AGA TOPICS Newsletter

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					AGA TOPICS Newsletter

Government Financial Management TOPICS
Vol. 43, #7, March 29, 2004

TOPICS is brought to you by AGA Corporate Partner

Grant Thornton Global Public Sector delivers financial, technology and performance management solutions
to federal, state and local government clients, and international organizations. Call us to see if we can help
your agency manage its resources more efficiently and effectively at 703.637.2750.

AGA Welcomes DoD to CEAR Program; CFO Zakheim Discusses CEAR

AGA is pleased to welcome the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as a participant in the Certificate of
Excellence in Accountability Reporting (CEAR) Program. Dov S. Zakheim, Ph.D., Under Secretary of
Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer, has agreed to allow AGA the opportunity to follow the
agency‘s journey toward achieving excellence in performance and accountability reporting.

Any federal government entity that prepares a Performance and Accountability Report (PAR), including
components of agencies or departments that are not required by law, is welcome to participate in the CEAR
Program. By participating in the CEAR Program, agencies receive detailed recommendations for improving
their Performance and Accountability Reports (PAR), even after they have received a clean opinion on their
audited financial statements. DoD‘s participation is to be particularly commended given that DoD does not
anticipate achieving a clean opinion until at least Fiscal Year 2007. DoD‘s willingness to submit its PAR for
evaluation and to publicize its efforts sends a message about its commitment to the rest of the federal
government. AGA will be publishing a regular series of updates on DoD‘s progress.

Although Dr. Zakheim indicates below that he does not expect DoD components to participate in the AGA
CEAR Program because they were not required to prepare PARs, AGA wants to emphasize that ANY
federal government entity, including components of agencies or departments, that prepares a PAR is
welcome to participate in the CEAR Program and benefit in the same way as DoD hopes to. Several entities
that are not required by law to prepare PARs do in fact prepare them and some already participate in the
CEAR Program.

Dr. Zakheim, who has had a distinguished career in government and the private sector, was sworn in as
Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer on May 4, 2001. He plans to leave his
post at DoD on April 15.

He recently agreed to discuss DoD‘s financial management efforts and its participation in the CEAR
Program. Click here to read the complete interview

Next Issue: April 12, 2004—Spotlight on CPE Opportunities

Welcome to Government Financial Management TOPICS, the Bi-weekly Briefing of AGA News


        Spread Your Message Through AGA‘s Publications

        Your AGA National Website…A Member Resource
        AGA Announces 2004 Chapter Communicator Contests

        Other Resources for Chapter Communicators



        Save Time—Renew Your Membership Online

        Join Us for the 2004 PDC in Washington, D.C.

        Register Online and Save or Download the PDC Registration Form

        Call for Scholarship Nominations



From the National President, by Jullin Renthrope, CGFM

National President Renthrope Updates AGA’s Progress in Meeting its Long-Range Strategic Plan

Anyone who wants to know what AGA is all about can go to one place—AGA‘s Long-Range Strategic Plan.
It outlines THE focus of all AGA activities, it reflects where we want to go as an Association, and how we
plan to get there.

We‘ve all worked at organizations that undergo these long-range planning processes. It‘s not unusual to go
through the exercise only to see the bulky document gather dust on a shelf. AGA‘s plan is different – it is
succinct, dynamic and used frequently to guide all our initiatives.

Implementing the plan is an ongoing process, and I‘d like to update our members on our progress working
toward our vision — to be the premier Association in advancing government accountability.

Read about AGA‘s Long-Range Strategic Plan progress in several significant program areas at

Texas State Auditor Announces Resignation

Lawrence F. Alwin, CGFM, CPA, Texas State Auditor and a member of AGA‘s Austin Chapter, announced
last Thursday that he will resign his position on March 31, after serving in that capacity for 19 years. The
State Auditor‘s Office is a legislative agency responsible for conducting financial and performance audits of
Texas state agencies and institutions of higher education.

―This has truly been the job of a lifetime because I had the opportunity to transform the State Auditor‘s Office
into a progressive and well-respected audit organization that is nationally and internationally recognized—
and perhaps most important, I had the privilege and the honor to work with an exceptional staff that holds to
the highest professional standards. The many achievements of the Office would not have been possible
without the support of the Legislative Audit Committee. I have indicated to the Committee that I will be happy
to assist during the transition to new leadership,‖ Alwin said.
Alwin is the recent recipient of AGA‘s Excellence in Government Leadership Award and the Donald L.
Scantlebury Award from the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program. Go to to read more about Alwin‘s distinguished career.

ISSUE SPOTLIGHT: AGA’s Communications Program

Spread Your Message Through AGA’s Publications

AGA‘s Communications Department is always looking for ideas from our members. Want to recognize a
colleague who‘s been promoted, suggest a candidate for a CGFM Profile, publicize a CPE event? How
about spreading the word about your chapter‘s community service program?

AGA‘s TOPICS newsletter, released every other Monday by e-mail, is designed to provide the latest
Association news and to give your chapter national exposure. AGA Today, another bi-weekly electronic
newsletter, focuses on the newest developments in the profession.

Communications Director Marie Force welcomes article submissions and ideas. Input for TOPICS and AGA
Today is due COB each Wednesday. Contact her at

In addition, AGA is always looking for scholarly articles from practitioners and academicians for the quarterly
Journal of Government Financial Management. Check out the editorial calendar at and learn how to submit an article at

The theme for Fall 2004 is ―International Government Financial Management,‖ focusing on the efforts to
bring accountability to governments across the globe. The Winter 2004 issue, ―Beyond a Clean Audit
Opinion,‖ will discuss the federal effort to accelerate financial reporting, implement performance reporting
and link costs to programs.

Did you know you can read the magazine online or search through magazine articles dating back to 1952?
The index can be found at


Your AGA National Website…A Member Resource

Never before has there been such a useful tool for AGA members to find on-the-spot information about the
government financial management industry, CPE opportunities, local chapter event information, national
conferences and so much more!

The AGA website contains over 650 pages of information built to give you a variety of options to keep you
informed about your industry with the click of a button. To help you in your search around the AGA website,
let‘s take a tour…

Go to

AGA Announces 2004 Chapter Communicator Contests

Chapter Newsletter Editors’ Contest

It is time once again for the annual Chapter Newsletter Editor Contest! This competition is designed to bring
recognition to chapters producing the best newsletters in each chapter group.
A first-place winner and an honorable mention winner will be awarded in each chapter group for both print
and electronic newsletters. Chapters may enter EITHER the print or electronic contest, not both. Awards will
be presented during the 53rd Annual Professional Development Conference & Exposition, June 27 – 30 in
Washington, D.C. We will provide the exact date and time of the awards ceremony when award recipients
are notified.

Once again, we are inviting last year‘s award recipients to be our judges. Because many of last year‘s
recipients are still serving as their chapter‘s newsletter editors, volunteers will be asked to judge other
chapter groups. (For example, Group A would judge Group B, Group C would judge Group D, etc.) If you
received a Chapter Newsletter Award last year and would like to be a judge this year, just send an e-mail to

Print and electronic newsletters are due April 16, 2004. Please click here to view contest information and
submission rules:


Chapter Webmasters’ Contest

It‘s time to celebrate the achievements of the 2003-2004 program year by recognizing the AGA chapters that
have produced top-quality websites. Each year, a volunteer committee of past website award recipients
selects two chapters from each chapter group that have outstanding websites.

This year, the web volunteer committee will review all working chapter websites during the week of April 26.

To make sure that your chapter is included in this year‘s judging, please be sure to check your chapter‘s
listing on the AGA website at: The National
Office builds the yearly website judging lists directly from the information listed for each chapter found on
this web page.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Chapter Website Competition, please contact

To view the criteria used to judge the contest, go to


Other Resources for Chapter Communicators

Check out the Chapter Communicators’ Website at

Log in to gain access to all kinds of tools and information to make your job as a chapter communicator as
easy as can be! Remember, the Chapter Communicators‘ list serve is purged on July 1 of each year to
encourage new program year communicators to register. Make a note to sign in for the new year after July
1, 2004!

Check out the Chapter Corporate Identity Website at

Here you can access the AGA logo customized for your chapter or region. Download templates to assist you
in creating chapter letterhead, envelopes, business cards, banners, brochures and so much more! All of
these resources are free to AGA chapters. If you have any questions about using the items located here,
contact Communications Director Marie Force at

TOPICS is brought to you by AGA Corporate Partner

Management Concepts offers training for accounting personnel who need to build their knowledge of federal
accounting standards.

- Earn the professional development credits you need
- Develop JFMIP Core Competencies
- Acquire critical reference tools

Management Concepts can address your federal accounting challenges. Visit to learn more.


Save Time—Renew Your Membership Online

By now, you should have received your annual renewal packages for the 2004–2005 year. If you have
already renewed your membership, we thank you and look forward to serving you in the year to come.

If not, please note that your renewal package includes both membership and CGFM certification renewals
where applicable. The cost of CGFM Program operations has necessitated a modest $10 increase in the
CGFM renewal fee. (See the item below on CGFM renewal requirements.)

The renewal form has a new look this year that includes a receipt at the bottom. This year‘s renewal
package also includes a Member Information Sheet (demographic and contact information). Please be sure
to fill this out and return to AGA. It is so very important that we have your updated contact and demographic
information. This helps the National Office and your chapter to stay in touch with you. It is also very
important for AGA to capture your demographic information (including age, ethnicity, employer, education).
We promise that this information will only be used to customize AGA services to your needs.

By far the easiest (and quickest) way to renew is online through the password-protected Members Only
section of the AGA website. How to Renew Online: Access the AGA website at Click on
‗Members Only‘ on the left palette. Login using your membership ID number and password (your first initial
followed by your last name— no spaces), click on the gray ‗billing‘ button above your name (if the gray billing
button doesn‘t appear, it means that your membership is paid in full). All you have to do is input your credit
card information and hit ‗Submit.‘ The transaction will automatically process via our secure server and the
renewal information will be automatically updated in AGA‘s in-house membership system. While you are
logged into the Members Only section, be sure to take a look at your contact information and make any
updates as necessary (especially your e-mail address).

Remember, 2004–2005 renewal payments are due by March 31, 2004. Thank you for your continued

Join Us for the 2004 PDC in Washington, D.C.

You‘re invited to attend the premier government financial management education event of the year!
AGA is proud to announce its 53 Annual Professional Development Conference & Exposition (PDC), to be
held June 27 – 30, 2004, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The PDC will bring together more than 1,200 federal, state and local government professionals, as well as
private sector leaders, to discuss timely issues affecting government financial management. The conference
offers 25 CPE hours and provides unparalleled opportunities to make valuable professional contacts,
discuss challenges, discover creative solutions and gain the tools you need to become more effective.

With the theme ―Technology: Powering the Accountability Age,‖ PDC 2004 provides the perfect opportunity
to become more knowledgeable about the complexities of meeting new expectations for accountability.
There has never been a more critical time to become a better-educated government financial manager.
Commit to excellence today by registering for the top training event of the year.

Early Registration Deadline: May 28, 2004

For more information about the conference agenda, registration, hotel and travel discounts, please visit our

How to Register for AGA’s PDC

Register online and save $25! Go to
logon.cfm or download the PDC 2004 Registration Form at

Interested in exhibiting or sponsoring at the PDC? Contact Ada Phillips at Interested
in advertising in the conference program? Contact Marie Force at


Call for Scholarship Nominations

Extend the value of your AGA membership and encourage a family member to apply for an AGA National
scholarship. Each year, AGA awards six $1,000 full-time merit scholarships to AGA members and their
family members; two $500 part-time merit scholarship to AGA members and their family members; and one
$1,000 community service scholarship to an AGA member or nonmember. The deadline for receipt of AGA
National scholarship applications is April 2, 2004. Visit for more
details and an application.

Job Posting

Accountant or Senior Accountant, Houston, TX
Good opportunity for Spanish-speaking, experienced accountant to work in Latin America department. For a
listing of responsibilities, education and experience required, contact Robin Treadwell at 713.335.7445.


- Download an AGA Membership Application and Begin Recruiting Today!

- AGA 2004 Calendar

- Contact AGA Staff, 800.AGA.7211, 703.548.9367 (fax). Go to for e-mail


The AGA National Office is pleased to extend a special opportunity to AGA chapters. Between Jan 1, 2004
and Dec. 31, 2004, Jay Fountain, CGFM, GASB‘s former assistant director of research, now retired, and
Wilson Campbell, CGFM, project director, GASB‘s SEA Program are available as educational event and
conference speakers. Visit for more details or contact
AGA's Director of Education Lin Latham at

04/07/04 ―Human Resource Challenges in a Changing Accounting World‖

AGA, in conjunction with NASACT, is pleased to announce the next audio conference scheduled for 2 - 3:50
p.m. EST, Wednesday, April 7, 2004. Please join J. Graham Joscelyne of Urbach Kahn & Werlin Advisers
Inc., former auditor general of the World Bank, for an enlightening presentation on "Human Resource
Challenges in a Changing Accounting World." While most of the recent accounting changes are technical in
nature, the greater challenge to each accountability professional is more deeply seated, for it touches on our
values. We must examine the way we think and behave, and how we make decisions. If these human
challenges are not understood and overcome, the foundation for other changes is unstable. Cost is $249 per
phone line (toll-free to caller, unlimited attendance), if you
register on or before Friday, April 2, and $299 afterward. To register visit:

06/27/04 - 06/30/04 AGA’s 53rd Annual Professional Development Conference & Exposition
―Technology: Powering the Accountability Age‖

To stay at the top of the profession, it‘s not enough for government financial managers to keep up to date on
current developments in the field. To position yourself as a leader, you must understand emerging issues
and trends to be prepared to handle the inevitable challenges and crises that arise in an ever-changing
environment. Technological
advances in government financial management have changed financial reporting. New regulations have
made those changes mandatory. Are you prepared to face these challenges? Join AGA in Washington D.C.
to hear from the people leading the way to more accountable governments. Go to
agenda and registration information.


03/31/04 – 04/01/04 Spring Seminar 2004 "Taking Accountability to the Next Level"

AGA‘s Virginia Peninsula Chapter and the American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) are sponsoring
this seminar, worth 16 CPE hours, at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake, VA. Topics
include: ―Government Accountability,‖ Francis (Gene) Reardon, CGFM, deputy inspector general for
auditing, U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General; ―Information Systems Development—Reducing the
Risk of Failure,‖ Karen Helderman, audit director, Commonwealth of Virginia, Auditor of Public Accounts;
―Presentation Skills,‖ Carole Buncher, Carole Buncher & Associates: The Competency Company; ―Computer
Assisted Audit Techniques,‖ Pete Pupshis, CGFM, senior manager, Clifton Gunderson; ―Property, Plant &
Equipment,‖ Wendy Watson, U.S. Coast Guard Finance Center. Cost is $185 for AGA/ASMC members and
$200 for nonmembers. For more information, contact Janine Prybyla at 757.552.8204 or
See a full agenda at

04/22/04 Local Training Event

AGA‘s Montgomery/Prince Georges County Chapter presents a training event from 1:30 to 5 p.m., worth 4
CPE hours at the National Institutes of Health, Natcher Conference Center. We will highlight and discuss
―GPRA—Ten Years Later,‖ presented by Patricia A. Dalton, CGFM, of GAO; ―Erroneous Payments,‖
presented by Woody Jackson, of KPMG; and ―Accounting for Leases,‖ presented by Daniel Shriver, of
KPMG. The cost is $65 for members and $75 for nonmembers. Please go to for a
registration form.
04/07/04 Washington, D.C.
CGFM Training Course 1: The Governmental Environment

This course, worth 8 CPE hours, is designed for financial management professionals who are interested in
learning more about the ways in which government entities differ from private entities, and the interactions
among the different levels of government and the people they serve. Contact Management Concepts at
or go to

04/08/04 – 04/09/04 Washington, D.C.
CGFM Training Course 3: Government Financial Management and Control

This course, worth 16 CPE hours, is designed for financial management professionals who are interested in
learning more about the internal and management control process in government organizations, and how
this process can aid managers in meeting objectives for reliable financial and performance reporting.
Management Concepts at 703.790.9595 or go to

04/12/04 – 04/14/04 Washington, D.C.
CGFM Training Course 2: Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting and Budgeting

This course, worth 24 CPE hours, is designed for financial management professionals who want to learn
more about the standards under which the government financial manager performs financial accounting,
reporting and budgeting tasks. Contact Management Concepts at 703.790.9595 or go to


04/07/04 AGA-NASACT Audio Conference

AGA‘s Kansas City Chapter is participating in the audio conference, ―Human Resource Challenges in a
Changing Accounting World,‖ worth 2 CPE hours. Cost is $15. For reservations contact Terry Henkelman at

04/16/04 Spring Seminar

The Kansas City Chapter will hold its spring seminar, worth 8 CPE hours. The cost is $75 for members and
$90 for nonmembers. To register, contact Terry Henkelman at 816.926.8609.

04/27/04 Professional Development Conference

AGA‘s Lincoln Chapter is sponsoring this conference, worth 8 CPE hours, at the Developmental Services of
Nebraska Training Center in Lincoln. Topics include IT Spending, GASB and Performance Management,
OMB Circular A-87 and ethics. Cost is $110 for AGA members and $140 for nonmembers before April 20.
Fees go up $10
afterward. Contact Frank Faughn with questions at 402.435.2800 or

05/10/04 Performance Management and Reporting and GASB Update on Financial Reporting Standards

AGA‘s Chicago Chapter is sponsoring this free event, featuring Jay Fountain, CGFM, GASB‘s retired director
of research. Earn 3 CPE hours and learn about using and reporting performance measures and how auditors
can determine whether an agency‘s performance goals are tangible and measurable. Go to for more information.

04/22/04 - 04/23/04 Annual Regional Government Accounting and Auditing Conference
AGA's Seattle Chapter is co-sponsoring this conference, worth 16 CPE hours, with the Washington Society of
CPAs (WSCPA) at the Seatac Doubletree Inn. The conference features GASB and Yellow Book updates. Other
topics include: Grant Accounting and Reporting Changes, hands-on Performance Measures & Managing for
Results training, and Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee: A State Perspective. COSO Revisited—Enterprise
Risk Management, Applicability and Common Sense Approach to Implementing COSO, Economic Environment &
Associated Risks, Derivatives and Hedging Activities: Accounting and Disclosure Requirements for Governments,
and Performance Auditing—Issues and Applications. The cost for AGA and WSCPA members: Early bird price
(April 2 deadline) for the two-day course is $275,and $320 afterward. One-day price is $185 early bird and $230
afterward. Register online at or contact Pat Seaton at 206.287.4824.


04/23/04 Spring Seminar

AGA‘s East Tennessee Chapter is sponsoring this event, worth 7 CPE hours, at Rothchild Catering, 8807 Kingston
Pike, Knoxville. Speakers include, G. Robert Smith Jr., Ph.D, CPA, assistant professor, Middle Tennessee State
University on ―GASB and Accounting Update‖; Al Auxier, Ph.D, Flaskerud Investments, teaching scholar and
associate professor of finance, University of Tennessee, on ―Investing Warren Buffett‘s Style‖; Norma T. Mertz,
professor, University of Tennessee, and Sonja R. McNeely, associate professor, University of Tennessee, on
―Ethics and the Workplace‖; and Betsy Foxx, director, Human Resources, Blount County Government on
"Discover Your BEST Personality Style." Luncheon speaker is AGA‘s Southeastern Regional Vice President
Deborah Davis, CGFM, CPA. Cost is $100 for AGA members and $125 for nonmembers. Questions can be
directed to Mike Blair at 865.632.6056 or

04/26/04 – 04/27/04 The Southeastern Regional Professional Development Conference

AGA‘s Chattanooga Chapter is sponsoring this event, worth 16 CPE hours, at the Chattanoogan, 1201
Broad Street, Chattanooga. On April 26, the theme is, ―What‘s Up with GASB: A GASB Update for 2004‖
and on April 27 the theme is, ―Measuring Up: Developing and Implementing Performance Measures.‖ Cost is
$300 for two days or $175 for one day (8 CPE hours). Early registration is March 15. For registration information,
contact Barry Brooks at 423.757.0587 or

04/26/04 - 04/27/04 Tennessee Government Auditing Training Seminar

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury and the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers
and Treasurers (NASACT) have again partnered to conduct this year‘s seminars. Frank Crawford, Crawford
and Associates, will be the primary speaker, bringing a unique blend of technical and practical knowledge to
his sessions. This year‘s seminars are set for Chattanooga on April 26-27, Nashville on May 3-4, Morristown
on May 10-11, and Jackson on May 17-18. Note that Chattanooga is a new site and will replace the seminar
that has been held in the past several years in Cleveland. For a conference brochure and registration form
go to


04/21/04 – 04/22/04 Joint Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter Professional Development Conference

AGA's Dallas and Fort Worth Chapters are jointly sponsoring a two-day conference, worth 16 CPE hours, at
the La Quinta Conference Center in Arlington, TX. The conference theme is "Knowledge Is Power: Key
Strategies for Empowering Today's Financial Managers" and includes topics of interest to financial
managers at all levels of
government—local, state and federal—as well as the private sector. The featured luncheon speaker on
Wednesday, April 21, will be AGA National President Jullin Renthrope, CGFM, who will discuss "SAS No.
99—The New Fraud Standard‘s Impact on Auditors and Financial Managers." On Thursday, April 22, Wilson
Campbell, CGFM, project
director for the Service Efforts and Accomplishments Program at GASB, will conduct a two-hour
presentation on ―Results-Based Reporting and Management Tools for Government.‖ Other topics cover a
wide range of issues, including cyber crime, business ethics, deriving more reliable results from statistical
sampling and the auditor‘s
role in IT system development. The cost for AGA members is $225 for both days and $125 for one day.
Retired members receive discounted pricing of $175 for both days and $100 for one day. The cost for
nonmembers is $300 for both days and $175 for one day. For a conference brochure, go to or contact Raylene
Mason, CGFM, at 817.685.2450, ext. 227, or via e-mail at


04/19/04 GASB Financial Reporting Standards and SEA

AGA's Sacramento Chapter will host Jay Fountain, CGFM, former assistant research director, GASB, for an
update on reporting standards and an in-depth session on GASB's service efforts and accomplishments and
performance measures direction at the Holiday Inn, 300 J St., Sacramento. Four CPE hours offered. Fee is
$25 AGA members/$75 nonmembers (includes lunch); $5 discount for registration by April 4. To register, go

04/23/04 ―Access Unleashed: Data Analysis Using MS Access to Add Value to Audits—Technology,
Tests, Tips and Tricks for Auditors Using MS Access‖

AGA‘s Silicon Valley Chapter and the IIA‘s San Jose Chapter present this conference at the Biltmore Hotel,
Santa Clara, CA. The speaker is Mark J. Nigrini and 7 CPE hours are offered. Registration is $175 for
members and $225 for nonmembers. For more information, contact Laura Adams, president, Seminar
Coordinator, IIA San Jose Chapter, at 831.454.2880.

04/27/04 2003 Revised Yellow Book

AGA‘s Sacramento Chapter again offers this course on revised Government Auditing Standards, worth 8
CPE hours, at the Marriott in Rancho Cordova. The fee is $100 for AGA members (with early registration
discount); includes lunch, handouts. The instructor is Sefton Boyers, CGFM. Register at

AGA Advertising Opportunities!

Take advantage of several advertising opportunities from AGA! Get maximum exposure and build your
brand. Advertise on the AGA website, within AGA Today and TOPICS newsletters.Go to to find out more or contact Marie Force at

In need of CPE? Have you visited AGA‘s online professional development center? Act now and take
advantage of great courses, affordable prices and desktop convenience. Visit

Interested in joining the best of the best in government financial management? It‘s easy…join AGA. To
become a member, visit

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