GFOAz News A Publication of the Government Finance Officers Association of Arizo by fyh73286


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									            GFOAz                                                                                 News
                           A Publication of the Government Finance Officers Association of Arizona                                                                                                                             July 2003

Program Set for GFOAz                                Campus. The course has two primary objec-
                                                     tives: training government managers in fund                   Save the Date
Summer Training                                      accounting and reviewing the basic fund
This year GFOAz is excited to offer two educa-       accounting material that is typically found on      August 21-22, 2003
tional tracks for the summer training.The            the CPA exam. Recognizing that students may         GFOAz Summer Training
summer training is August 22 at the Radisson         have vastly differing backgrounds, accounting       Radisson Woodlands Hotel
Woodlands Hotel in Flagstaff.Many of you             and public management, there will be a group        Flagstaff
attended last year's summer training that cov-       project that will enable both public manage-
                                                                                                         October 31, 2003
ered basic governmental accounting.For               ment and accounting students to leverage the        GFOAz Certified Public Finance
members interested in focusing on accounting         skills of the other. The groups, not unlike          Officer Exam
at the 2003 summer training, Dr.William              those that would be found on the job, will be       League of Arizona Cities and Towns
Voorhees, Professor of Public Affairs at             a mix of skill levels and backgrounds. The          Phoenix
Arizona State University, will be presenting an      group project will consist of building a set of
intermediate accounting track.His presenta-          books for a fictional government- the City of     the names of members who have indicated
tion will include a review of basic governmen-       Smithville. Each week a different set of prob-    knowledge and expertise in specific areas
tal accounting, financial reporting, capital proj-   lems will be assigned. Some of these prob-        such as activity based costing, budget devel-
ects, auditing, and a GASB update.The second         lems will investigate transactions for general    opment, economic development and invest-
track encompasses many different topics              funds, proprietary funds, accounting for capi-    ments just to name a name a few. In an effort
including: reassessing your investment portfo-       tal assets, and Statement 34 reporting            to make this resource even more convenient,
lio, strategic planning and performance meas-        requirements. Some issues that are currently      the information is now available on the
urement, indirect cost allocation and calcula-       on the horizon such as Concept Statement 2-       GFOAz web site, Users should
tion, and negotiation skills for finance officers.   Performance Measures, Other Post                  click on the Member Info Exchange link,
                                                     Employment Benefits (OPEBs), investment           from this page you will be able to search for
Room reservations at the group rate of $87/          risk disclosure and not-for-profit reporting      information by subject.
night may be made by calling (800) 333-3333          requirements will also be discussed. The class
or (928) 773-8888. The group rate will be            will end with a look at governmental auditing     AGA Launches a Certificate
available until July 31, 2003 or until the block     standards and the Yellow Book.
is filled so reserve your room early! The sum-                                                         of Excellence in Service
mer training registration fee for GFOAz mem-         You do not need to be enrolled in a gradu-        Efforts and Accomplishments
bers is $60. If you have colleagues interested       ate program at ASU to take this course,
                                                     however you do need to be admitted to ASU
                                                                                                       Reporting Program
in attending who are not currently GFOAz
members, membership applications may be              as a non-degree seeking graduate student          The Alfred P.Sloan Foundation recently
downloaded from the GFOAz web site,                  to register. This process is easy and inex-       approved the Association of Government Registration materials have           pensive, for more information visit the ASU       Accountants (AGA) funding to launch a
been mailed to members and are also avail-           Graduate College web site at                      Certificate of Excellence in Service Efforts and
able on the GFOAz web site,        Accomplishments (SEA) Reporting Program
                                                     Fall classes begin August 25.                     (COE in SEA Reporting).This program capital-
ASU Offers Public Sector                                                                               izes on the exciting developments in the state

Accounting and Auditing                              Online Resource Directory                         and local performance measurement arena and
                                                                                                       will encourage government jurisdictions-states,
Course                                               Up and Running
                                                                                                       cities,municipal departments,etc.-to voluntari-
                                                     Since it was first introduced in the 2002         ly submit their SEA Reports to AGA for evalua-
Dr.William Voorhees, Professor of Public
                                                     GFOAz Membership Directory, the                   tion by reviewers who will evaluate the reports
Affairs at Arizona State University, is teaching
                                                     Knowledge Resource Index has been a valu-         against a checklist and provide recommenda-
PAF 591 Public Sector Accounting and
                                                     able tool for members. The index provides
Auditing this fall at the ASU Downtown                                                                                            - Continued on p. 2
                                                                - Continued from p. 1
        GFOAz                           News                                                                            Join Fellow GFOAz Members
                                                                tions for improvement.Certificates of Excellence
                                                                will be presented to those reports deemed out-
                                                                                                                        for the 2003 GFOAz Summer
       Government Finance Officers Association
                       of Arizona                               standing.The Sloan Foundation's full sponsorship              Golf Tournament!
               1820 W. Washington Street                        gives AGA two years to develop the program,
                   Phoenix, AZ 85007                                                                                    The 2003 GFOAz Summer Golf Tournament
                                                                which includes a test cycle and an implementation
       Tel: (602) 258-5786 Fax: (602) 253-3874                                                                          will take place August 21 in conjunction
                  email:                         year.At the same time AGA will assess interest in
                                                                                                                        with the GFOAz Summer Training. The
                Internet:                         the program and the feasibility of continuing it
                                                                                                                        tournament will be played at the Elephant
                                                                with funding from user fees.
                                                                                                                        Rocks Golf Club in Williams. The cost is $35
                                                                Spotlight on Performance                                for Active GFOAz members and $55 for
                                                                                                                        Commercial GFOAz members and non-
                 GFOAz Board                                    Citizens expect their governments to be account-        members. The cost includes a shotgun start
                                                                able,which increasingly means communicating             format, lunch, and prizes. Registration infor-
                                                                planned and actual program efforts and accom-           mation for the golf tournament is included
                Kathy Pace, President                           plishments-that is efficiency and effectiveness-in
                     Controller                                                                                         in the summer training registration materi-
                                                                addition to presenting the financial expenditures.      al and may be downloaded from the GFOAz
                    City of Mesa
                                                                At the federal level,the enactment of the               web site,
                                                                Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA)
          Robert Nilles, President-Elect
                                                                addressed this concern for accountability and com-
             Finance Administrator                                                                                    accomplishments).For example,the City of San
                City of Surprise
                                                                munication by requiring federal agencies to prepare
                                                                                                                      Jose operates a citywide performance based
                                                                strategic plans and annual performance plans that
                                                                                                                      approach and tracks measures from their depart-
                  Brent Mattingly                               define,in measurable terms,planned outputs and
                                                                                                                      ments of economic and neighborhood develop-
              Immediate Past President                          outcomes for their services.Subsequently,federal
                                                                                                                      ment,transportation,public safety,environment
               Deputy Finance Director                          agencies issue annual Performance and
                                                                                                                      and utility services,recreation and cultural servic-
                   City of Peoria                               Accountability Reports that disclose the agency's
                                                                                                                      es and more.(GASB Case Study: City of San Jose,
                                                                planned and actual outputs and outcomes.Since
                                                                                                                      CA,"Use and the Effects of Using Performance
               Glenn Smith, Treasurer                           1997,AGA has issued Certificates of Excellence to
                                                                                                                      Measures for Budgeting,Management and
                 Chief Fiscal Officer                           federal agencies that produce outstanding
                   Town of Payson
                                                                                                                      Reporting" September 2002).
                                                                Performance and Accountability Reports.
                                                                                                                                                                       - Continued on p. 3
                                                                Importance of Performance Reporting
         Stacey Lemos, Member At-large
                 Finance Director                               Monitoring and reporting performance                  Distinctive Strengths. United Goals.
                Town of Sahuarita                               in addition to expenditures is valuable in
                                                                a number of respects. First, it demon-
          Regina Pace, Member At-large                          strates and communicates accountability
          City Treasurer/Finance Director                       and increases public awareness of the
                  City of Douglas                               success or failure of government pro-
                                                                grams. It also aids in strategic planning,
             Jeff Tyne, Member At-large                         operational monitoring and performance
                    Budget Officer
                                                                improvement. The information can be
                    City of Peoria                                                                                                      The Willdan Group of Companies
                                                                used to make budget, management, serv-                 1717 West Northern Avenue, Suite 112, Phoenix, Arizona 85021-5469
                                                                                                                       602/870-7600 800/643-3671 Fax 602/870-7601
                                                                ice, program and policy decisions. In
                 Dennis Massara
            Education Committee Chair                           short, monitoring and reporting per-
             Assistant Finance Director                         formance initiatives can help make gov-
             City of Lake Havasu City                           ernments more results oriented.
                                                                A Service Efforts and Accomplishments
                                                                (SEA) Report is similar to the
                                                                Performance and Accountability report to
    GFOAz News is published by the Government Finance
    Officers Association of Arizona. Forward your comments
                                                                the extent that it explains to citizens and
    or suggestions to the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,   other stakeholders how a state or local
    Attn: Wendy Kaserman, 1820 W.Washington Street,
    Phoenix,Arizona 85007, Phone: 602-258-5786, Fax: 602-
                                                                entity spent money (its service efforts)
    253-3874, email:                    and what it achieved with those efforts (its

2        GFOAz News              July 2003
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board          Reviewers-AGA is also actively seeking individ-
(GASB) continues to encourage state and local        uals interested in serving as volunteer SEA                 MEMBER PROFILE
governments to experiment with SEA measure-          Program reviewers.This is a tremendous
ment and reporting. However,the response to          opportunity to get involved in this important
organizational and program accountability at         initiative.Pilot year reviewers will attend class-
the state and local level remains mixed.Some         room training (expenses are covered),will eval-      David
state and local governments have been tracking       uate reports,complete the checklist and then         Andrews
and reporting performance on a wide range of         participate in a post-pilot year wrap-up.AGA
services and programs for the past several years.    expects these reviewers to offer recommenda-         Finance Director
Others regularly integrate the data into the budg-   tions for improving all facets of this phase.        Oro Valley
et and policy decision-making process.
                                                     For More Information
The overwhelming majority of state and local
                                                     Lisa Thatcher can help you with your ques-
governments,however,have only slowly adopt-                                                               Where are you originally from?
                                                     tions and can provide more information about
ed the practice.Identifying and reporting such                                                            I moved to Arizona fifteen years ago from
                                                     the new program and reviewer service.                Austin, Texas.
measures can be a full-time task and it can take
                                                     Contact her at or
a number of years to identify,develop and fine                                                            What do you like most about your job?
                                                     800.242.7211, ext. 212.
tune useful measures.It is not uncommon for                                                               I like working on special projects, specifically
governments to begin their performance initia-                                                            bond issuance projects. During my tenure in
tives by reportingoutputs with the expectation       AZ Department of                                     Oro Valley, the Town has purchased water utili-
                                                                                                          ties, developed parks and built a new library. I
that outcome measures will replace them even-        Commerce Offers Grants                               especially enjoy helping to make infrastructure
tually.Although more research is necessary to        for Energy Saving Projects                           projects a reality.
determine the full effect of using SEA informa-
                                                                                                          What areas of government finance interest
tion in budgeting and management,few would           The Municipal Energy Management Program              you the most?
disagree that such measures can help inform          (MEMP) encourages and assists in the devel-          As mentioned above, bond issuance is the area
decision-makers and therefore hold potential         opment and implementation of energy man-             of government finance that interest me most.
for shaping government performance and               agement programs by facilitating the planning        What other communities have you worked for?
addressing some of its challenges.                   process and providing the necessary basic            I have been the Finance Director in Oro
                                                     tools, staff training and technical assistance.As    Valley for 12 years. Prior to taking this posi-
How the SEA Program Fits In                                                                               tion, I was the Assistant Finance Director for
                                                     part of MEMP, the Department of Commerce             the City of South Tucson. I began working
AGA's new Certificate of Excellence in SEA           Energy Office makes funds available for ener-        for the City of South Tucson after completing
Reporting Program holds exciting potential to        gy saving projects. Those eligible to apply          my M.P.A. at the University of Arizona. In
stimulate preparation of SEA Reports by a signif-                                                         Texas, I worked for Tracor Aerospace as a
                                                     include incorporated Arizona cities, towns,          budget analyst and I started my career work-
icantly larger number of state and local govern-     counties, improvement districts, and Indian          ing for the State of Texas as a tax auditor.
ments.Equally as important,the program can           tribes with populations under 70,000.
help governments effectively communicate per-                                                             Who is your favorite musician?
                                                     The MEMP approach to energy conservation is          I like many different kinds of music, but
formance to constituents and improve the quali-                                                           some of my favorite musicians are Stevie Ray
ty of the reports being issued to citizens.AGA's     a simple and direct step-by-step approach.The        Vaughn, Eric Clapton, and Van Morrison.
certificate program offers an additional tool that   first step is to understand where energy is being
state and local governments can use to promote       consumed and how much it costs,based on util-        What are your hobbies?
                                                     ity bill analysis and audits.The second step         I am a very active person and enjoying many
their success,like the complementary programs                                                             sports including snow skiing, running, snor-
offered by the International City Management         identifies strategies for lowering energy costs.     keling, weight lifting, and scuba diving. I also
Association (ICMA) and Government Finance            The third step assists in incorporating energy       like reading and country and western dancing.
Officers Association (GFOA).                         management into future develop-
                                                     ment through an energy manage-
Call for Reports and Reviewers!                      ment plan. MEMP grant applications
AGA wil identify and select the 15-20 reports        may be downloaded from
to be evaluated during the pilot year.Contact        Department of Commerce web site,
AGA if your office is reporting on SEA-related
measures and would like to be considered.            municipal.htm. The deadline for sub-
Since the purpose of the pilot year is to test and   mitting applications is Friday,August
improve the evaluation process, the review           29.For more information regarding
teams will evaluate the reports against the          the MEMP program,contact Ed
checklist and rate the reports, but no certifi-      Charles at 602-771-1140,or by email
cates of excellence will be presented.               at

                                                                                                                          July 2003     GFOAz News           3
GFOA's 2003 Annual GAAP                           ance data verification, program evaluation,     The GASB's Technical Bulletin, Disclosure
                                                  and strategic planning. If interested, please   Requirements for Derivatives Not Reported
Update Offered By Satellite                       send resume with qualifications to Andy         at Fair Value on the Statement of Net
Teleconference                                    Williams, Policy Analyst/Consultant             Assets, is designed to increase the public's
The GASB continues to develop news stan-          ( Course descriptions       understanding of the significance of deriva-
dards that will significantly affect public       are available at     tives to a government's financial position
sector accounting and auditing profession-        seminars-description.pdf.                       and would provide key information about
als. GFOA's 2003 Annual Governmental                                                              their potential effects on future cash flows.
GAAP Update will cover the full range of          Cost Analyses Sought
                                                                                                  This Technical Bulletin will be effective for
these important pending changes. Specific         by GFOA                                         periods ending after June 15, 2003. The
topics to be addressed at this year's half day    GFOA is seeking information on how gov-         Bulletin may be obtained through the GASB
satellite conference include the following:       ernments conduct cost analyses of their         Order Department at 800-748-0659 or by
•   New disclosures for deposits and invest-      services. Cost analyses may be performed        placing an order at the GASB's website,
    ments (final statement)                       to set fees and charges, evaluate contracting
•   Financial statement recognition of impair-    with the private sector, estimate unit costs,
    ments to capital assets (final statement)     establish overhead cost rates, estimate the
•   Mandatory accrual of postretirement           cost to add a new service or increase an
    healthcare and similar benefits (final        existing service, or to find areas for cost
    statement)                                    savings. The research is being conducted
•   Appropriate budgetary reporting when          for an upcoming publication on the topic.
    the framework used for budgeting is           Please send reports, memos, or brief
    incompatible with the fund structure          descriptions of the cost analyses to Greg
    used for financial reporting (final           Michel at GMichel@, or
    statement)                                    by mail at 203 N. LaSalle, Suite
•   Accounting for derivatives and bond           2700, Chicago, IL 60601.                      Newsletter Advertising is
    swaps (technical bulletin)                                                                          Now Available!
•   Revisions to the statistical section of the   GASB Improves
    CAFR (exposure draft)                         Derivative Disclosure                   If you would like to learn more about advertising in
•   Accounting for hedging transactions                                                     GFOAz News, please contact Wendy Kaserman at
    (ongoing project)
                                                  Requirements                                (602) 258-5786 or

•   Accounting for pollution remediation          In an effort to improve disclo-
    (ongoing project)                             sures associated with derivative
                                                  contracts, the Governmental
The satellite teleconference will take place
                                                  Accounting Standards Board
Thursday, November 6 from 1 pm- 5pm
                                                  (GASB) has issued critical
EST (11am- 3pm MST). Registration is
                                                  accounting guidance that will
available online at the GFOA web site,
                                                  provide more comprehensive
                                                  reporting by state and local gov-
Performance Measurement                           ernments. Under the new guid-
                                                  ance, users of financial statements
Faculty Applications                              will be better informed about the
GFOA is currently recruiting instructors for      risks assumed in derivative con-
its training series in performance measure-       tracts. Derivatives are often used
ment. The training series includes two            by governments as a means to
courses in introductory and advanced per-         potentially reduce borrowing
formance measurement. Candidates with             costs. While derivatives may sup-
excellent speaking skills, teaching experi-       port financing needs, the lower
ence, and a working knowledge of perform-         costs come with additional risks.
ance management are highly encouraged to          The objectives and terms of
apply. Specific areas of knowledge desired        derivative contracts, their risks
include benchmarking, the balanced score-         and the fair value of the contracts
card, activity-based management, budget-          are generally not specified in
ing using performance measures, perform-          financial reports today.

4    GFOAz News      July 2003

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