What is the GFOA?
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) is an organization comprised of more than 18,000 federal, state and local financial officers who plan, finance and implement financial governmental operations in their respective jurisdictions. The GFOA was founded in 1906 and comprises individuals in both the United States and in Canada.
The GFOA holds an annual conference, the GFOA conference (discussed below). It also supports students, by offering internship and scholarship opportunities.
The GFOA has an 18-member executive board. These individuals are elected by members of the GFOA. They are headquartered in Chicago, with some offices in Washington, D.C.
The staff is divided into different offices. Some of the offices include the Office of the Executive Director, the Federal Liaison Center, the Financial Administration Center, the Operations and Marketing Center, the Research and Consulting Center, and the Technical Services Center.
The mission of the GFOA is: “to enhance and promote the professional management of governmental financial resources by identifying, developing, and advancing fiscal strategies, policies, and practices for the public benefit.” The GFOA provides several resources to its members. They give best practice guidance, consulting, publications including books, e-books, and periodicals, networking opportunities, recognition programs, research, and training opportunities for those in the profession.
Code of Professional Ethics
The GFOA has a code of professional ethics that governs their organization. The code is divided into sections. There are personal standards; responsibilities as public officers; professional development; professional integrity - information; professional integrity - relationships; and conflict of interest. A copy of the code is available at the GFOA website - www.gfoa.org.
Membership is open to everyone whose career, studies or interests involve government financial management. There is a diverse group of individuals in the GFOA that include both entry-level employees and senior managers. Members work for a broad range of governments, including cities, towns, and other municipalities of all sizes; county governments; school districts and special districts. Members also work for public employee retirement systems; states and provinces; schools of administration and public affairs; libraries; federal agencies; and accounting firms, law firms, investment banks, and consulting institutions.
Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA)
The Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA) is a bit “younger” than the GFOA and was founded in 1937. The FGFOA serves more than 2,800 financial professionals in Florida from state, county and city governments, school districts, private firms, colleges and universities and special districts. Its official “mission” is provide financial officers opportunities through Education, Networking, Leadership and Information.
Membership in the FGFOA
There are several different types of membership in the FGFOA: active members, associate members and retired members.
Like the GFOA, the FGFOA has a Board of Directors and committees. The FGFOA is a great organization tht really looks out for those hoping to lean more about the financial sector. In this regard, the FGFOA has a mentoring program that, “provides direction to members interested in developing their leadership potential as well as enhancing their technical skills and abilities in government finance.”
The FGFOA also has a code of ethics. Its mission statement is to: “promote and improve the quality of financial accountability, management, and communications by and for all governmental units in the State of Florida by providing training and individual development for governmental financial professionals
in technical finance related areas and other aspects of financial management.”
The FGFOA has training opportunities and webinars. Many of the FGFOA training opportunities are through conferences. For example, in 2015, the FGFOA has conferences in Orlando, Florida, and Hollywood, Florida. The FGFOA also hosts at least one webinar a month!
If you don’t want to simply be a member of the FGFOA, you can join a committee! The FGFOA has several different committees with different functions. Some of these include: CFGO certification committee; conference host committee; conference program committee; legislative committee; member development committee; technical resources committee; and webinar committee.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Conference
Every year, the GFOA puts on a GFOA conference. In 2015, the GFOA Conference was held in the home “brotherly love,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! About 5,375 GFOA delegates, guests and exhibitors attended the 2015 GFOA conference. The theme of the GFOA conference was “Innovation and Resilience.”
Government Finance Officers Association website - GFOA.org
The GFOA has a website - GFOA.org. That site contains all the information you’d ever need and want to know about the GFOA! You can find information about the executive officers, offices and the GFOA conference on their site.
GFOA.org has information about what the organization is all about, membership, staff, financial information, office locations, the GFOA code of professional ethics, committees / groups, student opportunities and job openings. Members and even non-members can also place employment ads on the GFOA.org website. They an advertise openings for financial positions in their communities.
Essentially, the GFOA is an organization of folks who work or are interested in finance. It is comprised of members from the United States and Canada and has an annual conference, the GFOA conference. The FGFOA is like the national GFOA but based in Florida. GFOA’s website, GFOA.org, has plenty of helpful information about the GFOA, including how to become a member.