Government Finance Officers Association

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The Government Finance Officers Association (or GFOA) is a professional association of approximately 17,500 state, provincial, and local government finance officers in the United States and Canada. GFOA is headquartered in downtown Chicago.

Name[edit]

The original predecessor of GFOA was the National Association of Comptrollers and Accounting Officers which was formed in February 1906. Its name was changed in December 1931 to the International Association of Municipal Finance Officers. In June 1932, the name became the Municipal Finance Officers Association (MFOA). In 1973, the GFOA (then MFOA) was instrumental in the creation of the National Council on Governmental Accounting (NCGA). By the late 1970s, it was apparent that the NCGA couldn't fully do its job, due to part-time members and limited resources. Several public interest groups, including the GFOA and the National Association of State Auditors Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT), held public hearings to build consensus to create and fund a full-time standards-setting body. In 1984, the GFOA, NASACT, and others signed an agreement with the Financial Accounting Foundation that gave them a voice and appointments in the creation of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board(GASB). The name Government Finance Officers Association was adopted in April 1984. [1]

Current Activities[edit]

Consulting[edit]

The Research and Consulting Center (RCC) is the management analysis and consulting arm of GFOA. Since beginning operations in 1977, the RCC has provided management and technology advisory services to hundreds of local, county, and state governments; public utilities; elementary and secondary education systems; and transit authorities. The RCC is nationally recognized for its comprehensive analytical and advisory services, as well as for specialized research on state and local government finance. Over the years, GFOA has utilized an approach to budget strategy known as BFO (Budgeting For Outcomes) that incorporates the firm's "best practices" into a budget planning approach for small governments. GFOA has also partnered with CIPFA to develop the "FM Model", a web based financial management and self-assessment tool for small governments.

GFOA consultants have written many publications, spoken at national conferences and regularly teach training sessions for GFOA members. In addition, many consultants work with GFOA's standing committees to develop best practices in the areas of budgeting, capital planning, debt administration, pension administration, and cash and investment management.

Publications[edit]

GFOA conducts ongoing research with its member network and communicates information on leading practices, lessons learned, and trends in financial management such as technology utilization and governance. GFOA currently has more than 60 titles available. Recent Books published by GFOA include:

GAAFR- Government Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting; Financing the Future: Long Term Financial Planning for Local Government; The ERP Book; Capital Project Planning and Evaluation: Expanding the Role of the Finance Officer; IT Budgeting and Decision Making; Technologies for Government Transformation.

Government Finance Review (GFR): GFOA consultants also regularly contribute articles and serve as reviewers for GFOA’s bi-monthly publication, The Government Finance Review, along with other leading journals, books, and white papers. The Government Finance Review is distributed to all 17,500 GFOA members and contains articles written on best practices in government management.

Treasury Management Newsletter: GFOA distributes an e-newsletter written by finance and treasury professionals on relevant issues relating to government finance. Topics range from municipal debt to pension management.

Awards and Scholarships[edit]

The GFOA sponsors award programs designed to encourage sound financial reporting for financial documents including the Comprehensive annual financial report, or CAFR, and the annual budget. The group also awards an award for Excellence in government finance. Governments in both the US and Canada are encouraged to enter. GFOA also sponsors the Frank L. Greathouse Government Scholarship each year for use by a college senior preparing for a career in state or local government finance. Recently, GFOA founded a 1-year Research Fellow program for recent graduates from the University of Chicago with an interest in public finance and small government.

GFOA Conference[edit]

GFOA’s Annual Conference attracts approximately 5,000 government finance professionals and provides a forum to discuss innovative practices, learn from best practice examples, network with peers, and interact with exhibitors.

Training[edit]

As part of a commitment to professional development, the GFOA offers a Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) certification program. To earn the CPFO, candidates must pass five examinations covering the major areas of public finance. Once earned, the CPFO designation requires 30 hours of continuing professional education each year. GFOA consultants are regular trainers at these events. Additionally, GFOA's training curriculum has helped thousands of Government finance workers receive CPE credit in a variety of areas, from accounting to pension management. GFOA plans to expand the service into an online platform to provide more courses to more people.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]