APIPA 2017 Conference Courses

Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary Session: Internal Controls: Why they matter.

(Frank Crawford and Elizabeth Schubert, 4 Hours, Monday Morning)

So many people and organizations view internal controls as a nuisance without understanding the benefits and the need for an effective internal control system. We see many situations where internal controls are ignored, overridden, or simply not designed properly. The purpose of internal controls, however, is to help an entity achieve its objectives. This course will review the components and principles of internal controls while also illustrating the consequences of not following internal controls.


Closing Plenary Session: Best Practices in Financial and Audit Organizations

(Greg Matayoshi, 4 Hours, Friday Afternoon)

Do your finance and audit organizations make use of best industry practices? This session will cover the various leading practices in audit and financial management organizations, examining such topics as maintaining relevancy and promoting open government, transparency and accountability.


Audit Track

Creative Thinking for Auditors

(Michael Binder, 4 Hours, Monday Afternoon)

Creative Thinking for Auditors explores why creative and critical thinking are essential tools of auditor proficiency that should be applied throughout all phases of the audit process. The class will discuss personal and organizational challenges to creative thinking and change, and ways to overcome the natural resistance to change for breakthrough ways of seeing problems and considering new possible solutions. The presentation will included brain training exercises and tools to get participants thinking more abstractly to look beyond the obvious, to challenge the status quo and use process techniques for generating new ideas for action. This class will explore the power of "why" in looking for root causes of problems, and the power of the possible in considering new opportunities and threats for forward thinking recommendations.


Basic Auditing Techniques

(Frank Crawford, 8 Hours, Tuesday)

The foundation of auditing is derived from its basic concepts. This session will take a detailed look at those basic concepts, with a focus on which concepts have more "weight" than others. Topics to be discussed include the concepts of "professional skepticism", interviewing skills and many others.


Auditing Grants: Providing Guidance and Direction

(David Rykken, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

Several provisions in the final uniform guidance target audit requirements. These revisions are intended to strengthen oversight and focus audits where there is the greatest risk of fraud, abuse and waste in federal awards. This session will go over the latest compliance supplement and will examine some recent audit, GAO and OIG reports to provide you guidance on what to consider putting in place to reduce audit findings.


Unlock the Secrets to Measuring Agency Performance

(Patricia Keehley, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Performance measures can paint a colorful picture of agency performance but only if they are analyzed in an appropriate manner. Answer key questions about the efficiency, timeliness and quality of services delivered by an agency and develop recommendations that reduce costs and improve services. And, don't overlook how measures can reveal possible causes of poor performance. Explore case studies and methods as you develop tools to measure and report on agency performance.


Audit Evidence and Workpapers

(Patricia Keehley, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

Where is your proof? In the workpapers, of course. Do those workpapers meet the tests of evidence required by GAGAS? They must! This session shares the standards for evidence and offers creative methods for collecting and documenting evidence. And, learn how to reference your materials to ensure a well-supported, effective audit report.


Audit Supervisory Track

Yellowbook Government Audit Standards Update

(Frank Crawford, 4 Hours, Monday Afternoon)

The GAO has released a new exposure draft pertaining to Government Auditing Standards. This session will take a look at the new exposure to see which GAO standards are under consideration for modifications, along with a look at any new requirements being put forth. In addition, we will review a number of Yellow Book requirements from previous editions.


Effective Audit Supervision

(Patricia Keehley, 8 Hours, Tuesday)

Whether you're a new supervisor or have 20 years of experience, through this course you'll strengthen positive aspects of your management style and discover new ways to improve your effectiveness when dealing with others. Learn how to set SMART performance expectations and how to match staff capabilities with audit tasks. You will leave this session with a set of practical tools and techniques that you can immediately apply when you return to your home office.


Leadership, Motivation and Accountability for High Performance Audits

(Michael Binder, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

What makes a good leader? How do we motivate others? And how do we create an environment where staff members are fully accountable? These are the basic ingredients for high performing organizations – but in many audit organizations we promote or hire staff into management or leadership positions based upon their demonstrated technical skills, without preparing them to step into a leadership role requiring an entirely different set of knowledge, skills and abilities – which becomes self-perpetuating as their only reference may be their own managers who were also promoted based upon technical skill – and never learned to lead. This session will examine the traits, characteristics and styles of successful managers and leaders that can be learned with understanding and practice, as well as a close-up view of why many managers and people in leadership positions often fail. We will explore ways to inspire and motivate staff through constructive coaching, growth opportunities and appreciation. This session will also explore the communication tools, approaches and techniques to inspire a new level of performance accountability and commitment through empowerment and ownership. Great audit organizations need leaders who see their role differently than being super auditors. This session will help people in audit leadership positions prepare for crossing that threshold.


Planning Audits for Results

(Michael Binder, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Success and stakeholder relevance of an audit organization depends upon the planning it does in selecting what performance audits it conduct based upon factors of risk, materiality, public interest and overall benefit; and then translating those factors into meaningful forward looking audit objectives. The audit selection process should follow a structured approach for determining how audit resources should be invested for the greatest future value, while individual audits need to follow a structured project approach to efficiently and effectively achieve specific audit objectives valued by stakeholders. In this session you learn:

  1. A measurement process for assessing factors of risk, benefits and costs to apply in identifying, prioritizing and selecting topics, areas and issues for value-added audits;
  2. How to identify the external aspects risk that cannot be controlled, but must be considered in assessing the program and organization in selecting audits, and in setting audit objectives;
  3. How to use stakeholder interest and needs to plan compelling audits and objectives;
  4. How to formulate audit objectives that meet standards, clarify what an audit is to accomplish, seek root cause findings and develop future oriented recommendations.

Peer Review – Are You Ready?

(Jeanne Yamamura, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

This course provides an overview of the Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA) peer review program. It is geared toward aiding public auditors' offices in preparing for and achieving successful peer reviews. Topics such as the peer review timeline, quality control system requirements, and self-assessments will be covered. Advanced auditing knowledge is necessary. The course is directed toward audit principals and senior staff.


Finance Track

Governmental Accounting Basics

(Jeanne Yamamura, 12 Hours, Monday Afternoon - Tuesday)

This active 1½ day course provides an introduction to the basics of accounting and financial reporting for governmental entities. Participants will gain a working knowledge of fund types and categories and learn how to record routine transactions for governmental activities. Internal controls as they apply to the accounting cycle and good accounting practice will be emphasized throughout the course. The session emphasizes hands-on practice in the accounting cycle process, from recording a transaction to preparing financial statements. Participants will leave the course with a more complete understanding of accounting terminology, the recording process, the role played by reconciliations, and the preparation of financial statements. No advance accounting knowledge is necessary.


GASB Update

(Frank Crawford, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

Eleven statements, four exposure drafts and one large financial reporting model project are currently lined up and ready to march into play. While these statements and exposure drafts have varying effective dates, they are all relatively effective soon. While we will carve out the tax abatement statement and the OPEB statements for a closer look in other sessions, we will cover statements 73, 78-83, all four exposure drafts in detail, and take a closer look at pending decisions about the future of a new reporting model in this session.


Implementing Internal Controls and Quality Assurance for Program Managers

(David Rykken, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Having strong internal controls and understanding the rules governing how you can and cannot spend federal dollars are keys to increasing effectiveness and efficiency in fiscal management. This session will you to help your organization define and clarify requirements and expectations regarding internal control over grants management. Participants will do self-assessments of their program's internal controls and their sub recipient oversight in order to improve their current systems.


Emotional Intelligence and Dealing with Difficult Personalities

(Michael Binder, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

Managing positive and productive relationships during the course of audit work, directing, coaching or working with members of the audit team, dealing with auditees, clients, boards, stakeholders, management of your own organization, perhaps the media or testifying at hearings are some of the everyday emotionally challenging and often confrontational components of our jobs. We often have to deal with difficult people in difficult situations– and they have to deal with us! This class will examine how to develop the emotional intelligence competencies and communications skill necessary to maintain control, be flexible, and better connected with people in defusing angst and building positive, cooperative relationships for constructive problem solving and inspired action. We will explore differences in personality types which cause misunderstandings, how to identify and manage your own hot buttons, and how to manage difficult personality types or potentially contentions situations for positive outcomes.


Advance Finance and Management

Grants Management: Using Practical Tools for Implementing the Uniform Guidance

(David Rykken, 12 Hours, Monday Afternoon - Tuesday)

The objectives of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards are to ease administrative burden and strengthen oversight of federal funds to reduce risks of waste, fraud and abuse. What does this mean for your organization and have these changes been incorporated into your organizational processes? Professionals will benefit from this review of the administrative and cost principles sections of the 2 CFR Part 200. After taking this session, you will be able to: identify changes in regulations, determine actions required by the new regulations, and use some practical tools to help you update your policies and procedures.


Skills for Leading and Managing Staff

(Patricia Keehley, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

Do you sometimes struggle to influence work groups, boost productivity, or achieve positive results in the desired timeframe? Lean how to distinguish and apply the behaviors associated with inspiring leaders and effective managers. Add the knowledge and skills to your toolbox to disarm conflict, motivate team members, manage day-to-day activities and accomplish long term goals. Walk away from this session with a specific plan for action to strengthen your leader and manager styles.


It's Time For…Priority Based Budgeting

(Jeanne Yamamura, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Budget development continues to utilize an incremental approach. "If we spent this much last year, how much do we think we can spend next year?" This approach, while workable when revenues and expenditures are relatively stable, doesn't work at all in periods of great uncertainty or change. Even worse, it doesn't provide governments with the information and tools needed to modify budgets in times of increasing budget pressure. Priority-Based Budgeting (PBB) allocates resources based on a government's most important strategic priorities. This 1-day course provides an introduction to PBB and provides an opportunity for participants to begin developing their own strategic priorities.


Analytics – Adding Value to our Organization

(Greg Matayoshi, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

What is the value of data analytics, why is it important, and how can we use it in financial management and communications to improve our organizations? While the basic analysis of the debits and credits is common in financial management, what is the next step we can take to use effective data analysis to improve the organization? This session will examine what data analytics is, its evolution over the years, and how it can be effectively used in financial management and communications to stakeholders.