AFFILIATE SPOTLIGHT: New Hampshire Government Finance Officers
The Affiliate Spotlight is a new column designed to give readers a closer look at affiliate groups of
NHMA. There are over 30 such groups comprised primarily of municipal officials serving a particular position, such a city and town clerks, assessors, health officers, road agents, etc. In this issue, we introduce the New Hampshire Government Finance Officers Association (NHGFOA).
TC: What is the mission/goals of the New Hampshire Government Finance Officers Association?
GFOA: The New Hampshire Government Finance Officers Association (NHGFOA) is an association of nearly 400 state and local government finance officers and others interested in public finance. Our goal is to develop mutually understandable procedures of accounting and financial reporting, budgeting and capital planning, cash management, financial administration and debt management. We hope to encourage the use of the appropriate technology, to encourage the use of consistent financial classification and principles, and to promote ethical, high quality governmental service.
TC: What are the biggest challenges facing your professional group today?
GFOA: Some of the challenges we face as government finance officers are the need to stay current on the latest requirements from both a legislative and accounting standards perspective, the ability to provide quality, timely services to our city and town constituents in an environment in which there are often significant budget constraints, and the increasing cyber security threats on our ability to safeguard the assets which the taxpayers have entrusted to us.
TC: How has NHMA helped your professional group to do your job?
GFOA: Through its established platform to reach local government officials via print and on-line publications, its conference and meeting room facilities, and its informed, thoughtful and accessible staff, NHMA has provided critical resources over the years to create, maintain and strengthen the impact of NHGFOA. Of particular note is the commitment and support from Barbara Reid, NHMA’s Government Finance Advisor, who chairs our Legislative Committee and is an active participant on our Training Committee.
TC: What advice would you give someone who would like to follow in your professional footsteps?
GFOA: Never stop learning. Anyone choosing a career in government finance needs to embrace the challenge of a constantly changing landscape of rules, laws and best practices and strive, to the best of their ability, to remain up-to-date and seek out the necessary resources to ensure compliance.
TC: Given the opportunity, what changes would you make to the profession?
GFOA: Financial reporting simplification is an area which is currently under review and consideration by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. We may be looking at a situation in which “less could be more” in terms of the amount of information required in the governmental financial statements and required footnote and supplemental disclosures that are subject to the independent auditors’ review on an annual basis.