Sessions

Introduction to Accounting

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

The Introduction to Accounting course includes an overview of general accounting concepts, as well as a review of common types of transactions staff will encounter in the workplace and how those transactions are recorded. The course is intended for people new to accounting departments with little or no previous accounting experience, or people who want a refresher on the concepts. Students will learn the basics of debits and credits and double-entry accounting, as well as an introduction to financial reporting. The course will be useful for employees of any sized entity, and the course content is designed to be beneficial for students from both cash basis and accrual entities.

Leave it to Washington

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

Now that Washington will have two state leave laws in full effect, many employers are worried. What if no one shows up to work and employers’ hands are tied? Will employers need to mitigate excessive “leave-stacking” or other leave abuses? If so, how can they do so without losing employee engagement or violating the law?  Discover sound payroll practices to help your organization remain in compliance with these laws while maintaining business as usual.

  • Analyze the mandates of these differing laws, the knowns and unknowns of how and where they intersect, and what it all means for employers.
  • Explore anticipated pain points and recommended best practices to address leave abuse without violating employees’ rights under these new laws.
  • Gain practical tips from a payroll mechanics perspective for successful implementation of PFML and PSL approaches.
  • Understand the importance of educating decision-makers and elected officials about the impact protected leave and time off have on maintaining an acceptable level of staff support.

2019 GFOA CPFO Certification Review Course: Retirement & Benefits, Risk Management, and Procurement

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

This one day course will cover the materials included on the exam specifications for the GFOA Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) Exam on Retirement and Benefits, Risk Management and Procurement. The class will be conducted in lecture-style and be led by Ann Shawver, CPA, CPFO.  All aspects of the exam specifications will be covered, as well as test-taking and preparation guidance.  Following the class, Ann will also continue to be available to participants for any follow up questions, clarity regarding subject matter, and final review prior to sitting for the CPFO exam.

GFOA is now offering testing on-line so there will not be testing held in conjunction with the conference this year. 

More information about the GFOA Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) program and testing applications can be found at https://gfoa.org/cpfo.

Efficient Management of the Public Funds Portfolio

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

Public Fund Investors are faced with a lot of nagging questions.  In this class, we will address a lot of them.

Is your entity better served by retaining an investment advisor or maintaining a DIY portfolio, utilizing brokers?  We will dig into the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Regardless of the approach (advisor or broker) your entity uses, the portfolio may have experienced unrealized losses.  We will discuss how to explain unrealized losses to your council, commissioners, etc.

Additional questions we will address include:

  • Now that corporate bonds are legal for public fund investing in Washington (within limited constraints), what are the advantages and risks of investing in them?
     
  • If you hire an advisor, does that shift bond default risk away from your entity? GFOA has the answer and we will discuss it.
     
  • Should you expect your advisor, broker or anyone else to accurately predict future interest rates and should you "reposition" the portfolio based on those predictions?

In addition, we will go through bond portfolio reporting slowly, page by page, so everyone can follow along.

This class is provided by the same folks that brought you "Public Funds Investing Made Easy", so you can expect us to begin at the most basic ("kindergarten") level, without any jargon, and work our way up from there.

If you are looking for answers to your public fund's investment questions without bias or jargon, this class is for you!

Overview of SAO's Budgeting, Accounting, and Reporting System (BARS) - Cash Basis

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

Class Objectives:
After taking this class, the learner will be able to:
•Explain the purpose of the BARS Manual and why it is required
•Navigate and search the BARS Manual.
•Employ Fund Accounting, including identifying and evaluating Fund Types.
•Use the BARS Chart of Accounts and generate BARS code as prescribed, including:

◦Account Structure
◦Revenue and Other Increases
◦Expenditure and Other Decreases
◦Fund Balance

•Determine validity of BARS Coding.
•Apply the Principles of Reporting.
Intended Audience:
Course materials are presented for all levels of governmental accounting expertise; from novice to experienced.  

Course description:
The BARS Cash Basis class is an interactive session that includes lecture, exercises, discussion and small group activities.  Whether this is your first BARS class or the next in a long string of them, get ready for a new experience!   

All class materials will be provided.

Overview of SAO's Budgeting, Accounting, and Reporting System (BARS) - GAAP Basis

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

Class Objectives:
After taking this class, the participants will be able to:

•Navigate and search the BARS Manual.
•Identify and evaluate fund types.
•Use the BARS Chart of Accounts and generate BARS code as prescribed by becoming familiar with:

◦Account structure
◦Revenues classifications
◦Expenditures/Expenses classifications
◦Fund balance classifications.

•Become aware of recent and upcoming GASB standards.  
Intended Audience:
Course materials are applicable for all levels of governmental accounting expertise; from novice to experienced.

Course description:
The BARS GAAP class is an interactive session that includes lecture, exercises, discussion and small group activities.  Whether this is your first BARS class or the next in a long string of them, get ready for a new experience!  
   

All class materials will be provided.

The Inner Workings of Indices, Benchmarks, and Composites

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

Benchmarks are chosen to measure performance and risk tolerance.Yield benchmarks are used to monitor income earnings on funds earmarked for liquidity, while market benchmarks are used to manage the risk and return of longer investment portfolios. Additionally, historic returns and volatility of returns can be used to gauge expectations going forward in various rate environments. Using benchmarks as part of your investment management program supports a more disciplined approach and minimizes behavioral factors when buying and selling securities.

Before selecting suitable benchmarks, take a step back to gain a more complete understanding of how bond indices and other measurement tools are best used in the process.

Learning objectives:

  • Unravel commonly used (and misused) terminology related to performance measurement tools

  • Compare and contrast primary differences of popular fixed income indices

  • Identify the differences between GIPS and non-GIPS compliance and performance composites

  • Understand the pros and cons for measuring returns on a yield versus total return basis

Professional Ethics and Regulations in Washington State – 2019

  • Date: 9/17/2019
  • Track: Pre-Conference

All CPAs and CPA-Inactive certificateholders in Washington must complete a Board of Accountancy approved professional ethics course at least once every reporting period.  This course is approved by the Washington State Board of Accountancy as meeting the minimum requirements of WAC 4-30-134(6) which requires four CPE hours in the subject area of professional ethics and regulations with specific application to the practice of public accounting in Washington State.

Keeping Top Leaders Relevant

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: General Session

How to Leverage Change, Innovation and Disruption to Remain Competitive. Relevance is a moving target. Go-to-Market tactics are changing. Buying habits are shifting. If you don’t change “at-pace” you will no longer matter to your customers and clients; causing them to gladly deliver their market share to your competitors.  In this program you will learn how to create an adaptive culture that is able to evolve with whatever new trends society throws at you.

Balancing Internal and External Pressures When Making Utility Decisions

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Utility Management

How do we analyze and maintain affordability and levels of service while addressing aging infrastructure? What external market forces impact rates beyond capital improvements and debt retirement? Utilities independently face a unique and diverse set of policy and management challenges that can have both direct and indirect impacts on rate decisions. The session will look at ways to evaluate the burning questions that keep utility managers and finance directors up at night. We will look at decision tools, navigating external market forces, and utilizing strategic funding.

2019 Update from the GASB, Part 1

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

GASB is back to provide an update on projects, current and upcoming standards. There are several projects on the GASB’s current technical agenda that potentially have far reaching ramifications for Washington entities.  This session will give an overview of the GASB pronouncements that become effective in the upcoming fiscal years.  The session also will explain some of the projects on GASB’s current technical agenda and research agenda. 

Basic Budgeting Steps and Procedures

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Budgeting

Session will provide the basic procedures for drafting and adopting your budget, including basic forecasting steps, public hearing schedules and adoption.,

Introduction to Lean - What's in it for me?? An introduction and case for bringing lean into your life!

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

This session will include a brief introduction to lean, followed by a case study in operationalizing lean principles as a means to successfully transition to new financial software. Who should attend? Those who have not yet been exposed to lean, or are looking for options that will improve clunky processes, and those who are still looking for their "what's in it for me" before fully embracing lean.

Steps to Take to Further Your Career in Government Finance

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: General

Starting a Career in Public Finance?  This session outlines steps you can take to advance your knowlege on government finance and leadership topics such as financial reporting, debt management, risk management, procurement, budgeting and forecasting, and leadership development. 

Public Works Contracting and Purchasing Update

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Legislative Update

This session will cover the latest legislative and legal changes to public works contracting and purchasing. This is a great opportunity to learn about the latest changes to purchasing and contracting requirements and find out about recent trends.

The Future of Banking Services - How Technology will Influence How Governments Operate

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Banking

Discussion on technological innovations in the banking space including Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, API’s, Blockchain, and other advancements and how that will impact government entities’ ability to make faster and more efficient payments, streamline treasury processes, interact with your banking provider in real-time, and reduce fraud risk.  

Legal Challenges to Utility Rates and How to Avoid Them

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Utility Management

A great deal of time and focus goes into developing a sustainable financial rate and/or charge methodology. Despite that effort, legal actions may be taken to challenge a given methodology. This session will look at approaches to ensure the legal justification and resiliency of rate and charge methodologies, how to avoid legal challenges and/or pitfalls, and recent legal actions concerning outside city multipliers.

2019 Update from the GASB, Part 2

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

[Continued Session] GASB is back to provide an update on projects, in addition to current and upcoming standards. There are several projects on the GASB’s current technical agenda that potentially have far reaching ramifications for Washington entities.  This session will give an overview of the GASB pronouncements that become effective in the upcoming fiscal years.  The session also will explain some of the projects on GASB’s current technical agenda and research agenda. 

Process Improvement? Start the Journey With Leadership!

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

Process Improvement, Lean, Total Quality Management, Kaizen - whatever you call it, it all starts with people. People who know and do the work. People who provide management and guidance.

In this session, Katie Moriarty will discuss the importance of leadership as a foundation to any improvement effort. Having a clear direction of goals and objectives. Trusting and empowering the people, who understand and perform the work, to try new and innovative approaches to that work. And how do you balance that desire to try new things in a government environment, where mistakes are avoided at all costs? This session won't provide a magic potion, but it will provide some overarching concepts that you can take back to your workplace and use.  

Follow-up on Audit Recommendations – Evaluating & Redesigning Internal Controls

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: General

2019 Initiatives and Their Potential Impacts

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Legislative Update

Citizen initiatives are a unique aspect of Washington's political and election landscape. Initiatives have had significant impacts on many aspects of government, especially fiscal impacts, during the past two decades. This session will focus on the initiatives that have been proposed during 2019, including I-976 regarding car tab fees, which will be on the ballot in November, and I-1000 regarding affirmative action which was approved by the Legislature in April. We will walk through the initiative process and what these proposals may mean for government agencies.

Merchant Services - PCI Compliance

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Banking

As a recieveable, Merchant Services is constantly evolving.  Hear the latest from the Northwest's perinnial expert, Michael Hodge.

Presenting & Communicating Budgetary Recommendations

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Budgeting

This session will provide details on how to present both the operating and capital budgets, focusing on municipal agencies.   We will review best practices from GFOA and examples from Washington cities, as well as an overview of the basics of putting together a budget in brief doucment and a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) "storybook" for presentation to elected officials and the public.   The speakers will discuss how to prepare a presentation that will allow you to communicate effectively to elected officials.

Rate Democracy: Data Management and Impacts on Customers and Rates

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Utility Management

Technology is ubiquitous and rapidly evolving. Most utilities are caught in a compromising position where they are being invited by vendors to adopt new data capture and management tools, but with limited resources to either fully adopt or utilize those solutions. This session will look at recent trends related to AMR/AMI real-time usage tracking and how that can have a direct impact on cost-of-service rates, privacy concerns and billing challenges. The session will also look at the related multi-family consideration of assessing rates on a per unit vs. traditional master meter (or blended rate) basis.

What’s New with SAO Roundtable

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

The SAO will recap what's happening with the state of local government.

Succeeding in Continuous Improvement – the Importance of Performance Measures

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

A panel of city and county professionals will share their performance measurement experiences and lessons learned. We will discuss what is so lean about performance measurements anyway? What's in it for me? What do you measure? Is it important? Is it really important? How can we accurately measure progress towards strategic goals and objectives set by leadership? In this session, we will discuss the basic concepts of measuring what matters, understanding the results, making improvements, and monitoring for improvement.

2019 Legislative Update

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Legislative Update

What were the big issues in the 2019 session, and what may be coming in 2020? This session will provide an overview of the latest legislative action and preview 2020.

An Update on Real Time Payments

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Banking

Technology continues to improve the effeciency of real time payments.  Join us to learn more.

Roles of the Internal Auditor

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: General

In this session we will define and explore the roles and responsibilities of an internal auditor in a governmental organization.  We will highlight important aspects such as organizational structure, independence versus objectivity, applicable standards, risk assessment, and aspects of specific audit projects.

Things to Consider When Selecting an Approach for Your Budget

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Budgeting

Funding Methodologies and the Importance of Utility Reserve Funding

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Utility Management

In a region facing serious infrastructure replacement challenges, the need for debt financing will always be a necessary consideration. However, there are important lessons to be learned from successful reserve funding efforts. This session will look at strategies for building reserves, the pros and cons of reserve funding, accessing capital, and communicating strategies and rate impacts to customers.

GASB 87 Lease Panel

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

This panel discussion, led by the SAO, will help provide several perspectives about the implementation of future lease standards. Joining the SAO will be other local governments and representatives to discuss implementation experiences to help other governments in their application of the new standard.

ERA Basics, Part 1

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

Have you migrated over to DRS' new reporting system, ERA? If not, you need to attend this 2-part session! Even if you have, you should still attend. Ashley and company will show you the ins and outs of ERA and answer any questions you may have.

Keys to a Successful Transplant into Local Government - Part 1

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: General

Making career transitions in the finance field can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a culture shock. Today more and more finance professionals are transitioning from the private sector to local government, or from a professional position to management. Local governments have many of the same financial requirements as businesses, but the political environment adds a layer of complexity that can feel uncomfortable and frustrating.  This two part session will offer participants some basic fundamentals about navigating and understanding local government (including a set of “keys” managers need to have in their pockets) coupled with interactive discussions on how politics influence finance, and how finance can be effectively used to guide informed and ethical policy making.  Whether you are new to local government or a career bureaucrat, these two sessions will offer practical and insightful techniques to more effectively manage a local government’s finances, while skillfully navigating the political side of government.

Exploring Washington State's PFML

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Legislative Update

Beginning January 1, 2020, family and medical leave will be available through a State administered plan to all employees in the State of Washington. Many more employees are eligible for leave under PFML than are eligible for FMLA. PFML can be taken to care for a broader number of family members.

In this presentation, Erin Jacobson will review the legislation and the scope and content of the rules that the State has rolled out. 

AP Automation - No Matter Your Size

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Banking

How can entities of all sizes leverage automation to optimize working capital and reduce the costs of day-to-day AP operations? This session will leave attendees with the knowledge of how organizations can automate the payables process, achieve faster invoice and payment processing, lower reliance on paper-based processes, strengthen vendor relationships, and improve risk control.

Attendees will be able to:
   1) Outline how AP automation can enable organizations to reduce payment processing costs, eliminate paper, improve controls, and gain valuable insight into supplier spending.
   2) Understand how to address concerns in your organization and apply best practices needed to roll out a successful AP automation strategy.
   3) Reduce fraud by converting check payments to electronic payments, and earn rebates through Virtual Card payments.

Outcome/Priority Based Budgeting

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Budgeting

Financial Sustainability - One City's Quest to Address Structural Imbalance in their 10 Year Forecast

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Budgeting

Shoreline, like most Cities, faces a long term structural imalance where costs are rising faster than revenues - particularly given the 1% growth limit on property taxes.     In this session, you will hear how Shoreline engaged their community and Council to identify strategies and develop a 10 Year Financial Sustainability Plan.   The session will include a brief demo of their forecasting model, Municast, with plenty of time for questions.

Understanding Consumer Engagement and Payment Preferences

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Utility Management

In order to provide an exceptional customer experience and optimize your billing and payment operations, it is important to understand customer preferences and behaviors when it comes to paying their bills. Even if you offer a variety of tools, you might be surprised with what the data shows. In this session, we will take a deep dive into customer bill pay, looking at payment channel representation across multiple industries, mobile usage statistics, cash-preferences, under or un-banked customers, and more. 

Regulatory Accounting

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

This session will provide an introduction to regulatory accounting, which is an accounting option for regulated operations such as utilities that set their own rates, stand alone, or those that function as an enterprise fund as part of a city or county.  It can allow for the recognition of regulatory assets and liabilities that would not otherwise be recognized in the financial statements.  Most often used by larger utilties, this accounting option could be a benefit to your enterprise.  We hope you join us to learn more!

ERA Basics, Part 2

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

Continuation of ERA basics. If you attend Part 1,  you will surely be here for Part 2!  Even if you don't attend Part 1, you should still attend. Ashley and company will be continuing to show the ins and outs of ERA and answer any questions you may have.

Keys to a Successful Transplant into Local Government - Part 2

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: General

Making career transitions in the finance field can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a culture shock. Today more and more finance professionals are transitioning from the private sector to local government, or from a professional position to management. Local governments have many of the same financial requirements as businesses, but the political environment adds a layer of complexity that can feel uncomfortable and frustrating.  This two part session will offer participants some basic fundamentals about navigating and understanding local government (including a set of “keys” managers need to have in their pockets) coupled with interactive discussions on how politics influence finance, and how finance can be effectively used to guide informed and ethical policy making.  Whether you are new to local government or a career bureaucrat, these two sessions will offer practical and insightful techniques to more effectively manage a local government’s finances, while skillfully navigating the political side of government.

New Trends in Taxes

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Taxes & Fees

How do cities generate revenue from new or underregulated industries operating within their limits? How do they avoid losing out on revenue if they already rely heavily on lodging, transportation, and other taxable industries that are disrupted by the ‘gig economy?’  Resources from the Department of Revenue explore whether cities can tax VRBO, Airbnb, Uber Eats, and the countless other related services out there today.

Challenges to sales tax collection posed by sharing economy

  • Food delivery services (e.g. DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats)
  • Home rentals (e.g. Airbnb, VRBO/HomeAway)
  • Tool libraries

Marketplace Fairness/Wayfair update

  • History of remote seller and marketplace facilitator tax collection from Quill case to EHB 2163/Marketplace Fairness Act (retail economic nexus and sales tax election) to Wayfair case and new legislation SSB 5581
  • New nexus thresholds 
  • Data on remote sellers, marketplace facilitators, actual and estimated collections
  • Mitigation payments
  • On the Horizon: Enforcement, SSB 5581 implementation, consumer refund process.

Bank Loans - Structure Matters - From Fixed Rate LOC's to 30 Year Amortizations

  • Date: 9/18/2019
  • Track: Banking

Bank loans can be a good match for both short-term and long-term borrowing needs.  Instead of borrowing a lump sum and paying it back over 20 years, you could better manage the funds you need with a 3-year draw facility.  A draw facility allows you to gradually draw funds needed for a project over a three-year period (allowing you to control interest costs) and then when the project is completed, the amount outstanding on the draw facility will automatically amortize over 20 years.  In one borrowing, you have a line of credit and a term loan.  In this class, you'll learn how bank loans can better match your borrowing needs.

US Economic and Rates Outlook

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: General Session

2019 Single Audit Update

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

This course will highlight information related to the application of the Uniform Guidance by local government entities when spending federal funds and its use in audits by the Office of the Washington State Auditor.

2019 Cybersecurity Panel, Part 1

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Security

Please join us for a two-session discussion on a series of different perspectives from state-level agencies to local governments and a risk pool. The panel includes members of the Emergency Management Division (state agency), WCRP, State of Washington Chief Information Security Officer, and the City of Sammamish.

Bonds 101: Ways to Fund Capital Projects

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Debt Management

During our class, we'll provide an overview of funding capital projects with bonds.  The class will introduce you to the typical members of a financing team and their roles and highlight the types of bonds, debt security, debt limits, and ways to structure debt. Refunding bonds and sale methods will be addressed, including direct bank loan placements and competitive and negotiated public bond sales.  Finally, we'll review continuing disclosure requirements, including changes this year to material events.

Understanding Revenue Tools for Transportation, Public Safety, and Housing

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Cash Basis Entities

Washington’s tax system for local governments is often referred to as a “three-legged stool,” relying on property tax, sales tax, and excise taxes.  Understand how these three legs can be used to support your city’s goals, with a particular focus on funding transportation, public safety, and affordable housing needs.  This session will give you the confidence to explain it in plain language that your elected officials will understand.

This session will:

  • Offer a refresher on the basics of property taxes, focusing on using voter-approval (voter-approved levies, levy lid lifts, and bond levies) and other mechanisms to maximize the property tax revenues focused on these policy areas.
  • Review the revenue sources available to cities through transportation benefit district vehicle licensing fees and other mechanisms.
  • Provide an overview of the dedicated sales taxes that have been authorized in recent years for each of these policy areas.

Communicating with Council

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

This presentation will focus on best practices for presenting technical, financial information to a non-technical audience. We will talk about how to make your point effectively, efficiently, and which tools best suit the purpose. Come with your own questions and challenges and we will work through practical solutions together.

Bond Math & Other Analysis

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Investments

Discussing valuable fixed income statistics and how to calculate them for your investment portfolio

Are People Really Difficult? Hummmm?

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: General

 We will look at the assumption that we think we need to “deal” with difficult people which places them (the difficult people) outside of ourselves. Sometimes we forget when we label them as “difficult”, it implies the label is accurate and correct.  We have all met people who at first contact seem “difficult” yet,  within seconds, you learn information that dramatically changes your first impression.  Now you are curious.  Are they difficult or am I biased in some ways and “see difficult” when it may be something else? “ We will learn about the difference between our bias that a person is difficult and working with a truly difficult person. We will learn how to work with a person who is in fact difficult and a person who we determine is difficult for us and maybe not for others.  

 

A Roadmap to General Fund Financial Sustainability: Local Revenue Options and Strategies

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: General

Like other cities, Burien’s General Fund faces the challenge of limited revenue sources not keeping pace with increases in expenditures. The City partnered with FCS GROUP to proactively assess the outlook of development, services, revenues, expenditures, and financial reserves over a ten-year period. Leveraging this financial forecast, the City identified and implemented local revenue options that support the City’s service goals in the near future and ensure long-term financial resiliency and sustainability. This technical session will also include a discussion of local factors that affect a city’s financial plan, including anticipated development, property assessment, retail sales, and financial reserve policies.

2019 Single Audit Update - Repeat

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

[Repeat session] This course will highlight information related to the application of the Uniform Guidance by local government entities when spending federal funds and its use in audits by the Office of the Washington State Auditor.

Accounting for Debt: Considerations and Lessons Learned

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Debt Management

Join us for a session focused on the process of accounting for debt.  We will hear from SAO regarding common issues in accounting and reporting of debt and from finance professionals regarding what they learned in the process of accounting for debt, post-issuance.  Please note, this session will focus less on the technical aspect (e.g. accounting entries) and more on the issuer’s approach and response to the issues that arose during the process of reporting debt. Further, the session will primarily be directed to issuers of GAAP accounting. That said, some of the more general discussion may be applicable for all issuers, regardless of reporting method!

Purchasing and Service Contracting

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Cash Basis Entities

This class will cover some of the requirements in public purchasing and service contracting. Included topics are bid thresholds, bidding exceptions, policy recommendations and piggybacking. 

2019 Cybersecurity Panel, Part 2

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Security

[Continued] Please join us for a two-session discussion on a series of different perspectives from state-level agencies to local governments and a risk pool. The panel includes members of the Emergency Management Division (state agency), WCRP, State of Washington Chief Information Security Officer, and the City of Sammamish.

Inclusion in Hiring - Improving Access to City Employment

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

The City of Renton Business Plan has five strategic goals. Inclusion is one of them: Building an inclusive informed city with opportunities for all. The first Inclusion strategy in the 2019-2024 Business Plan is to improve access to city services, programs and employment, and make residents and businesses aware of opportunities to be involved with their community. 

This session will lead participants through the steps for developing a plan for creating/implementing an inclusive workforce through recruiting and hiring using the City of Renton’s HR Tactical Inclusion Plan as an example.  These steps will include a review of relevant data, community input and hiring/recruiting standards.  We will also focus on several strategies designed to increase the diversity of the hiring pool of candidates.  

Update from the Office of the State Treasurer

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Investments

Join State Treasurer Duane Davidson as he provides updates on the LGIP and Local Programs, the Treasurer's financial literacy program, developments on the cannabis banking front, his opposition to the formation of a state bank, a recap of the 2019 Legislative session, and a look forward to the 2020 session.

Segregating Duties: How to design internal controls when you have sufficient staff, and also when you do not!

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

The Center for Government Innovation recently released its new guide on segregating duties.  Come join us as we give an overview on segregating duties and introduce this new resource.  We will talk about what duties should be segregated and challenges in doing that for larger organizations.  We will also talk about smaller organizations and how to design compensating controls to reduce risk when you just don’t have enough staff to segregate like the larger entities.  We will also talk about several exciting features of our new guide that might help you. We hope to see you there!

A Performance Dashboard for Financial Management Operations

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Performance Measures

Sound financial management operations are a critical “backbone” component that supports effective and efficient government service delivery across the entire enterprise. How well are your financial management operations performing? Can you make the case that your financial services measurably contribute to council or commission goals like “accountable, effective, transparent government”? What metrics make the most sense for measuring and improving your day-to-day operations? The Government Performance Consortium has partnered with the State Auditor’s Office and several “dashboard champion” cities and counties to produce a prototypical dashboard that financial managers can use to measure, improve and ensure efficient and effective financial management service delivery.

Presenters:

Larisa Benson, host and convener of the Government Performance Consortium, University of Washington (Tacoma) with guests

Connie Robertson, Deputy Director of Administrative Services, City of Sequim

Debbie Sullivan, Director of Administrative Services, City of Olympia

Pre-Debt Issuance Checklist: Things to Know Before Taking on Debt

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Debt Management

Considering undertaking debt? There are a number of issues that municipalities must consider throughout the debt issuance process. This session will identify a checklist of items to consider tackling before the debt is issued, such as establishing a plan of finance, reviewing continuing disclosure filings, and preparing financial policies. We will cover why these items are important and the associated timeline for completion.

Essential Financial Policies

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Cash Basis Entities

The MRSC and the State Auditor's Center for Innovation have developed new and updated guidance on a variety of essential financial policies for local government. In this session we will review the highlights of the latest policies to be updated and provide tips on how to make the best use of them in your organizations. The session will include a discussion on the topics themselves and insights in to how to gain support for improving the policy foundation within your entity.

Create Internal Training Programs

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: General

Internal trainings have great advantages. Time and talent can be used effectively to perform and share research and, for the investment of your time, you and your organization can get free CPE. But these presentations aren’t always stellar. Sometimes they may feel like a sleep aid and sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

From training large to small, this class focuses on both the practical requirements and skills to engage your audience.  

  • Identify training needs

  • Develop ideas start to finish

  • Move beyond PowerPoint

  • Give and claim CPE

  • Become a stronger presenter

Fixed Income Investing When the Fed is Easing

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Investments

The US economy is closing in on the end of the business cycle, a time when the Fed pivots from raising rates to less restrictive monetary policy.  This session will examine past episodes and explore what strategies generated better relative returns.  We will also examine how the easing cycle may look this time, what tools the Fed might use, and how best to position for a lower rates scenario.

Mindfulness Versus Mindlessness: Where Are You?

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

Mindfulness and mindlessness are so common that few of us appreciate their importance or make use of their power to change our lives. Learn about the psychological and physical costs we pay because of pervasive mindlessness and about the benefits of greater control and more powerful results that mindfulness can make possible. When mindless people treat information as though it were context-free and true regardless of circumstances. Mindlessness is linked with uncertainty in the workplace and comes in three categories. First is entrapment by category, next is automatic behavior and finally it is acting from a single perspective. The creation of new categories of thinking is a mindful activity. Mindlessness is rigid, whereas mindfulness creates new categories, is open to new information and creates awareness of more than one perspective. Learn how to shift from mindless to mindful. Understand the benefits of being mindful in both your personal and professional life.

Responding to the GASB – The Importance of Participating in the Standards Setting Process

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) sets accounting and reporting standards for State and Local Governments. The issuance of standards seems to occur at an alarming rate and many finance professionals don’t realize they can or don’t have the time to respond to the GASB’s requests for comments during their standard setting process. This session will provide information on how and why you should participate in the GASB’s process, and provide tips and resources to assist you in your letter writing to the GASB.

Lean Insights for Making Work Flow: On Your Desk, For Your Team and Throughout Your Organization

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Performance Measures

Have you heard about Lean and the amazing improvements made by other cities in Washington? Lean principles and tools provide a practical approach to improve the flow of work, insure fewer dropped balls, better quality work, and teams that cooperate more effectively. You will leave this workshop with some practical starting points for using Lean tomorrow.
 Learn how to apply Lean principles to your individual work.
 Understand that Lean provides a practical approach for expressing leadership in your organization regardless of your formal position
 Appreciate Lean management as a framework for integrating various elements of organizational excellence.
 

Financial Reporting for Cash Basis - It's Far More Than Just the Annual Report

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Cash Basis Entities

Cash Basis accounting and reporting is an allowed option in WA State. It is gaining in popularity because of the increased reporting requirements of GASB; however, there are significant areas of financial information that must still be provided to management and the governing body. This session will discuss best practices to both enhance and mitigate the use of this accounting and reporting method.

Alternatives to Bonds and Bank Loans

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Debt Management

Write Effective Policies and Procedures

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: General

How good is your documentation? Or, should we say, how old is your documentation? After embarking on a massive citywide policy project more than a year ago, I’ve been learning how to hurdle the pitfalls. Step number one is to have a policy about how to, well…make policies. Step number two, remember you’re not writing the sequel to War and Peace or the (possibly scandalous) tell-all memoir of your life. They should be easy to use.

In this class, learn to:

  • Establish consistent methods to create and maintain policies and procedures

  • Assign authority to create policies

  • Improve readability and document longevity

  • Identify your controls and determine which should have formal policies

  • Evaluate and translate activities you perform into internal controls

  • Create companion tools to improve compliance

Public Fund Investing: Value & Strategies in the Current Market

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Investments

Volatility spiked and the yield curve inverted to end 2018 as investors appeared to increasingly question the durability of the current expansionary cycle.  The Fed appears to have pivoted to a more neutral stance on monetary policy in light of the latest market data, with “patience” being the key term from recent Fedspeak regarding how they will proceed from here.  This session will begin with an economic update and an outline on recent bond markets trends, and it will conclude with possible strategies for public fund investing in this flat curve environment.

The Mystery of Memory

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

Memory is a result of where you place your attention and your ability to consciously focus on more than one thing at a time is limited. We can split our attention by alternating focus between details, however this comes at the cost of decreased awareness. Attention affects what we perceive and how we process, encode and recall memories. In addition, our brain rewires itself when it encodes and recalls information. Every thought and every stimulus we have rewires your brain and every thought changes your perception of reality.  This means what you remember is fallible and you cannot count on your memory to be the same per retrieval or as what someone else remembers. As a result, you can retrieve some memories and others are hard to retrieve and inaccurate. Learn how to improve your memory and how to increase successful recall. Learn what to count on from your memory and what might be your memory limits. Learn to protect your memory through self-care.

Connecting with Community: Using Financial Data to Drive a Conversation

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

The Center for Government Innovation has had a busy year.  Find out what we have been up to as we help local governments help the people they serve.  We will cover the following topics:

  • Financial Intelligence Tool (FIT)

  • How we are helping local governments get Lean

  • Resources, checklists and other tools

  • The next big thing!

What's It All About: Rosters and Public Works Bidding

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Cash Basis Entities

 

<p 0pt;"="" 0in="">The statutes for local government contracting can be confusing. The class will focus on contracting options when using a roster, other public works bids and contracts, and A&E selection.

Lean Insights for Making Work Flow: On Your Desk, For Your Team and Throughout your Organization - Repeat

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Performance Measures

[Repeat Session] Have you heard about Lean and the amazing improvements made by other cities in Washington? Lean principles and tools provide a practical approach to improve the flow of work. Fewer dropped balls, better quality work, teams that cooperate more effectively. You will leave this workshop with some practical starting points for using Lean tomorrow.
 Learn how to apply Lean principles to your individual work.
 Understand that Lean provides a practical approach for expressing leadership in your organization regardless of your formal position
 Appreciate Lean management as a framework for integrating various elements of organizational excellence.

Approaches to Effectively Managing a Portfolio

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Investments

This panel will focus on options available to managing governmental portfolios.Some entities manage their portfolios completely in-house, while others utilize outside firms to varying degrees to manage their portfolios.The panel will focus on the options available and the pros and cons to consider as decisions are made as to which approach to adopt.

Financial Education in Washington State

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: General Session

Learn about the work that is being done in Washington to expand financial literacy.  Understand the history, barriers, and progress in the K-12 space and adult-focused efforts to bridge the gaps in our communities.  The class will be a “bird’s eye” overview of what the State Treasurer’s office is doing, as well as the work of the partners in and around the state. 

Ask Me Anything: A Public Finance Roundtable

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Debt Management

Have a random question about bond financing or debt management?  Wanted to ask a question in an earlier debt session but ran out of time?  This last session of the day will feature public finance experts, including speakers from earlier "debt track" sessions.  We'll cover emerging issues in municipal debt; topics that would have been covered in earlier sessions but ran out of time; and questions from audience members.  Attendees are encouraged to submit questions in advance to Duncan Brown (brownd@pfm.com).

Whether to Facilitate or Lead: Getting it Right!

  • Date: 9/19/2019
  • Track: Management & Emerging Issues

Today there are so many kinds of meeting types, outcomes, processes, facilitations and more, it is hard to know when to “facilitate” versus when to “lead” a meeting. In a facilitator role one creates space in which participants explore, sort and integrate information and final solutions. The facilitator role is neutral in order to support unbiased results. A leadership role requires providing direction and an agenda. Leaders often use a structured approach. Managed with a specific outcome in mind. The leader's role controls the process and is invested in the results. The leader educates participants with specific information and a focused outcome. Join us to learn when and how to lead and when and how to facilitate. Learn how to make your meetings more engaging and when to invite whom.

Unleash Your Inner Tyrant!

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: General Session

The first of its kind, "Unleash Your Inner Tyrant!" helps managers and executives become better leaders by showing them everything they should avoid:  including how to create a culture of fear and mistrust, how to oppress and demoralize employees, and how to stand firm in the face of all change. The session will wrap up with a serious conversation about the kind of leaders we should all strive to become.
Covering four main areas of leadership – creating a healthy corporate culture; management/employee relations; crisis management; and change management – "Unleash Your Inner Tyrant!" is every bit as content-rich and intensively researched as a more traditional leadership seminar, but has the added benefit of an unparalleled delivery style that will have you laughing the entire time they’re learning how to become more effective leaders. Simply put, there is nothing else like this in the business world, and no better way to energize your management team while providing them with invaluable training they will remember for months and years to come.

2019 Fraud Fighting Friday

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: Fraud

In this class we will review an investigative case study and discuss lessons learned. This will include common red flags of fraud, controls to prevent fraud and tips to detect fraud faster.

Intro to Preparedness

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: Risk Management

City and County finance professionals play a critical role in a community’s disaster and emergency response, recovery, and mitigation activities.  From planning at home to planning at work, it is crucial to a community’s resilience that fiscal offices take time to think about preparedness.

Session Objective:  To give WFOA attendees permission to prepare for disasters at home and in their communities through response and recovery.

In this session, we will deploy an interactive tool called a discussion-based table top exercise.  Session participants will be given a realistic disaster scenario to study and then be asked to discuss three questions in response to the scenario.  There will be scenario injects provided to add complexity to the event and we will work together to discover your state of readiness and the preparedness of your department and areas of responsibility.

Cash Flow Analysis & Portfolio Optimization

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: Investments

This session covers the management of a public entity’s cash requirements, including balancing revenues with monthly obligations, periodic debt-service payments, and other recurring or non-recurring cash demands.  In addition, speakers will introduce the practice for preparing and implementing a cash flow forecast, using the forecast to make investment decisions, and the difference between forecasting operating cash and bond proceeds.

The Art & Science of Data Storytelling , Part 1

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: General

In this two-part hands-on workshop, you’ll learn to:

• Transform your reports into persuasive stories with data

• Create compelling interactive visuals highlighting data trends

• Structure your messages to educate your target audience

• Encourage positive behavior with clear calls-to-action (CTA)

• Walk away with real-life examples of successful data storytelling

This is the first session in a 2-part presentation.

 

2019 Fraud Fighting Friday (Repeat)

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: Fraud

[Repeat Session] In this class we will review an investigative case study and discuss lessons learned. This will include common red flags of fraud, controls to prevent fraud and tips to detect fraud faster.

FEMA Public Assistance 101

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: Risk Management

FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program provides assistance to State, Tribal and local governments and certain types of private nonprofit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President.

Through the PA Program, FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain PNP organizations.

The Federal share of assistance is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost for emergency measures and permanent restoration.  The Washington State Legislature determines how the non-federal share (up to 25 percent) is split with the sub-recipients (eligible applicants).  Typically, the federal share is 75 percent, state share is 12.5 percent, and the local jurisdiction is responsible for the remaining 12.5 percent. 

How to Analyze a Portfolio Using Excel

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: Investments

Walk through how to set up and maintain a fixed income portfolio in Excel.

The Art & Science of Data Storytelling, Part 2

  • Date: 9/20/2019
  • Track: General

In this two-part hands-on workshop, you’ll learn to:

• Transform your reports into persuasive stories with data

• Create compelling interactive visuals highlighting data trends

• Structure your messages to educate your target audience

• Encourage positive behavior with clear calls-to-action (CTA)

• Walk away with real-life examples of successful data storytelling

This is the Second session in a 2-part presentation.