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GFOA Newsletter
October 20, 2016
GFOA Supports National Retirement Security Week

It's National Retirement Security Week, and employees are being urged to take charge of their retirement security by starting to save sooner and saving more.

GFOA supports government policies and practices that help to achieve the dual goals of individual retirement security and economically viable communities. Read GFOA’s Policy Statement on Retirement Security for details.

You can help your employees save for retirement by following GFOA’s best practices, which cover everything from teaching employees about their benefits to creating and maintaining a retirement that they can count on.

Read More.
Association News
There’s Still Time to Register for Next Month’s Training in Chicago

GFOA will host three training seminars at our offices in Chicago, Illinois, November 14−18, 2016. Sign up for one or more of the following courses:

  • Advanced Governmental Accounting – November 14-15. This seminar will examine in detail selected topics in governmental accounting and financial reporting.
  • Advanced Financial Reporting – November 16-17. Participants will examine in detail the format and contents of a CAFR prepared in accordance with both generally accepted accounting principles and the program requirements of GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program.
  • Debt Management for Frequent Issuers – November 18. The course will feature market experts, including Peter Chan, former national director of the SEC’s MCDC Program, and James Spiotto, author of Municipalities in Distress (Second Edition). Attendees will participate in discussions on issues specifically targeted to frequent debt issuers.

Take advantage of our group discount. If you register with three or more colleagues for the same seminar and receive 10% off on each registration fee. (To receive the group discount, registrations must be received and paid together. The discount cannot be applied to online training registrations.)

Register today. Submit a training registration form or sign up using GFOA’s e-store.

A block of rooms has been reserved for GFOA attendees at the Hyatt Place Chicago River North. Click here for more information on special GFOA group rates.

We look forward to your participation. For ideas on what to do while in Chicago, go to Choose Chicago.

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Accounting for Capital Assets
Take Advantage of Year-End CPE Opportunities with
GFOA’s Just-Added Internet Training Session

Most state and local governments use capital assets, some of which are essentially unique to the public sector. Properly accounting for these different assets can pose a real ongoing challenge for accounting and auditing professionals. If you missed GFOA’s popular Internet training course, “How to Account for Capital Assets,” this summer, sign up for the just added repeat offering on December 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. (Eastern).

This interactive training session will combine lecture and exercises to address a number of commonly encountered practice issues including: capitalizable costs, classification, valuation, lifing, impairments, depreciation, financial statement presentation, disclosure, system design, and inventorying. Stephen J. Gauthier—director of GFOA’s Technical Services Center and author of Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (“GAAFR” or “the Blue Book”) and numerous other GFOA publications—will be the presenter.

Earn 2 CPE credits with your participation. If you have any questions about the training, e-mail GFOA Training.

Read More.
News Links
Creating Change-Management Talking Points

During times of change, leaders should consider creating some consistent talking points that will allow you to share what information you can, establish context, and help people stay focused during times of change rather than churning in the rumor mill. Government Executive suggests the following “best practices”:

  • Define the reality of the situation and offer hope. Explain what success will look like after the changes are made.
  • Use straight talk and avoid meaningless mush that doesn’t say anything. “Stick with what you know to be true about reality and why you believe there are reasons to feel hopeful.”
  • Don’t lecture—have conversations. Ask employees what’s on their minds, what they’re hearing, and generally engage with them. 
Read More.
City Fiscal Conditions Nearing Pre-Recession Levels

City finance officers are confident that cities are in a better fiscal position in 2016 than in 2015, with 81% reporting that their cities are better able to meet the financial needs of their communities, according to the National League of Cities annual survey. This level of optimism among finance officers is similar to 2015 and seems to indicate continuing fiscal recovery in cities. As of 2016, revenues have recovered to about 96% of pre-recession (2006) levels. 

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Seattle Becomes a Smarter City

The City of Seattle, Washington, is using smarter use of technology to move people through the city’s downtown core and deal with storm water more effectively, among many other projects, Smart Cities Council reports. The city’s chief technology officer notes that coordination and planning are the biggest challenges; buying one-off solutions when money is available or there is an immediate need prevents enterprise investment in architecture, data sharing/analytics, and operational support. It can also be very difficult to convey the concept of smart cities to key stakeholders, especially considering the other demands on their time. Try to engage leaders in helping identify business challenges where technology can provide value to their department and the public. He identifies the city’s best successes thus far as RainWatch, “a program to protect city infrastructure from flash flooding using a network of sensors to develop hyper-local weather predictions,” and a traffic management system “that uses real time traffic data crowd sourced from the traveling public to improve flow through the downtown core.”

Read More.
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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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