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President’s Message

We want GFOAT to be the organization that transforms challenges into opportunities.

A Flood of Chapportunities

In my many years in local government finance, I have seen scandals, recessions, new regulations and laws, and financial threats of all kinds.  However, 20 years ago, it was typically the issue du jour and new challenges were always polite to wait in line until the previous crisis was resolved.  Today, the challenge du jour has morphed like a transformer into an entire cafeteria of issues simultaneously competing for our attention.  Technology is transforming our lives and careers in ways we have yet to totally comprehend.  To prove my point, here are just six challenges the local finance officer must currently address:

  • Social media that can turn one dissatisfied citizen into a full blown public relations crisis
  • Cyber threats from anywhere in the world that can disable our computers or defraud us of millions of dollars
  • Increasingly complex accounting and compliance rules that are constantly changing.
  • An aging workforce creating succession issues and making our pension and other post employment benefits promises a major financial focus
  • Total integration of technology into the workplace impacting how we must view our responsibility for internal controls and increasing our need for a basic understanding of IT systems
  • A proactive legislature that seems determined to limit local control including our ability to raise the revenues necessary to serve our citizens

It is in this environment that we as finance officers need each other more than ever.  In response, the GFOAT Board is in the process of changing how the association serves you, our members.  Exciting changes on the horizon include:

  • A new website and logo
  • Rebranding and revising committee structure to better fit today’s environment
  • Introduction of a three-day Governmental Accounting Academy to train those new to government in generally accepted accounting principles
  • More national level speakers at our conferences with a greater variety of technical topics

I am excited to be your President this upcoming year as we strive for your GFOAT to be the organization that transforms Challenges into Opportunities.

The best is ahead!

Bob