Government Finance Review

Magazine covers financial management for state and local government through articles and commentary on best practices, management and more.

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 5, October

Bringing Focus to the New Clarity Standards
In issuing its October 2011 Statement on Auditing Standards No. 122, Clarification and Recodification, the goal of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Auditing Standards Board (ASB) was to make auditing standards easier to...
Budgeting for Outcomes
Key Findings from GFOA ResearchOver the past 10 years, many governments have turned to budgeting for outcomes (BFO) as a way of closing large budget deficits and creating sustainable budgets that position the government to deliver the services citizens...
Budgeting for Outcomes: Key Findings from GFOA Research
Over the past 10 years, many governments have turned to budgeting for outcomes (BFO) as a way of closing large budget deficits and creating sustainable budgets that position the government to deliver the services citizens demand and expect. The GFOA...
Calgary: 100 Years of Policies and Plans
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A budget is the culmination of past decisions and current investments, combined to reach a future vision. The City of Calgary, Alberta, uses a three-year budget process, which makes sure the implications of budget decisions...
Cities Continue to Cut Jobs and Infrastructure, Study Shows
Cities are still coping with the prolonged effects of the economic downturn, according to a new report by the National League of Cities (NLC). The 27th annual City Fiscal Conditions report shows that city revenues have fallen for the sixth straight...
Cities Continue to Cut Jobs and Infrastructure, Study Shows
Cities are still coping with the prolonged effects of the economic downturn, according to a new report by the National League of Cities (NLC).The 27th annual City Fiscal Conditions report shows that city revenues have fallen for the sixth straight year,...
Clarity: Bringing Focus to the New Clarity
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In issuing its October 2011 Statement on Auditing Standards No. 122, Clarification and Recodification, the goal of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Auditing Standards Board (ASB) was to make auditing...
Economic Trends
Many people are paying more attention to economic trends than they did before the credit meltdown. Government Finance Review presents a bimonthly summary of relevant statistics to help GFOA members keep track of the overall economic picture. Inflation Indicator...
Final GASB Guidance on Pensions for Employers
In June 2012, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued its much anticipated final standard on employer accounting and financial reporting for pensions. GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, is scheduled...
Final GASB Guidance on Pensions for Employers: GASB Statement No. 68, Issued in June 2012, Will Primarily Affect Employers That Participate in Defined Benefit Pension Plans. It Will Also Change Accounting and Financial Reporting for Non-Employer Contributors in Special Funding Situations
In June 2012, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued its much anticipated final standard on employer accounting and financial reporting for pensions. GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, is scheduled...
Financing the Future
Forecasting helps define a government's financial parameters, and is therefore one of the most important tasks a finance officer performs. Forecasts let governments know about financial imbalances before a crisis develops, create a basis for realistic...
Getting Past the Quick Fix: On the Road to Financial Resiliency
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The fiscal imbalance between revenues and commitments is growing as the impact of falling property values, high unemployment, and weak consumer confidence erodes local taxes. In addition, pressure from federal and state budget-reduction...
How Cities Are Assessing and Generating New Social Media Ideas
This article is adapted from The Rise of Social Government: An Advanced Guide and Review of Social Media's Role in Local Government Operations, a new report by The Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.Given the evolving environment...
How Cities Are Assessing and Generating New Social Media Ideas: Jurisdictions Are Carefully Evaluating New Social Media Applications before Integrating Them into Their Work Process, and Best-in-Class Cities Have a Number of Tips and Tricks for Assessing New Social Media Applications
This article is adapted from The Rise of Social Government: An Advanced Guide and Review of Social Media's Role in Local Government Operations, a new report by The Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Given the evolving...
SEC Report Makes Case for Muni Oversight, despite Opposition
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) completed its review of the municipal securities market and released its report on July 31, 2012. The report, titled SEC: Report on the Municipal Securities Market, makes more than a dozen recommendations...
SEC Report Makes Case for Muni Oversight, despite Opposition: The SEC Completed Its Review of the Municipal Securities Market and Released Its Report, Which Makes More Than a Dozen Recommendations for Legislative and Regulatory Changes
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) completed its review of the municipal securities market and released its report on July 31, 2012. The report, titled SEC: Report on the Municipal Securities Market, makes more than a dozen recommendations...
Structuring the Revenue Forecasting Process
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Forecasting is very difficult, especially if it is about the future. --Niels Bohr, Physicist, Nobel Prize winner, 1922 Financial forecasting, which defines a government's financial parameters, is one of the finance officer's...
Sustainability through Contract Drafting and Management
Cost overruns by governments at all levels capture the publics attention, and during times of severe financial pressure, governments face funding and revenue issues that affect their fiscal sustainability. By improving drafting and management practices...
Sustainability through Contract Drafting and Management: By Improving Drafting and Management Practices for Vendor Contracts, State and Local Governments Ensure Their Continuing Ability to Provide All Necessary and Appropriate Services to the Public
Cost overruns by governments at all levels capture the publics attention, and during times of severe financial pressure, governments face funding and revenue issues that affect their fiscal sustainability By improving drafting and management practices...
The City of Redmond Focuses on Vision and Fiscal Sustainability
Faced with the prospect of growing deficits every budget cycle, the mayor, city council, and staff of Redmond, Washington, worked together to develop a long-range financial strategy that resulted in structurally balanced budgets that focused on realizing...
The City of Redmond: Focuses on Vision and Fiscal Sustainability
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Faced with the prospect of growing deficits every budget cycle, the mayor, city council, and staff of Redmond, Washington, worked together to develop a long-range financial strategy that resulted in structurally balanced budgets...
The Finance Director's Role in Helping Public Enterprises Look Their Best
Many directors of public enterprises such as public utilities and solid waste management have limited or no formal training in accounting and finance. Their backgrounds are often in engineering or operations, so they typically rely on financial professionals...
The Finance Director's Role in Helping Public Enterprises Look Their Best: Finance Directors of Public Enterprises Face Special Challenges; Developing Expertise in Financial Best Management Practices Will Help Them Keep the Enterprise Operationally and Financially Sustainable While Minimizing User Rate Increases over the Long Term
Many directors of public enterprises such as public utilities and solid waste management have limited or no formal training in accounting and finance. Their backgrounds are often in engineering or operations, so they typically rely on financial professionals...
The Wrong - and Right - Way to Build a Strategic Plan
Here's a sure-fire formula for developing a strategic plan for your organization that is guaranteed to collect dust on the shelf:Build the plan as a description of the status quo. Be sure that your mission statement describes all the things the organization...
The Wrong-And Right-Way to Build a Strategic Plan: Done Well, It Can Serve as the Centerpiece of an Organization's Work, Guiding It in Ways Both Large and Small
Here's a sure-fire formula for developing a strategic plan for your organization that is guaranteed to collect dust on the shelf: Build the plan as a description of the status quo. Be sure that your mission statement describes all the things the...
Understanding Local Public Finance in California (and Everywhere Else)
Guide to Local Government Finance in California By Michael Multari, Michael Coleman, Kenneth Hampian, and Bill Statler Solano Press Books 2012, 336 pages, $90 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The authors of the Guide to Local Government Finance...
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