harness the Power of Positive Reinforcement

Surveys of approximately 16,000 managers found that 44% of respondents found it stressful and difficult to give negative feedback. Close to 40% of leaders said they never provided positive reinforcement, either, according to Government Executive. At the same time, the study found that a willingness to give positive feedback was the strongest predictor of being perceived as an effective, honest communicator.

Most leaders “vastly underestimate the power and necessity of positive reinforcement, and an abundance of research shows that giving positive feedback increases employees’ sense that they’re learning and growing at their jobs, makes them feel valued, and leads to increased confidence and competence,” the article says. “A 2015 Gallup survey found that 67% of employees whose managers communicated their strengths were fully engaged in their work, as compared to 31% of employees whose managers only communicated their weaknesses.”

The article provides a simple formula for providing positive feedback: “Be specific, discuss the impact of the other person’s behavior, and show your gratitude.”

Read More.
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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Chris Morrill 

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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