2016 Winter News

President's Message
Presidents Message
by Source

Sarah Koser, FGFOA President

Wow! This year is going by really fast. I cannot believe that we already had the annual School of Governmental Finance (SOGF) in Sanibel. The School was a great success with 225 participants for the school and 31 for the Beginner Boot Camp. Jennifer Desrosiers and her SOGF Committee put together an excellent program for our attendees. Many thanks to all of the volunteers, the Florida League of Cities staff, and those who participated by attending this high quality program.

Along with the School there were review classes for our CGFO candidates. There were 90 candidates who attended the review classes, 105 CGFO Candidates sitting for exams on Friday with 315 exams administered. Kelly Strickland, Chair, and her committee have been working hard this year and are looking at some helpful changes for current CGFOs. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.

So what next . . . . well, we have an ad hoc committee that is developing a new series of seminars, the first for February 17, 2017, in the Orlando area. These will be one-day trainings on topics divergent from those usually addressed at the SOGF and Annual Conference. Due to the topics, we have labeled this our “Divergent Series” of seminars. Donna Wright is heading up the ad hoc committee and information regarding the February seminar should be coming out very soon.So save the date and be on the lookout for more information on this informative program.

Following soon after that will be the first Beginner Boot Camp as a stand-alone event.It will be conducted at the Embassy Suites North in Altamonte Springs on March 15 and 16. We have been able to secure Dr. Lynda Dennis to once again teach this extremely popular class. Stay tuned for registration information since this event usually sells out in record time. For the SOGF it was filled two hours after the registration opened. So keep your eyes on your e-mail and your fingers on the keyboard ready to register!

In April we have the second Leadership FGFOA class in Orlando. This is a full week of intense Leadership training. The ad hoc Leadership committee, Chaired by Nicole Gasparri, are currently reviewing the applications for selection of this year’s participants. The participants should be announced in the near future so keep an eye on the FGFOA website and those e-mail blasts.

In June we will be in Hollywood for our Annual Conference. The Program Committee, Chaired by Frank DiPaolo, is busy developing an outstanding line up of speakers and topics for this annual event. The Host Committee, Co-Chaired by Johnna Agin and Susan Nabors, are busy putting together fun events for our “down-time” in Hollywood. This promises to be a great event so mark your calendars for June 24-28 in Hollywood!

Along with all of these programs, our Board, Committee Chairs, Committee Members, League Staff, and all of our volunteers have been working on various other items. Watch for the revitalized Mentoring Program, increase in social media, the ACE award application, more on Emerging Leaders Network, upcoming Legislation information, and so much more that I’m sure I have left out.

On October 17th, I had the privilege to attend the Palm Beach Chapter meeting in Lake Worth.Dean Mead, Senior Research Manager of GASB provided a presentation on GASB 68 and possible modifications to GASB 34. It was my also my privilege to attend and speak at the Big Bend Chapter meeting on December 2nd in Tallahassee. This is one of our newer chapters and it was great to see how well they are doing. The work being done at the local level is a testament to the great leaders of the chapters. If you are not currently a member of a local chapter, join one.If there is not a local chapter in your area, get together with some peers and start one.If you need help, contact me and I will help you get one started.

And finally, with Thanksgiving just behind us and Christmas and the New Year on fast approach, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

 

Thank you,

Sarah Koser
FGFOA President


Local Chapter News
Certification Committee
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Kelly Strickland, Certification Committee Chair

The Certification Committee has had a very eventful Fall! This committee is responsible for administering and overseeing the CGFO program. We had great attendance for the 2016 School of Governmental Finance CGFO review courses which introduced several new instructors, and over 100 candidates sat for the exam.

The CGFO Designation

• Distinguishes you as a business professional who is committed to a strict code of ethics

• Confirms substantial knowledge of accounting, finance and important related fields and demonstrates the ability to integrate this information into the business decision process

• Demonstrates your commitment to personal professional development

• Provides an opportunity to assess and demonstrate capabilities and expand knowledge base

• Distinguishes you from peers and proves your commitment to excellence and lifelong learning

• Expanded career options

• Identifies you as a motivated professional for hiring, recognition and advancement purposes

• Provides personal satisfaction.

The Applications and Renewals Subcommittee, chaired by Matt Misco

The Applications and Renewals Subcommittee reviewed and approved 28 CGFO applications this quarter. Members continue to do an excellent job returning these applications in a timely manner. Thanks again to everyone who participated.

CGFO Renewals were due by July 31, with a percentage subject to a random audit. Once this process has been completed, members will be notified of their status.

To those interested in earning the CGFO designation, please be aware that the application deadline to sit for the Spring exam was January 15th. The application and program and the deadline to apply for the fall exams is September 15th.  Requirements can be found on the FGFOA website.

The Exam and Review Subcommittee, chaired by Jeremy Baker

During the School of Governmental Finance, held October 23rd – 28th at the Sanibel Harbor Marriott Resort, over 100 CGFO candidates took over 300 exams towards their certification. This would not have been possible without the assistance of our instructors: Sara Koser and Kelly Strickland (Accounting and Financial Reporting), Barry Skinner and Matthew Pazanski (Treasury Management), Olga Rabel and Ann Marie Ricardi (Budgeting), John McKinney and Cheryl Miller (Financial Administration) and Tom Klinker (Debt Management). Also, a special thank you goes to our exam proctors: Jeremy Baker, Matt Misco, Olga Rabel, Uyen Le, Lorrie Simmons, Kelly Strickland, and Cheryl Miller. We wish all of the candidates the best of luck on their exams.


Conference Host Committee
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Susan Nabors, Conference Host Committee Chair

The Conference Host Committee continues to work on plans for the Annual Conference including the Opening Session, Association Night, President’s Reception, Hospitality Night, Tuesday Night Event, and more.

At our committee conference call on November 7th, we discussed the progress of the Tuesday Night Event and President’s Reception.The conference logo has been finalized and thanks goes out to the Theme/Logo sub-committee who did a great job developing it.The sub-committees continue working in their respective areas to make the 2017 FGFOA Conference another amazing conference!


Member and Leadership Development Committee
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Karen Keith, Member & Leadership Development Committee Chair

The Member and Leadership Development Committee is moving forward on several projects:

  • ACE Awards Subcommittee, Subcommittee Chair Traci Hildreth 
    The application for the ACE Awards is online!In the past there were two specific categories for the ACE Award.For 2017, the subcommittee revamped the award to include ANY innovation or exceptional practice.So make sure your government applies and is recognized! To submit an application, go to the FGFOA website

  • Coaching Program Subcommittee, under Subcommittee Chair Jennifer Howland
    The Coaching Program is in full swing.The team plans to officially kick off the new program at the Annual Conference in 2017.Be on the look-out for an announcement soon! 
  • Emerging Leaders Subcommittee, under Subcommittee Chair Teri Butler
    The subcommittee wrote a survey, which you may have participated in, to find out more about how Emerging Leaders want to be engaged.The feedback very informative!The subcommittee is now moving forward on some fun and exciting plans to engage and develop our emerging leaders.Stay tuned!

  • Student Recruitment Subcommittee, under Subcommittee Chair Darrel Thomas
    After feedback from the Board, the team will help to facilitate internship opportunities between municipalities and college/universities via the FGFOA membership, website, and other social media in order to attract students to careers in government finance.The subcommittee plans to roll out and market  the program by late Spring/early summer before next semester.

School of Governmental Finance Committee
by Source

Governmental Finance Committee Jennifer Desrosiers, SOGF Committee Chair

The 2016 School of Governmental Finance Committee is so proud of all the work that resulted in an amazing program and would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one who helped to really make this year shine!From volunteers from around the state, to the Florida League of Cities staff and FGFOA Board members, you all made this awesome educational program really rock!We heard a lot of positive feedback and are energized by the challenge of making next year even better when we are at the Omni in Jacksonville Florida from October 23-27, 2017.

The School of Governmental Finance Committee is very excited for next year and we have already had our kick-off meeting!BUT, it is never too late to get involved in your School, so if you want to join the committee, be a speaker, or if you have a presentation idea, please contact Jennifer Desrosiers or any committee member for assistance.

Watch for additional details and we hope you plan to join us at the 2017 School of Governmental Finance!


Technical Resource Committee
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Melissa Burns, Technical Resource Committee Chair

Melissa Burns, Chief Financial Officer, City of St. Augustine Beach/Chair, Technical Resources Committee After its September 2016 meeting the Government Finance Officers’ Association released two new best practices on Cash Flow Analysis and Investment Policy and updated four others on Hybrid Retirement Plan Design, Establishing and Administering an OPEB Trust, OPEB Governance and Administration and Educating Employees About the Adequacy of Retirement Benefits. Below is an overview of the two new best practices and a brief synopsis of what was updated on the other four.

Cash Flow Analysis

Simply put, the GFOA recommends that governments need to perform cash flow analysis on an on-going basis to make sure that there is sufficient cash available to meet their disbursement needs while also limiting their idle cash. There are six elements outlined that should be included when conducting cash flow analysis. They are:

·Create a pool of unrestricted operating funds from all government funds, essentially creating one pot of money for all routine operating obligations. This makes a more efficient analysis.

·Consider historical information and projected financial activity.

·Compare actual cash flow results with projections and find out why there are variances in the analysis.

·Make conservative assumptions about both the cash receipts and disbursement portions of the analysis and update on a regular basis

·Monitor cash position daily to ensure sufficient liquidity, and accuracy of the analysis should be evaluated quarterly.

·Choose an appropriate tool for conducting the cash flow analysis whether it is a spreadsheet or a more complex system.

In addition to the above elements, the cash flow analysis should encourage the government to communicate decisions that could affect cash inflows and outflows.

Investment Policy

The GFOA recommends that all governments establish a comprehensive written investment policy and this policy should be reviewed and updated annually. This policy should include the following:

·Scope and investment objectives

·Roles, responsibilities, and standards of care

·Suitable and authorized investments

·Investment diversification

·Safekeeping, custody, and internal controls

·Authorized financial institutions, depositories, and broker/dealers

·Risk and performance standards

·Reporting and disclosure standards

Below is a brief overview of what was revised on the four best practices:

·Hybrid Retirement Plan Design – revised to reflect continued evolution of hybrid plan designs.

·Establishing and Administering an OPEB Trust – revised to align with language related to the January 2016 best practice.

·OPEB Governance and Administration – revised to align the best practice with the Sustainable Funding Practices for Defined Benefit Pensions and Other Postemployment Benefits

·Educating Employees About the Adequacy of Retirement Benefits – updated to address elements of a sound educational program as well as guidance for employers to inform and educated employees on their future retirement income and the variables that could affect it.

References:

GFOA Best Practice, “Cash Flow Analysis”, 2016.
GFOA Best Practice, “Investment Policy”. 2016.
GFOA Newsletter, December 1, 2016.


Webinar Committee
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Brandy Ferris, Webinar Committee Chair

Since the last Committee Report in October, there has been little activity due to the Webinar schedule – which excluded webinars for October and November. However, webinars for December and January were a big success and preparation has begun for the February webinar, which we hope to be a great success!

The webinar titled “Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) & Healthcare Reform Update/Wellness Initiatives in the Workplace” will be held on February 16, 2017. The speakers for the webinar will be David Cruz, Assistant General Counsel, Florida League of Cities and Clay Austin, Assistant Director of Trust Services, Florida League of Cities. 

The future webinar calendar is below. So far, speakers for all webinars are confirmed with the exception of the July 2017 and August 2017 webinars. The Committee is working diligently to finalize these webinars and we hope to have them ready soon.  

GFOA Budget Award AA  4/20/2017 John Fischbein – CONFIRMED 

Legislative Update TB  5/16/2017 Amber Hughes/Davin Suggs – CONFIRMED
Please Note: The May webinar will be held on Tuesday the 16th rather than a Thursday.           

 FGFOA Basic Government Resource Manual  AA  7/20/2017

 Fiduciary Responsibility for DC/457 Plans  AA  8/17/2017

               

Social Media Ad Hoc Committee
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Jason S. Loschiavo, Social Media Ad-Hoc Committee Chair

The Social Media Ad-Hoc committee has continued it works towards developing a new social media strategy for the FGFOA. The committee has developed guidelines and benchmarks and has worked on updating the social media policy originally developed in 2012. The committee will be continuing to work on finalizing the project.