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GFOA Newsletter
October 27, 2016
EMPLOYMENT ADS  |  TRAINING  |  BEST PRACTICES
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Discover New GFOA Resource Center on Financial Resiliency

In a world of never-ending uncertainty and fiscal challenges, governments need to be resilient, and their leaders need to recognize the importance of financial resilience. Resiliency has an effect on many local government finance functions, including budgeting and planning, risk management, and leadership. GFOA’s new Resource Center on Financial Resiliency includes information from GFOA’s task force on financial resiliency, which has identified characteristics of a resilient organization, along with best practices related to resiliency. You’ll also find links to relevant Government Finance Review articles, GFOA research, and recent presentations on the topic.

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Association News
There’s Still Time to Register for GFOA’s GAAP Update

Learn everything you need to know about the most recent developments in accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments from the convenience of your own computer—take part in GFOA’s 21st Annual Governmental GAAP Update web-streaming event. The training will take place on November 3, 2016, with an encore presentation on December 1, 2016, both at 1 to 5 pm (Eastern).

GAAP Update Presentation Link
Everyone who is registered for the November offering will receive an e-mail from GFOA Announcements on November 1. This e-mail will contain the program link, presentation slides, and steps to follow to log onto the program. (All registered participants for the December offering will be e-mailed the link on November 29.)

Register Today: Brochure and registration form / Register online

Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation. If you have any questions about the training, e-mail GFOA Training.

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Start 2017 with GFOA Training

Get a jumpstart on your 2017 training schedule by signing up to participate in one or more of the following training seminars in January.

  • Don’t Miss GFOA’s New Internet Course, Internal Control for Information Technology: Getting it Right, January 11, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m. (Eastern). This course will examine the most significant risks associated with the latest applications of information technology and provide participants practical guidance on how to avoid or mitigate those risks.

    In recent years, governments have dramatically increased the automation and integration of their business processes and application controls as a result of the widespread move to enterprise resource provider (ERP) systems, many of which are maintained “in the cloud” by third-party vendors. These developments have created significant internal control challenges that the authoritative standard-setting body for internal control, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO), sought to address in its recently revised and expanded guidelines, Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013). The new version of the COSO guidelines place special emphasis on the need for organizations to update their framework of internal control (policies, procedures, business processes, etc.) to manage the risks created by changes in information technology and its application.

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

    Read more and register.

  • JUST ADDED! Register for GFOA’s New Internet Course, Implementing Fair Value Accounting, January 18, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m. (Eastern). Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 72, Fair Value Measurement and Application, affects virtually all state and local governments, and its implementation has raised many practical questions for financial statement preparers. This course will combine lecture and exercises to review the key elements of the new standard, placing special emphasis on the practical implementation challenges that face financial statement preparers and how to resolve them.

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

    Read more and register.
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GFOA Training is Coming to Long Beach, California

GFOA will provide group-live courses at the Westin Long Beach, January 23-27, 2017.

Discounts available. Take advantage of an early registration discount when you sign up and pay in full by December 23, 2016. Register with your colleagues to receive 10% off of each registration fee. (To receive the group discount, registrations must be received and paid together. The discount cannot be applied to online training registrations.)

Rooms and activities. A block of rooms has been reserved for GFOA attendees at the Westin Long Beach. Click here for more information about special GFOA group rates. For ideas on what to do while in Long Beach, go to Visit Long Beach.

Register. Submit a training registration form or sign up online using GFOA’s e-store. If you have any questions about GFOA training, 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: Citrus County, Florida, and Indian River County, Florida.

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News Links
Succession Planning Remains a Top Concern

Succession planning remains an important workforce issue, but many organizations have not yet developed formal succession plans, according to a survey by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence of International Public Management Association for Human Resources members. According to 33% of respondents, their organization plans to develop a formal succession planning process within the next five years, while 27% are currently developing a formal process, and 11% have a formal process in place. Another 16% do not expect to develop a process in the next five years. Respondents reported a number of barriers to having or developing formal succession plans:

  • 37% say succession planning is not a leadership priority.
  • 19% report a lack of internal expertise.
  • 12% report a lack of financial resources.
  • 5% express a general view that the organization does not need a formal plan.
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Public Entities Can Improve Crisis Communications

Despite the importance of crisis communications, it is often overlooked when organizations develop their crisis response protocols. This is because communicating is a small subset of a government’s response to a crisis, which is largely a physical undertaking, and because public servants “tend to see all communications through the lens of elected officials and political campaigns,” according to American City and County. Governments can do three things to improve their crisis communications:

  • The plan should be well thought out and not simply an add-on to a more comprehensive emergency response plan, laying out the details before the crisis occurs.
  • Someone with real authority has to lead the communications effort, working hand-in-hand to ensure the communications elements of the crisis are being handled with the same seriousness and case as every other aspect of the response.
  • Organizations need technology that will ensure the crisis communications team is responding efficiently and effectively in the event of a crisis, “a tool that (1) allows easy access to the crisis plan, documents, templates, contact lists and other key materials; (2) brings the team together with broader emergency response leaders, so that members can understand evolving circumstances and collaborate on a response; and (3) provides for easy access and version control of statements, talking points, social media messages, and other approved responses — so that everyone on the team knows what the community is saying in response.”
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Citizens Need a Role in Digital Strategy

It is an accepted marketing truth that consumers trust the opinions and content created by other consumers; therefore, with public trust of government continuing to decline, “agencies have an opportunity to increase trust of their services and showcase their city, county, or state to prospective visitors and business owners through the use of user-generated content,” according to GovLoop. The key to having an effective program is a robust digital strategy; governments “need to figure out how to best engage their users while still maintaining a strong brand and providing easy access to their content.” One approach is to “treat social media as a 24/7 customer service desk,” but “even just a simple acknowledgement on social media that’s a promise to follow up on an issue can be beneficial.” The article points out that “citizens increasingly expect a digitally enabled government. And in a digital world, content is king.…User-generated content is more trusted and memorable than other forms of content.”

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Negotiating: Why Good Offers Get Rejected

What’s going on when a reasonable or even generous offer is rejected? You may need a new approach, according to Harvard Business Review. This includes explaining why your request is legitimate, helping your colleague justify the offer internally, respecting the restraints your colleague faces, helping your colleague save face if accepting the offer might make him or her look bad, and providing closure—letting your colleague know that “this gets the deal done.” 

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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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