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GASB Upholds Pension Standards Implementation Timeline

On March 24th, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) unanimously voted to uphold the existing schedule for implementation of GASB Statement Number 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.

The high-profile Statement will require state and local governments to report net pension liability, including potential unfunded liabilities, as part of their annual financial statements.

The vote followed passage of a resolution on February 28th by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) requesting a delay "for as long as necessary to permit the implementation of pending authoritative auditing guidance so as to allow auditors to obtain the information necessary to support the reliability of pension‐related amounts in employer financial statements."

The GFOA resolution (click here to view) identified a primary concern of jurisdictions regarding the ability to assure reliability in actuarial analyses of pension liabilities in order to ensure "clean" audits. Their resolution claimed the challenge will even be greater for jurisdictions participating in broader, multi-jurisdiction retirement plans.

"The necessary authoritative auditing guidance to coordinate audit procedures between plan and employer auditors has not yet been provided, making it all but impossible for the employer auditors to obtain the assurance they need regarding pension‐related amounts in time for the audit of the first financial statements prepared in conformity with GASB Statement No. 68," stated the GFOA resolution.

GASB's decision sided with feedback from other organizations who sought to uphold the planned schedule, which will require reporting with statements issued on or after June 30, 2014. According to a GASB press release, those justifications included:

  • Delaying the new standards would not necessarily address the concern about a modified audit opinion. It appears, based on feedback received, that many governments would face a similar prospect of a modified audit opinion even if governments were to follow the previous pension standards.
  • Pension plans are already well into the process of implementing the associated pronouncement, Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans. If the implementation of Statement 68 were postponed, some governments would now incur the added cost of engaging an actuary to provide information under the old standards in addition to the information already obtained under the new standards.
  • The financial statement users who provided feedback to the GASB expressed a strong preference not to delay Statement 68. These users understand the circumstances under which some governments may receive modified audit opinions. They stated that a clearly worded modification would not negatively impact their analyses of government finances.
  • Concerns about the effort required to implement Statement 68, particularly with regard to governments in some cost-sharing multiple-employer pension plans, are real and significant. However, the Board was fully aware of these issues when it originally considered the costs and benefits associated with establishing the original implementation date. No new evidence has been brought forth to date that would result in the reconsideration of this conclusion.
See Also:

GASB Launches Toolkit for Implementing Pension Reporting Standards

GASB Proposes New Hierarchy for GAAP, Comments Welcome until December 31st
Meagan Jordan, Old Dominion become Secretariat on May 1st

On March 10th, the ABFM Executive Committee selected Dr. Meagan Jordan and the Old Dominion University Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration as Secretariat for the organization, effective May 1, 2014. The appointment is for 3 years, continuing until April 30, 2017.

“I am pleased and honored to serve as Secretariat for ABFM,” Dr. Jordan said. “I first joined ABFM in 1994.  This is a great way to commemorate my 20 years with the organization that has meant so much to me.”

Dr. Jordan most recently served on the ABFM Executive Committee as an at-large member from January 2011 to December 2013. She also served as the 2013 Membership Chair. She serves as an Associate Professor at Old Dominion (ODU), where she joined the faculty in 2012 after serving as an Associated Professor in the Institute of Government at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Kentucky, as well as an M.P.A. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Secretariat is responsible for maintaining the ongoing administrative duties of ABFM, including facilitating awards recognition, maintaining membership listings with ASPA, coordinating meetings of the Executive Committee and assisting the ABFM Chair in their leadership of the organization.

Old Dominion University was the only institution who submitted a proposal for consideration during the RFP period, which continued until March 5th. Dr. Jordan and ODU take over for current Secretariat and Archivist Donijo Robbins of Grand Valley State University. Robbins’ term will end April 30th, after starting in May 2010.

“ABFM is a great organization and I am proud to have served with such dedicated officers and executive committee members over the past four years,” Robbins said. “Thank you for the opportunity to be the organization’s Secretariat.”
Contributions Accepted for Duncombe Doctoral Education Fund

NASPAA has created the Duncombe Doctoral Educator award in memory of longtime Syracuse University public administration professor William Duncombe, who passed away last May. The award will annually recognize a faculty member at a NASPAA school who has made significant contributions to doctoral education, beginning this year.

Bill earned an MPA and PhD at Syracuse's Maxwell School, where he taught for 22 years. Bill was beloved for his teaching and mentorship of doctoral students. His teaching was recognized with multiple awards from the university and from NASPAA.

He was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. In memory of Bill's generous and patient dedication to students' education, and appreciation of his caring and good humored nature, several of his friends and former colleagues initiated the award to honor Bill's amazing contributions as a doctoral educator.

The award has been endorsed by his family. We encourage those who knew Bill to make a contribution in order to fund a small annual award. Any amount is welcome and appreciated.

You can donate via PayPal by clicking here (account not required).

Donations can also be sent by check, payable to NASPAA (write "Duncombe Award" on the memo line), to:

1029 Vermont Ave NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

NASPAA is happy to answer any questions. Please write or call 202-628-8965, ext. 106. Contributions are fully tax deductible as allowed by law.
2016 Conference RFP Released, Deadline July 30th
Click Here for RFP Hard Copy (PDF)

The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) requests persons interested in forming a host committee for the 2016 Annual Conference submit proposals to the Conference Selection Committee.  The 2016 conference will be located outside of Washington, DC. The deadline for submissions is July 30th of this year.

The host committee’s duties for the proposal include:

  • Identify the host committee members and their affiliations.
  • Select a city that is accessible by economical air transportation and offers sufficient amenities for the conference.
  • Select a hotel for the conference that can accommodate the conference meeting and room requirements.
  • Secure economical price quotations based on set requirements in the RFP, and calculate total estimated hotel cost to the association.
  • Provide information, including cost, on transportation options from the closest airport to the conference hotel. Be sure to state whether the hotel has shuttle service.
  • Briefly describe a plan to market the conference to potential attendees in the area who are not members of ABFM, and identify potential local sponsors (including governments, associations, and other universities)
  • Prepare a list of amenities that are available near the conference hotel
    • Restaurants
    • Attractions
    • Shopping

The Conference Site Selection Committee consists of Carolyn Bourdeaux (chair), Benjamin Clark, David Matkin, Olga Smirnova, Charles Menifield (ex officio), & Deborah Carroll (ex officio).

Please submit a document detailing this information by July 30, 2014 to Carolyn Bourdeaux at

Click Here to View Complete RFP Article on ABFM Website
ACCA Features Interview with Conference Speaker Ridley

ABFM Conference sponsor, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, produced a video during our 2013 Annual Conference with plenary speaker  Christopher Ridley, Director of Financial Management at the UK House of Commons. The interview touches on some of the points Mr. Ridley discussed during his address to the ABFM membership last October, as well as other topics.

Click Here to View this Interview

Click Here to Learn More about ACCA
Young Scholars Workshop Applications Due April 4th

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), in partnership with Jilin University, will host the 4th International Young Scholars Workshop in Changchun, China July 21-24.  The workshop is a rigorous training program for young scholars that pairs them with senior scholars. Proposals for participation are being accepted until April 4.

During the four-day program participants present their research twice. Over the course of the workshop, scholars are given feedback from their coaches, mentors and other participants. 

In addition to the presentations, awards are provided for Best Paper and Most Improved Paper. To learn more about the workshop and application process, click here. To submit a proposal, email

Click Here to Check Out the Latest Copy of ASPA's Enewsletter, "The Bridge"

Summer Quantitative Research Scholarship Available

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan is offering a scholarship to a graduate student to participate in its Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Science Research.  The scholarship is available to students in the fields of public administration, public policy and public affairs. 

Students enrolled in masters or doctoral programs at a North American university are encouraged to apply. There are no requirements about the specific substantive focus of a student's research, but applicants must be interested in acquiring quantitative skills in order to execute empirical (data-based) work. 

Applications are being accepted online. Interested applicants first mustregister for the ICPSR Summer Program. Following registration, scholarship applicants must submit the following by email  Scholarship application materials must include the following:

  1. A current vita.
  2. A cover letter from the student, explaining how participation in the ICPSR Summer Program will contribute toward completion of the graduate program.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from faculty with professional credentials in the fields of public administration, public policy or public affairs.
2015-16 Fulbright Scholar Program Accepting Applications

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in more than 125 countries for the 2015-2016 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others.
Of the 583 awards being offered this year, there are over 66 awards available in the field of Public Administration.  Moreover, there are 367 All Discipline awards that welcome teaching and/or research proposals in any area of study, including interdisciplinary projects. These awards are offered in various regions around the world.
In order to meet the changing needs of academia and develop new options to accommodate better the interests and commitments of today’s scholars, the program has introduced several innovations to the 2015-2016 program, including:  Interested faculty and professionals are encouraged to learn more about these opportunities, and hundreds of others, by visiting the Catalog of Awards.
The application deadline for most awards August 1, 2014.  U.S. citizenship is required.  For other eligibility requirements and detailed award descriptions visit our website at
or contact us at
2014 SECoPA Call for Papers
Deadline May 15th

The 2014 Southeastern Conference for Public Administration (SECoPA) will be September 17th-20th at the Atlanta Marriott Permieter Hotel. The Conference is hosted by the Georgia Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and Clark Atlanta University.

The theme for this year's conference is â€œReflection, Progression and Uncertainties: Theories and Practices for Innovative Governance”.  The conference theme evaluates the past and current theories and practices of innovative governance, and charts a clear course for the future. The theme intends to contribute to our understanding and actions in handling complexities and uncertainties in public service delivery.

The deadline for this “Call for Papers and Proposals” is May 15th, 2014.  The dates of the abstract selection and approval process are May 15th, 2014 through June 15th, 2014.

For those interested in submitting an academic paper, please provide (by email attachment) a one page abstract that includes paper title, research question, summaries of theory, data, method, preliminary findings (if any) and importance or implications of the work.

For practitioners who want to submit a professional presentation or panel without a formal paper, please give a presentation/panel title, suggested track (from bulleted list above), institutional affiliation, 1 page description of the content of the presentation, what people will learn or be able to do when they leave the session and some indication of presentation length (typical presentations should be 10-20 minutes, typical panels consist of multiple presentations over 60-80 minutes).

All proposals must be submitted no later than May 15, 2014 by email to both and, and please include your phone number. For more information about the program; contact Dr. Sooho Lee Program Co-Chair at 678-839-4991 or Dr. Rhonda Franklin Program Co-Chair at 404.880.6035

For more information about the conference in general, contact Calvin E. Sims, Sr. General Conference Chair at or 770-879-1176.

Student Information

Students interested in presenting their research at the SECoPA 2014 conference are encouraged to submit their work and compete for the prestigious Robert L. Kline Award for master’s students or the Morris W.H. Collins Award for doctoral students. Paper Abstracts are due in coordination with the SECoPA Call for Papers by May 15, 2014.

Abstracts should be submitted to both and using the appropriate submission format found above, as well as the appropriate committee chair, at their respective email address below:

Washington Update
Outlook for Expired Tax Extenders

On Monday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced plans to take up expired temporary tax provisions, known as “extenders,” beginning this April, after unveiling his discussion draft for comprehensive tax reform last month. In a letter to his colleagues on the committee, Chairman Camp outlined a strategy that would entail reviewing the tax extenders one-by-one to determine which ones should be made permanent to provide more certainty to taxpayers and businesses and lay the groundwork for full tax reform. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), meanwhile, has signaled that extending the expired tax provisions is a top priority, and the committee plans to vote on the extenders as soon as next week according to reports. A legislative package (S 1859) to renew all expired extenders has already been introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). The 55 tax expenditures that expired on December 31, 2013 include the individual tax deduction for state and local sales taxes (in lieu of income taxes), the research and development tax credit, and various other individual and business provisions, as well as certain tax provisions related to charitable giving, energy, community assistance, and disaster relief. Assuming these tax breaks are retroactively renewed by Congress sometime in calendar year 2014, the delay would not affect 2014 final tax returns that individuals and businesses would file in 2015. In recent years, these tax extenders have been routinely extended by Congress either right before they were scheduled to expire or retroactively in the months following expiration. This report prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides further details about the now expired tax extenders.

Click Here to Subscribe to NASBO's Washington Report

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ABFM is a research section of the American Society for Public Administration

About ABFM
We aim to promote the professional development of budgeting and financial management in the public and non-profit sectors. Embracing both theorectical and operational concerns, ABFM addresses issues in budgeting processes and practice in financial management.

Click here for membership information.
ABFM Board of Directors
2014 Chair
Charles Menifield
University of Missouri-Columbia

2015 Chair

Robert Kravchuk

Indiana University

Vice Chair
2016 Chair

Carolyn Bourdeaux
Georgia State University

Immediate Past Chair
2013 Chair

Scott Pattison

Secretary & Archivist
Donijo Robbins

Grand Valley State University

Deborah Carroll
University of Georgia

Newsletter Editor

Kenneth Hunter
City of Rocky Mount, NC

Executive Committee
2012-2014 Term
Thad Calbrese, New York University

Helisse Levine, Long Island University
Dan Smith, New York University

2013-2015 Term
Ben Clark, Cleveland State University

John Gilmour, William & Mary
Kenneth Hunter, City of Rocky Mount, NC

2014-2016 Term
Christine Martell, Colorado-Boulder

David Matkin, University of Albana-SUNY
Zhirong "Jerry" Zhao, University of Minnesota
Career Opportunities
Click Here for Job Postings

Executive Director/CEO, Association of Government Accountants (Closes 4/7/14)

Institute Administrator, Tufts University, Institute for Global Leadership

Members with announcements can have them posted for free. Email them to

Contributions for Teaching Database Accepted

Our Teaching Database is once again available online, and we are now accepting submissions for new material we will add to the database over the summer.  This project serves as a collection of teaching materials from graduate level courses related to Public Budgeting and Financial Management.

Items that will be considered include: course syllabi, reading and textbook lists, assignments, student project ideas, lectures, handouts and reading assignments.

Submissions should be made electronically to Kenneth Hunter, kenneth.hunter@ The subject of the email should include "ABFM Teaching Database Submission," and the message should include a brief description of the submitted items (attached files).

Open source data sets will also be considered.

Click Here for the Teaching Database

ABFM's website is made possible by a grant from Public Financial Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation & publisher of Public Budgeting & Finance
Copyright © 2014 ABFM Secretariat, All rights reserved.
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