Sessions

Comprehensive Review of the Public Fund Investment Program

  • Date: 9/12/2017
  • Track: Pre-Conference

A comprehensive review of the public fund investment program

It is always important to periodically step back and review your overall investment program.   This 8 hour pre-conference session will be a comprehensive overview of a GFOA best practice regarding all facets of public fund investing.  Be prepared to review your internal practices and strategic approach to making investment decisions.  Key elements are transparency, communication, risk management and reporting.

Morning Session:  Nuts and Bolts of the public fund Investment Program

                -Investment Policy

               -Investment Procedures

               -Determining Liquidity and Core Fund Investment Components

               -Economic and Market Update

               -Portfolio Strategies for Managing Risk and Return

                   Duration

Afternoon Session:  Strategic Development for a Balanced Investment Program

               -Portfolio Strategies for Managing Risk and Return cont….

                              Term Structure

                              Sector Allocation

                              Security Selection

               -Benchmark Development and Implementation

               -Bond Proceed Investing

               -Counterparty relationships

Payroll

  • Date: 9/12/2017
  • Track: Pre-Conference

Janice Corbin will present the “best practices” of managing protected leaves (FMLA, Military Leave, Domestic Violence Leave, the addition of religious holidays, and Family Leave Act), the employer’s responsibility in third party overtime, and the role of the labor contract when determining pay for stand-by, call-back, and off-duty phone calls, and recent changes in FLSA. 

Becky Hasart will provide the “best practice” strategies for processing back pay, shift differential, longevity, specialty pay, third party donated sick leave, and an overview of cash-out practices.  As a former Finance Director, Becky Hasart will present the top mistakes to look for when preparing the payroll process.

GFOA CPFO Certification Review Course: GAAFR

  • Date: 9/12/2017
  • Track: Pre-Conference

Have you ever thought about taking the CPFO exam?  Here’s your chance to take a review course in preparation for the Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting exam.  WFOA is offering this review course to encourage individuals to become Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) and continue their professional development in government finance.

This course is built around the GFOA’s content specifications for the CPFO GAAFR exam.  It covers the material related to financial reporting, internal controls, and auditing.  The class will incorporate lecture and practice exam questions.  It is based on material contain in Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting - 2012 Edition (Blue Book). Information from of An Elected Official’s Guide to The New Pension Accounting, Evaluating Internal Controls: A Local Government Manager’s Guide, and An Elected Official’s Guide to Audit Committees will also be covered in the class.  Participants may want to review these publications.

Here is the link to the GFOA CFPO webpage that gives all the information a candidate would want to know about the exam.  http://gfoa.org/cpfo

There will be an exam on September 25th at the South Correctional Entity (SCORE) in Des Moines. You will have to fill out an application form at least two weeks before the exam.

2017 BARS GAAP

  • Date: 9/12/2017
  • 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.   


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.   
Prior to attending the BARS training, we recommend participants view the Introduction to the BARS Manuals, a free, 46 minute eLearning which is available on the SAO website in the Online Training Library.

2017 BARS Cash

  • Date: 9/12/2017
  • 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.
Prior to attending the BARS training, we recommend participants view the Introduction to the BARS Manuals, a free, 46 minute eLearning which is available on the SAO website in the Online Training Library.

2017 Professional Ethics and Regulations in Washington State

  • Date: 9/12/2017
  • Track: Pre-Conference

All CPAs and CPA-Inactive certificate holders 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.

2017 GASB Update Pre Conference

  • Date: 9/12/2017
  • Track: Pre-Conference

 

<p 0in="" 0pt;"="">In addition, there are several projects on the GASB’s current technical agenda that potentially have far reaching ramifications for Washington entities.  These projects include leases, revenue and expense recognition, and the reexamination of the financial reporting model.  Moreover, the GASB is researching several items including notes disclosures and going concern could significantly impact financial reporting in the future. 

Real Heroes Don't Wear Spandex

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: General Session

In real life, heroes aren't rock stars, movie stars, or sports figures. Real-life heroes are people who make a difference by believing in, and investing in, the lives of those around them.  In this thoroughly inspiring and uplifting program, Mr. Marshall publicly honors public sector employees for their contributions and recognizes them as example of what real heroes are.  Learn how to engage the Power of Belief to revolutionize your organization!

Public Funds Investing Made Easy

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Investments

Public Funds Investing can be easy.  Let’s take the mystery out of it…

This jargon free class begins at the “kindergarten” level.  Slowly we’ll progress from diagramming a typical bond to laying out the cash flows.  We’ll answer the question, “Is it better to buy a bond at a discount or premium”? (Careful, trick question). 

Have you ever wondered if there is a “Built In Penalty” for liquidating a bond early?  We’ll demonstrate what happens if an investor needs to sell a security before maturity.  

We’ll also diagram a callable US Government Agency bond and explain how a bond issuer decides whether or not to call a bond.  We’ll get a lot done in 50 minutes…

If you ever had that nagging feeling that your public funds could be working harder but couldn’t get through all the “investment jargon”, this is the class for you!

Common FLSA Mistakes: Exempt and Non-Exempt Status

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Human Resource Management
  • Learn the definition of Exempt and Non-Exempt positions
  • The characteristics of each that help make the distinction between them
  • New DOL guidance re: FLSA

2017 Financial Statement Preparation Helpful Hints

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: General

This is a repeat of the popular session first presented at the Spokane Conference.   Common financial statement preparation pitfalls are highlighted, with illustrative real life examples.  Recommendations and hints are provided to ease financial statement preparation.

Utility Rate Development Fundamentals

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Utilities

This presentation will focus on the concepts, principles, and best practices of utility rate making. The presentation will provide information on the fundamentals of rate setting for a wide range of scenarios and customers including residential, commercial, industrial, irrigation and wholesale. It will also focus on a number of perspectives that reflect the true cost of system operations and cost recovery in proportion to how costs are incurred by various customers on the system. Emphasis will be placed on developing rates that reflect current trends, regulatory drivers and innovation. Through the lecture and case study examples the presentation will walk through the four stages of the cost-of-service rate setting process: (1) Fiscal Policy Development; (2) Revenue Requirement Analysis; (3) Cost of Service Evaluation; and (4) Rate Design. This presentation also establishes the foundation for the progression of sessions in the full utility track.

Budget Basics

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Budgeting

This session will presume little or no knowledge of the state laws or best practices of local government budget development.  Learn what's required, what's necessary and what's good to include as you help your local government develop its annual or biennial budget.  This interactive session is for beginners but will help those with some experience refresh their skills or branch into budget responsibilities in their organization.

How to Borrow from a Bank & Why

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Banking

Borrowing from a bank is easier now more than ever.  Learn how it’s done and why.  Join your peers in a panel discussion about how to go about borrowing from a bank.  Who do you call?  How do you evaluate bids?  What are the benefits?  What are the pitfalls?  Making good borrowing choices will save you money and time, not just today but for the life of the borrowing.

2017 GASB Update

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Reporting

 

<p 0in="" 0pt;"="">In addition, there are several projects on the GASB’s current technical agenda that potentially have far reaching ramifications for Washington entities.  These projects include leases, revenue and expense recognition, and the reexamination of the financial reporting model.  Moreover, the GASB is researching several items including notes disclosures and going concern could significantly impact financial reporting in the future. 

Agency Strategy

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Investments

The GSE Market: Policy, Issuance and Relative Value

I.Status of GSE Reform:--assuming a proposal is published. 

  • Impact on FNMA, FHLMC, FHLB, FFCB
  • Impact on issuance--structure and rates
  • Impact on mortgage rates and housing finance 

II.Relative Value in Agency structures

  • Euro vs Bermuda vs American callables. 
  • Step-ups:What role do they play in the portfolio.
  • What are "normal" spreads versus today's levels?

III. Key Market-makers in Agency Securities.

Tips for Managing Tricky Payroll Issues

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Human Resource Management
  • Call-back, Stand-by, Off-Duty overtime pay
  • Sick leave payout and donated sick leave
  • Third-party overtime

Basics of Investment Accounting

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: General

This course will provide a basic overview of how to account for an investment through its life-cycle, for both Cash-basis and GAAP preparers.  We will cover the initial purchase, year-end adjustments, and the sale of the investment.

AP Automation

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Banking

The presentation is aimed at helping our clients and prospects understand the benefits of AP Automation, providing education on the following topics:

  • The challenges clients face when automating their AP processes
  • How a client can start to think about their current processes and their ability to implement automation
  • Tactics to help them start or continue their automation journey

This presentation will focus on how a client can best analyze their current state and how they can develop a plan and goals to improve their AP processes. 

Life Cycle Cost and Costs Benefit Analysis

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Utilities

Municipalities have a limited amount of funds available and have a responsibility to their customers to spend those funds in the most efficient and responsible way possible. Financial professionals are often responsible for providing managers guidance for making decisions with a fiscal impact. This session will review some of the tools available to financial personnel to quantify these options to find the responsible and most efficient use of those limited funds. This session will focus on life cycle analysis and other methods of costs benefit analysis.

Intermediate Budgeting 2017

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Budgeting

Explore the next level of budgeting with this intermediate class.   This class will take you beyond calendars and regulator requirements and provide tips and ideas for improving the budget process and document.

Portfolio Structures for Different Environments

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Investments

Navigating the fixed income market can be a difficult task with many different options available to investors. This session will analyze which duration distribution, optionality, credit exposure, and coupon structure work best in your portfolio for certain market environments.

Common Mistakes Made When Administering Protected Leaves

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Human Resource Management
  • When does FMLA end and FLA begin when dealing with the pregnant employee?
  • Can both parents that work for the same employer take FMLA and FLA leave?
  • Who is eligible and what proof is needed in order for an employee to be granted Domestic Violence Leave?
  • Does the employer have to invite the employee to participate in FMLA or can the employer require the employee to take FMLA?
  • What to expect if audited specific to leaves?

Know your L&I Financial Incentive Programs

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: General

Summary:   Know your L&I Financial Incentive Programs and how to Create a Return-to-Work Culture.

Stay at Work Program:  You may qualify for wage and expense reimbursements for providing your worker transitional or light duty work while under temporary restrictions. The benefits include:

  • Wage reimbursement - Base Wages (50%) paid for hours worked (up to $10,000)
  • Reimbursement for some of the cost of training, tools or clothing the worker needs to do the light-duty or transitional work (up to $2,500 for equipment; $1,000 for training; and $400 for clothing per claim)

Preferred Worker Program: You may qualify for wage and expense reimbursements as well as a continuous employment benefit when you provide your worker with a medically approved long term job while under permanent restrictions. The benefits include:

  • Financial protection against subsequent claims during the preferred worker certification period
  • Premium relief (for how long)
  • Wage reimbursement
    • Base Wages (50%) for hours worked (Up to $10,000)
    • Clothing necessary to perform job (Up to $400)
    • Tools and Equipment necessary to preform job (Up to $2,500)
  • Bonus incentive for 12 months of continuous employment (Up to $10,000)

Partnering for Success: Using Finance and Asset Management to Build Resiliency and Lower Costs at your Utility

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Utilities

Governments use asset management as a tool to meet service level goals at the lowest cost while maintaining an acceptable level of risk. This strategy drives decisions on when and how to inspect, repair, and replace crucial systems. Finance and asset management are inextricably linked. This presentation will overview these linkages and how understanding them can improve financial planning through minimizing life-cycle costs, reducing uncertainty, and matching decisions to levels of service. It will also review common miscommunications between finance and asset management that can lead to poor planning decisions that have service and risk implications to the communities we serve.

Account Reconciliation

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Banking
  • Looking for ways reduce your clerical work, help reduce fraud, and give you more time for other tasks? 
  • Are you able to receive accurate reports on paid and outstanding checks? 

Account Reconciliation is a necessary function in every office regardless of size and complexity. Account Reconciliation service enables you to detect discrepancies and check fraud quickly, ensuring a more secure, error-free disbursement function.

Join Callie Sims, U.S. Bank Treasury Management for a review of all the options available with Account Reconciliation.

A handout will be provided at the class.

Financial Trends and Forecasting

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Reporting

The Office of the Washington State Auditor’s Office is committed to providing financial data tools to local governments.  Recently our office developed the Financial Intelligence Tool (FIT) and currently we are working on adding greater functionality and usability of another data tool, the Local Government Financial Reporting System (LGFRS). The goal of this session is to demo a current prototype and generate ideas on how these tools can assist you to compare and analyze data as you face the challenges of managing financial resources.

Since this is an interactive session, no handouts are provided.

Smart Planning in an Upturn

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Budgeting

While it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes being a finace officer during an extended period of economic expansion can be just as much of a challenge, or even moer of a challenge, than managing through a downturn.    With increased service demands, and prioritizing those demands, as well as ensuring other key liabilities such as infrastructure maintenance and pension/OPEB are included in the prioritization conversation, is essential.   This session will walk through an assessment of an organization's capacity to increase services and/or add new services during an upturn and considerations for prioritizing those increases/adds.

Tools for Funding Future Infrastructure

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Utilities

Utilities are becoming increasingly aware of the growing liability of their aging infrastructure. Whether or not an agency has developed an asset management plan to best shape future cost and risk, the funding side remains. In this presentation we will explore various policy approaches to preparing the utility to face the ageing infrastructure challenge. These alternatives will provide a spectrum on which a utility could formulate a long-term funding policy, begin steps toward meeting long-term funding goals, and manage funding policy targets in setting utility rates. Impacts will be looked at from the perspective of financial feasibility, utility credit-worthiness and impacts to rate-payers. Furthermore, materials presented can provide a foundation for communicating infrastructure funding concepts to stakeholders.

Investing in Corporate Credit

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Investments

This session details how we started investing in corporate credit.  Topics will include how the overall process began; credit analysis and approval; and first investments

Alternative Payments

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Banking

Alternative Payments: Where Will They Fit in the Payments Spectrum?

Presentation will include topics such as:

  • Macro trends driving global payments innovation
  • The regulatory forces shaping ‘faster payments’
  • The resurgence of payments in the US (what’s happening today?)
  • Exploring new models for payments and how they fit in the public sector.

Pension/OPEB Update

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Reporting

The Office of the Washington State Auditor provides a wrap-up of lessions learned from year two of GASB 68.  Included in the very same session is a look forward to the implementation challenges of GASB's new other post-employment benefits (OPEB) standards that are effective for upcoming year 2018.

Financial Modeling and Forecasting Smart Practices

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Budgeting

This session will focus on "smart" practices to use in developing the long term financial forecast for your budget process.    

2017 Health Care Reform Update

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Human Resource Management

Much discussion and debate at the federal level about a new health care reform law to replace (or repeal) the Affordable Care Act has left many confused about current compliance and ill-equipped to prepare for trend in the coming years.  This session will share the latest update from Capitol Hill; the local efforts in Washington State to preserve the State-based Exchange; and what public sector employers can prepare for in the coming years.

Accessing Financial Risk using a Modeling Tool

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Accounting & Reporting

Market and Portfolio Strategies

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Investments

We will take a look at overall portfolio strategy, focusing on those elements relevant for short-term investors.

COSO

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: General

Eide Bailly will lead you through a discussion of what is COSO and why it is a big deal. We will walk through the new levels of the integrated framework and look at examples of each principle. Through open discussions facilitated by Eide Bailly, you can learn what similar organizations are doing to address the COSO requirements in their control environments.

Account Analysis 101

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Banking

In a very interactive environment, we'll talk about the basics of your account analysis.  We'll explain what each line item means and how it relates to your banking services and your organization.  This class is for beginners but can be a refresher for those who don't read their account analysis every day.

A handout will be provided at class.

Single Audit Update

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Reporting

This course, presented by the Office of the Washington State Auditor, will highlight the application of the Uniform Guidance by local governments when using federal funds and its use in audits.

What this presentation really is about:

This presentation will cover the federal procurement, equipment administrative and audit requirements for federal awards under Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200). Learn how to comply with state, federal and local procurement requirements. Learn about frequent audit findings, most common audit issues related to these requirements and tips to avoid them. Get your questions answered.

Financial Policy Development

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Utilities

Utility financial managers are responsible for the fiscal sustainability of the utility while still having a responsibility to their customers to keep the rates as low as possible.  These two responsibilities are often in conflict.  Having and adhering to robust financial policies provides balance between fiscal strength and affordable rates.  When conducting rate studies financial policies often guide the decision making process in determining the level of rate adjustment.  This session will discuss financial policies and the benefits of having them.  This session will be lead by Josiah Close from HDR.

Ask the Experts - Budget Panel Discussion

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Budgeting

This diverse panel of finance professionals will offer information, ideas and answer audience questions on a variety of budget topics.     Attendees will have the chance to submit questions or discussion topics to the panel.

Post-ACA Design: Generational Changes in Benefits & Purchasing Patterns

  • Date: 9/13/2017
  • Track: Human Resource Management

As the generational demographic shift occurs in our city halls across the nation, we are seeing a shift away from one-size-fits-all benefit packages and a move toward individual choice. This corresponds to a generational desire for independence and individuality. As we look forward, the trend of choice is likely to continue. We are going to see fewer boundaries between health and wealth and other benefits. Additionally, Millennials are going to demand more innovation and technological advancements. This session will describe how we got here, and where we might be going.

  • Learn about considerations for long term strategic planning around health and wealth benefits for employees
  • Hear about how changes in employee demographics are affecting benefits package purchasing patterns
  • Shared insights from health purchasers around the state of early indicators to changing patterns

US and Washington State Economic Outlook

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: General Session

Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics and Director of the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting will present a comprehensive forecast for the U.S. and Washington State economies. Attendees will gain insight into the direction the economy will take over the near and long-term future. Dr. Thornberg will present a thorough analysis of key economic indicators such as commercial and residential real estate markets, employment/unemployment, consumer spending, bankruptcies, business activity, personal income, international trade, and GDP growth.

2017 Elected Officials

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: General Session

Each elected official will present an overview of their agency operations looking ahead to this next biennium.  If time allows there will be a Q&A at the end of their presentations.

Gossip: A tribe survival behavior

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Management/Leadership

This session is about the fact that gossip is not going to go away.  We gossip to share how we see others in relationship to safety, danger, trustworthiness and desirability and more. We gossip as a tribe survival behavior. We gossip to protect ourselves or to guarantee another can be trusted.  However, gossip can be very harmful and negative because people distort things and often misunderstand others.  Learn how to share insights on gossip at work which may inspire co-worker to be more responsible regarding their own gossip behaviors. Learn how to redirect gossip andven use it to your advantage.

Small Entities, Cash Basis and Best Practices

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Small Entities

The majority of local government in WA State account and report "cash basis". This session will discuss the challenges for cash basis entities and best practices to mitigate those challenges. .   

IRS - Business use of Vehicles

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: IRS

This session is a basic primer that explains the business vehicle use substantiation requirements, the valuation methods to determine the personal use of the employer’s vehicles, and the factors used to determine whether an employer’s vehicle can be a qualified non-personal use vehicles (QNPV).

Bonds 101: Preparing to Issue Debt

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Debt Management

Join us for a step-by-step navigation of the path of preparing for issuing debt! This class will cover the roles of and methods of selecting your finance team, introduce types of bonds (UTGO, LTGO, Revenue) and what situations each is most commonly used for, show the importance of creating a plan of finance (determining how much you can borrow, and how proposed debt will fit with any existing debt), and discuss refunding bonds.  

SAO Roundtable

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

A roundtable discussion of current and future topics presented by the Office of the Washington State Auditor.

Session handouts will be provided during the session.

The Finance Officer of the Future

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Management/Leadership

This presentation is about what qualities a finance officer needs to have currently, and how that may subtly change to the next generation of people who take on the government’s finance responsibilities.  What they’ll need to know technically, what personal and learning characteristics I think they will need to develop and sharpen.  It is meant to be an interactive group discussion that brings the Finance function to the foreground as we have been advocating for the last several years.

State Budget Overview and Forecast

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Legislative Update

The 2017 legislative session produced a historic state operating budget that fully funds public schools for the first time in more than 30 years, made important investments in the state's mental health system, and set the course for the state's new Department of Children, Youth and Families. Get a detailed update on the enacted 2017-19 state budget and a preview of what may be on the horizon for the budget in 2018.

Success Resources: Presence, Energy, Intention, Commitment

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Management/Leadership

Are you ready to move from “Automatic Pilot” and “Instant Replay” to powerful, new operating systems? Learn about the four resources of presence, energy, intention and commitment and how they can dramatically transform your life.  Each of these states when mastered changes your ability to successfully navigate in your world. We will explore with remarkable questions, collaborative insights, and valuable strategies!

2017 State Legislative Update

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Legislative Update

Hear what happened in the 2017 legislative session.  Learn what finance issues may impact your entity. Hear about legislative action on priority issues for local governments, inlcuding public records, property taxes, business licenses, and telecommunications.

Property Tax Basics: Understanding Your Revenue Options

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Small Entities

Property tax is one of a city’s largest and most stable revenue sources, but Washington State’s property tax system is one of the most complicated in the nation. If you’ve ever tried to explain the difference between an excess levy and a levy lid lift, this session will give you the confidence to explain it in plain language that your elected officials will understand. Participants will:

  • Learn about the different types of property taxes.
  • Understand the different ways in which state law limits property taxes.
  • Understand how and when voter approval is required.
  • Explore options for increasing your city’s levy resources, including affordable housing levies, EMS levies and more.

Biggest Cyber Security Risks and How to Guard Against Them

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: General

Research and industry experts predict that small to mid-sized organizations will become one of the next big targets for hackers and cyber criminals. Leaders in these organizations recognize that the sustainability of their business is dependent upon protecting the personal and confidential information with which they are entrusted. These leaders also realize that it’s difficult to know where to start, what direction to go, and how to get there.

Join us to explore some of the greatest cyber security risks organizations face and discuss a new risk-based approach to IT security program management which has been developed specifically for small to mid-sized organizations.  Participants will come away with guidance and direction to begin the process of understanding and managing their cyber security risks.

IRS - Meals & Lodging

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: IRS

This session is a basic primer that explains how employer-provided meals and lodging may be non-taxable benefits, the meal reimbursement requirement for non-taxable treatment, and the de minimis meal rules.

Bonds 201: The Debt Issuance Process

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Debt Management

So, you have a project and a plan of finance…now what?  This session will take a step-by-step look at key parts of the debt issuance process: understanding your authorizing documents; best practices for preparing disclosure (POS); how to prepare and craft an effective message for the rating agencies; and deciding on a method of bond sale (competitive, negotiated, or bank placement).  This session is intended as a follow-up to “Bonds 101” earlier in the day; participants need not have prior experience with debt issuance, but may benefit from attending the prequel and the sequel!

Annual Street/Road Financial Reporting

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Reporting

Earlier this year the State Auditor’s Office and the Washington State Department of Transportation worked together exploring ways to eliminate duplicative reporting.  This session will explain the project, what we learned and plans for the near future. 

Handouts for this session will be provided at the Conference.

Trust Perspective and Choice

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Management/Leadership

Trust is a perspective and a choice that comes with life experience and a way of orienting to the world.

Some work environments have low trust due to poor interpersonal practices.  Other work environments are proactive and always look to increase trust.  You will be more able to inspire and respond to trust and to create more trust in the environments, from personal to professional.  You will learn skills such as “reframing” and “Mirroring”.  You will also learn winning communication practices which allow you to create interpersonal trust and be seen as trustworthy

Streamlining Business Licenses

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Legislative Update

Legislation requiring cities to streamline business licensing passed in the 2017 legislative session (EHB 2005). One of the provisions requires cities to partner with the state Business Licensing System by 2022 or to choose to partner with FileLocal for business license administration by 2020. Learn about your options to join these systems, next steps to implement, and other projects related to recommendations of the 2016 DOR task force on business licenses and taxes.

Pitfalls of Purchasing and Contracting for Small Entities

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Small Entities

The statutes for local government purchasing and contracting are complex.  The class will focus on common mistakes and pitfalls that can lead to audit findings with a class emphasis on smaller entities.

IRS - Form 1099 & Back-up Withholding

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: IRS

This session is a primer that describes the use of the forms by governmental entities, addresses the reporting requirements for the Forms 1099-INT, 1099-G, and 1099-MISC, explains the penalties, and discusses the withholding and reporting of tax on income paid to the vendors.

The After-Party: Post-Issuance Compliance with Bond Covenants

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Debt Management

Most municipal issuers of publicly offered debt have adopted policies and procedures to ensure compliance with their bond covenants. Typical covenants address continuing disclosure, IRS regulations, record retention, and use of bond-financed facilities. This class will discuss typical post-issuance requirements and feature municipal officials responsible for compliance. Attendance at this class will also fulfill the policies and procedures that require training in post-issuance compliance.

Best Practices for New GASB Standards

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

Local governments reporting on a GAAP basis have an average of three new GASB standards to implement every year.  In this class, the Office of State Auditor will discuss best practices and resources that can turn the implementation of new GASB standards from a recurring difficulty into a regular, manageable part of financial statement preparation.

All Your Questions Answered: What It’s Like to Serve on WFOA’s Executive Board or Committees?

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: General

Have you ever wondered how to become more involved with WFOA.  Do you want to become part of a committee or even be on the board?  Come and hear how you can get more involved.

Introduction to Lean

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Management/Leadership

Does it feel impossible to get your work? Or to get it done well or one time? Is it actually impossible to take on more work or a project that you know would be extremely valuable because you don't have the time? Lean can help!

This class will provide an introduction to Lean - its purpose, basic principles, tools, and application.

Paperless AP - After the Audit

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Small Entities

Accounts payable plays a vital role in any public organization. With everything going digital, this session will review the steps necessary to convert your AP process to paperless. Other topics we will cover include internal controls, finance and data security, records retention requirements, as well as auditor recommendations.

After the Bond Sale: Budgeting and Accounting for Debt

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Debt Management

The bonds have been sold...now what?  This session will explore common accounting entries associated with debt, including:  recording the transaction itself; establishing any new accounts; treatment of monthly or semiannuall payments/transfers; year-end reclassifications and adjustments; and entries specific to refunding bond issues.  We'll also look at best practices for budgeting for bonds and related debt service.

This session is intended for any finance officer involved in the accounting or budgeting associated with bond issues.  The complexity will vary from beginner (for less complex debt transactions) to intermediate (refundings and other more complex transactions).

Internal Controls and Reporting of Capital Assets for GAAP Entities

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Budgeting

This session will discuss internal controls over capital assets for GAAP financial reporting entities, including why they are important and how to improve them.  We will cover common problem areas, as well as some best practices and ideas to simplify capital asset reporting.  We will also provide information on new guidance and resources made available through the Office of the Washington State Auditor and its Performance Center.

Home Rule Powers in Washington Cities

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Legislative Update

Cities are the most powerful local governments in Washington State, yet many cities act as if they do not have home rule powers. The Legislature and courts also often behave as though local home rule authority is much more limited than the state constitution and statutes provide.

* Learn how legal and legislative decisions impact them.

* Discuss how home rule authority directly affects city finances.

Performance Audits as a means to improving operations

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: General

This session will comver the benefits and the how-to's of conducting an internal performance audit in a local govnernment environment.  We will look at establishing the criteria against which to measure performance, documentation, and applicable standards.  Finally, we will work through how to establish and communicate findings and practical, implementable solutions.

IRS - Employee or Independent Contractor?

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: IRS

This session is a basic primer that reviews the elements used by the Internal Revenue Service to determine the employment status of a worker as an employee or as an independent contractor.  The session will cover the three categories of evidence and the facts that support each category.  In addition, a brief introduction to third-party employment relationships will be presented as well.

Lean Culture

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Management/Leadership

Improve your workplace culture using Lean!  This session will focus on mindset, leadership and environment to create a better workplace.

Financial Policies with an Emphasis on Smaller Entities

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Small Entities

Local government entities and their policy needs vary considerably due to differences in size, scope of activities, organizational and staffing structures, technology, and the governing body’s values and priorities. Financial policies should be tailored and designed to meet the needs of your entity type and size. The session will focus on core financial policies such as fund balance and reserves, asset management, debt, and investment policies with an emphasis placed on development of policies for smaller jurisdictions.

Emerging Issues in Debt (Hot Topics)

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Debt Management

<p 0in="" 10pt;"="">Join us for an interactive panel discussion about hot topics hitting municipal debt in 2017. Topics of discussion will include Issue Price rules, a municipal bond market update, as well as updates regarding continuing disclosure, refunding bonds and more.

Case studies – Fraud Prevention and Detection

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Accounting, Auditing & Reporting

This session will focus on case studies and lessons learned. The Office of the State Auditor will also discuss methods of detection and the importance of effective internal controls for fraud prevention.

New public records laws and what finance needs to know on policies for new charges and data tracking

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Legislative Update

Learn about new public records laws that will affect your entity. This session will cover what finance staff need to know in order to comply with the new law. Topics include legislative background, data tracking requirements, developing a schedule and policy for charges for electronic records, and bot requests.

GASB 74/75 - Financial Reporting for Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEBs)

  • Date: 9/14/2017
  • Track: Accounting & Reporting

Financial reporting under Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 74 for pre-funded has already begun. For employers without pre-funding, the new disclosures under GASB Statement No. 75 will begin for financial reporting after June 15, 2018. In this session, we will provide an overview of what an actuarial valuation for OPEBs (usually retiree medical benefits) entails. We will discuss the impending implementation of GASB 74/75, drawing on lessons learned from GASB 67 and 68 for pensions. We will cover issues regarding timing and the basic information for the new statements, and also cover some more advanced topics.

Influence in Action: How to Consistently Hold People Accountable

  • Date: 9/15/2017
  • Track: General Session

Show me the Money! Risk Management for Finance Professionals

  • Date: 9/15/2017
  • Track: Risk Management

A successful risk management program has a positive impact on the bottom line!   Don’t let unforeseen events destroy your budget!  This session will explore the fundamentals to establishing an enterprise wide risk management program and explore risks common to public entities across a broad spectrum of areas.  Presenter will highlight and discuss risk management principles, addressing the risk management process, legal liability, and risk management techniques including risk transfer through contracts and insurance.

Millennial Loyalty: Keeping and Attracting Top Young Talent

  • Date: 9/15/2017
  • Track: Leadership

People in their 20s don't want what their parents wanted from a job. They are also more likely to live at home and less likely to put up with a work environment that cramps their style. What a shift in mindset! Attracting the young people needed to replace your retiring workforce (and making sure they stay long enough to make a difference) is crucial for your organization's future. This entertaining yet heavily researched program shows business owners, leaders and managers how to adapt their organization into a company young people want to work for and how to establish a culture they do not want to leave. Besides actually having a work force 10 years from now, the benefits include improved performance and heightened accountability from the millennials who represent your company's future.

Internal Cybersecurity Risks

  • Date: 9/15/2017
  • Track: Information Technology

News of data breaches and cyber-thefts have become more common and are reaching into the government environment with increasing frequency.   The time, effort and cost to recover from one of these events can be tremendous.   Moreover, while the threat may be coming from hackers, organized crime or other external threat actors, there is often an internal risk component to these events.   The Office of the Washington State Auditor will discuss the most common risks, the internal factors contributing to the problem, and the things each of us can do to minimize those risks.

It's Your Deal: Roles and Responsibilities in a Municipal Issuance

  • Date: 9/15/2017
  • Track: Accounting & Reporting

When you decide to issue municipal bonds to finance public projects in your state or community, it's your deal. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) provides tools and resources to empower bond issuers at the deal table. This session will review the regulatory protections governing what issuers should expect from municipal finance professionals; bond issuers' obligations related to continuing disclosure; and useful features of the MSRB's Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website specifically for issuers.