Click Here for the Call for Papers Packet for the 2014 ABFM Conference!
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2014 ABFM Conference
Call for Papers

Deadline for Submissions is February 15th

The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management invites proposals for panels, papers, and presentations for the 2014 ABFM conference. We especially encourage proposals from federal, state, and local practitioners. The program will include panels on budgeting and financial management at all levels of government in the United States, as well as international and comparative perspectives.

Submission Guidelines (Click Here)

Note the Earlier Submission Deadline: February 15, 2014

Please submit all paper and / or panel proposals by February 15, 2014 to Bob Kravchuk at or School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Suite 260, Indiana University, 1315 East 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-1701. Proposals will be reviewed and competitively selected. Presenters will be required to register for the conference in advance. All proposals should include: the title of the proposal, name(s) of the participants/authors, position/job title, institutional affiliation, address (including email) and phone number. Last, an abstract should be included briefly describing the manuscript.

Please Indicate Your Willingness to Serve as a Panel Chair or Discussant. Thanks!

Students should provide their degree program, status (master’s level, Ph.D., ABD), and institutional affiliation as well as a letter from a faculty member attesting to the proposal and the research that is proposed. Panel proposals should be submitted together with all of the information listed above. Please follow the format provided in the sample proposal below. If you are submitting a panel proposal, please have one person submit a proposal form, for each of the papers in the proposed panel. If you prefer to present your research in a poster format, please make a notation to that effect on the submission form.

Please Direct Questions to Bob Kravchuk at

ABFM Secretariat RFP Issued
Deadline for Proposals is January 29th

Click Here for Secretariat RFP Announcement

NOTE: Institutions responding to this RFP must do so by January 29, 2014 and in an electronic MS Word document submitted to the ABFM Chair, Charles Menifield ( The burden is on the submitting institution to confirm receipt by the Chair.

The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) has established a Secretariat in its by-laws. Article VI, Section 5 specifies the functions for the Secretariat who serves as the secretary and archivist for ABFM. The Secretariat is important to the continued maintenance and growth of ABFM as a professional services organization. The ABFM Secretariat brings positive visibility to the hosting institution and program through the website, newsletters, elections, and acknowledgement at the annual conference. The ABFM is now accepting proposals from institutions interested in serving as the ABFM Secretariat.

Currently, the Secretariat is Donijo Robbins and is based at Grand Valley State University.

The Secretariat fulfills the role of Secretariat, Secretary/Archivist. The Secretariat is expected to maintain section relationships with ASPA and facilitate the operations of ABFM.

Click Here for More Informaiton

Looking Back on 2013
Chair's Column

By Scott Pattison, 2013 ABFM Chair

This year has certainly seen its share of highs and lows with respect to our profession. When we met up at our Annual Conference in Washington back in October, we were face-to-face with the early stages of a 2-week Federal shutdown brought about by significant disagreement over the budget and debt ceiling.

This week, we find ourselves with budget deal that will authorize appropriations through fiscal year 2015, a compromise that is hard to believe with respect to both scope and length. Never before has there been a stronger need for the work and analysis ABFM members provide during this volatile time for government.

Our organization hosted its biggest ever annual conference in Washington, with more than 200 attendees and three full days of panels and discussions featuring the work of students, faculty, practitioners and researchers from across the country and around the globe. Special thanks to Vice Chair Charles Menifield and those who put together this outstanding conference.

Sadly, this year, we also experienced the sudden loss of respected colleagues, including Public Budgeting & Finance co-editor, Dr. William Duncombe, and University of Texas at Austin faculty member Dr. Shama Gamkhar.

For me, the year proved incredibly challenging, fulfilling both roles as Chair of ABFM and Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). My duties took me across the country, especially as States worked to respond to the challenges created by the federal tax law changes and sequestration.

This experience provided me an opportunity to witness the dedication of ABFM members, especially those who volunteer their time and energy to keeping this organization going. Deborah Carroll did a phenomenal job picking up the role of Treasurer, with Bryan Sullivan provided great leadership and advising during the transition of duties.

Donijo Robbins is a great academic and practitioner, as well as organizer. Her performance in the role of Secretariat over the past three years has been critical to our recent resurgence, especially in the face on unforeseen, external administrative challenges.

Meagan Jordan, along with Helisse Levine, Wie Yusuf and others involved in membership development, did a great job "spreading the word" about ABFM. We are also appreciative of our friends at AABPA for their cooperation on the State Tax Reform project this past spring.

This year's Aaron Wildavsky Award WInner, Jim Savage, was also a gracious and available advisor throughout the year as Immediate Past Chair. I hope I can live up to his example as I do my best to be there for our 2014 Chair, Charles Menifield. Based on the great job he did putting together this year's conference, I am confident that Charles will have even bigger things in store for the coming year.

In addition, our Executive Committee members, along with Fundraising Committee Chair Jonathan Justice and the numerous members who served on Awards Committees, deserve special thanks and recognition for their contributions throughout the year.

Finally, I offer special thanks and appreciation to our members and friends throughout the profession of public finance. We appreciate your diverse and essential service to the field. The challenges governments and nonprofits face in the future make present tasks seem simple. I believe, however, that each of you has much to share and contribute moving forward.

Thank you for the honor of serving as Chair this past year, and may we have a Merry Christmas and joyous holiday season.

Scott Pattison
2013 ABFM Chair
Looking Forward to 2014
By Charles Menifield, 2014 ABFM Chair

It was a grand privilege to serve as conference chair in 2013 and I look forward to serving as ABFM Chair in 2014. Without question, our association has had great leadership in the past few years. It is a humbling experience to be mentioned alongside the previous list of chairs. With that said, I do pledge to help the organization to continue to move forward in 2014. I realize that the world is becoming smaller and smaller as technology allows us to reach the far reaches of the globe in every way. As a result, I believe that the field of budgeting and finance should reach out to these communities with not only our research, but also the practical applications that we offer.

The 2014 ABFM conference is one such way that we can continue to make a difference in the world. We had a record number of international proposal submitted, papers presented, sponsorships, poster presentations and sponsorship dollars for the 2013 conference in Washington, D.C. It is our goal to surpass those numbers by making the 2014 Grand Rapids conference one of the best conferences that we have ever had. So, please invite as many of your domestic and international colleagues to participate in the conference as possible. Also, please do not forget your graduate students, as they are our future. The sooner that we can integrate them into our professional association, the sooner we can expect them to contribute to the association and profession in a positive manner, both as academics and practitioners.

As is the case in association membership in general, the number of ABFM members is declining. This trend remains true across all of the ASPA sections. However, we are still the largest and the best section affiliated with ASPA. In order to curtail the decrease in membership, I implore you to reinforce to your budget and finance students, as well as practitioners in the field, the value of membership in the association. The one thing that I enjoy about this field is the practical value that we add to society. We examine important topics that make a difference and can be used by policy makers who shape our society. Therefore, please continue to socialize your students and colleagues as they continue to learn about who we are and what we do.

While I look forward to the upcoming year, I am acutely aware that I cannot do it alone. Deborah Carroll, Kenneth Hunter and Donijo Robbins are institutions within in the organizations and their efforts are certainly worth emulating. In addition, the executive council as well as countless others have spent many hours ensuring that the work of the association continues. However, there is room for more help as we always need student volunteers for the conference, committee members (awards, etc), panel chairs and discussants in 2014. So, if you are interested in serving on a committee, the executive council, or some other capacity, please let me know. I can be reached at or at 573-884-2880.

Best wishes for a productive 2014.

NYU's Smith Becomes ABFM's Rep to GASAC

On November 25th, ABFM Executive Committee member and NYU Wagner Associate Professor Daniel L. Smith, was appointed by the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) to serve on the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC), effective January 1, 2014.

The GASAC advises the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) on technical issues, project priorities, and other matters impacting standards-setting for accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments. GASAC is currently-chaired by the Comptroller of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Martin J. Benison,

Members of the GASAC are chosen from a cross-section of the GASB’s state and local government stakeholders, including users, preparers, and auditors of financial information. GASAC members are selected on the basis of their professional expertise and the depth and variety of experience they bring to their work on the Council.

Updates from NASBO on Farm Bill, Unemployment Benefit Legislation

Our research journal partner, the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) publishes a weekly email, "Washington Report," highlighting and tracking progress of Federal policies and legislation that has an impact on state operations and finances. Here are some notable topics from their December 16, 2013, edition.

Click Here for the Entire Issue of Washington Report

Click Here to Subscribe to NASBO's Washington Report Email Updates

House Passes Short-Term Farm Bill Extension; Long-Term Bill Negotiations Continue

On Thursday, the House passed an extension of the farm bill through January 31, 2014 by voice vote. However, the Senate is not expected to take up the measure, instead preferring to keep focus on negotiations over a new long-term reauthorization of agricultural and nutrition programs. The top four lawmakers of the House-Senate farm bill conference have said that they are nearing an agreement on a compromise bill that can be brought up for a vote in January once Congress returns from the holiday recess. They expect to have a framework of an agreement prepared by the end of this week. There have been some concerns that some commodity prices would spike if certain agricultural policies are allowed to expire as scheduled on December 31, 2013. For example, the price of milk is expected to rise since federal dairy price supports would revert to 1949 permanent agriculture law, which set a floor on milk prices based on what it cost to produce milk 64 years ago, adjusting for inflation. However, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that milk prices should remain stable as long as Congress completes a new farm bill in January.

The amount of spending reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been a key sticking point throughout farm bill negotiations. Recent reports indicate that conferees are likely to include a planned SNAP spending reduction of $8 billion over ten years. This savings would be generated through raising the minimum energy subsidy states can make to households through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to $20. This change would aim to end the “heat and eat” practice of states sending households a $1 LIHEAP benefit to simplify and increase households’ SNAP benefit calculations by permitting them to qualify for the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA).

Unemployment Insurance Temporary Provisions Set to Expire

Lawmakers in Congress remain divided on the issue of extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which first went into effect during the recession in 2008. The EUC program is a 100 percent federally funded program that provides unemployment compensation to individuals who have exhausted regular state-financed benefits, which typically run out after 26 weeks (six months). It is currently set to expire on the last Saturday before or onJanuary 1, 2014, which means that EUC program benefits will be terminated afterDecember 28, 2013 without Congressional action. According to some reports, Democrats may try to push for a one-year extension of the EUC program retroactively when Congress takes up the long-term reauthorization of the farm bill in January.

Additionally, the temporary 100 percent federal financing of the permanent Extended Benefits (EB) program, a state-federal partnership program, is also set to expire at the end of 2013. For more information about expiring unemployment insurance provisions at the federal level, see this recent report published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

GASB Scope of Authority Clarified

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) Board of Trustees today adopted a new policy that clarifies the characteristics of the information the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) may incorporate into the financial accounting and reporting concepts, standards, and guidance that it issues for state and local governments.

The new policy, described in GASB Scope of Authority: Consultation Process Policy, is effective immediately. Key elements of the new policy will be included in the GASB’s Rules of Procedure.

The policy outlines a pre-agenda consultation process for the GASB and the FAF’s Standard-Setting Process Oversight Committee to follow in determining whether information the GASB might consider for standard-setting activity is “financial accounting and reporting information” within the scope of the GASB’s standard-setting mission. The GASB’s and the Oversight Committee’s scope considerations will be based on accounting and reporting characteristics currently in the GASB’s Concepts Statements. The consultation will not focus on a specific standard-setting project.

“In our initial proposal, stakeholders were concerned that the proposed process could involve the Trustees inappropriately in the GASB’s agenda setting and interfere with the GASB’s standard-setting process and independence,” said FAF Chairman Jeffrey J. Diermeier. “The consultation policy clarifies that the Trustees’ authority lies in their oversight responsibility, and in their authority to determine whether information constitutes financial accounting and reporting information. Consultation in the pre-agenda phase limits the Trustees’ involvement to advising and counseling the GASB about whether information it is considering for standard-setting activity is within the context of financial accounting and reporting.”

GASB Chairman David A. Vaudt said: “The GASB is pleased that the Trustees addressed stakeholder concerns and established a consultation process based on the GASB’s Concepts Statements. The final policy strikes the right balance by maintaining the independence of the GASB, while ensuring appropriate oversight by the Trustees.”

Under the final policy, the GASB will classify governmental financial information as follows:

  • Group 1: Information that the GASB assesses is clearly within its standard-setting authority that meets the objectives, and has the characteristics, of governmental financial reporting currently described in GASB Concepts Statement No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting, and GASB Concepts Statement No. 3, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements;
  • Group 3: Information that the GASB assesses as clearly outside GASB’s standard-setting authority (such as information that has no relationship to information presented in general purpose external financial reporting, or does not meet at least one of the objectives of governmental financial reporting as defined in GASB Concepts Statement 1 and GASB Concepts Statement 3); and
  • Group 2: Information that does not clearly possess the characteristics of Groups 1 or 3, but that meets at least one of the objectives of governmental financial accounting currently set forth in the GASB’s existing Concepts Statements 1 and 3.

When the GASB believes that certain Group 2 information it is considering for standard-setting activities is within its scope, the policy provides that the GASB and the Oversight Committee will consult on whether the information constitutes “financial accounting and reporting information.” The GASB and the Oversight Committee will consider the classification of Group 2 information based on characteristics currently contained in the GASB’s Concepts Statements.

The final, approved policy revised the original proposal so that the GASB would consult with the Oversight Committee in the pre-agenda phase. The policy clarifies that the Trustees’ authority lies in their oversight responsibility, and their authority to determine whether information constitutes “financial accounting and reporting information.” It also reiterates that the Trustees will have no involvement in setting the GASB’s agenda or otherwise being involved in the GASB’s independent standard-setting process. 

Previously issued GASB concepts, standards, and guidance are not subject to the additional consultation process unless the GASB expands the scope of existing concepts, or expands or reclassifies the information covered by existing standards or guidance. 

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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 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
2013 Chair
Scott Pattison

2014 Chair

Charles Menifield
University of Missouri-Columbia

Vice Chair
2015 Chair

Robert Kravchuk

Indiana University

Vice Chair-Elect
2016 Chair

Carolyn Bourdeaux
Georgia State University

Immediate Past Chair
2012 Chair

James D. Savage
University of Virginia

Secretary & Archivist
Donijo Robbins

Grand Valley State University

Deborah Carroll
University of Georgia

Newsletter Editor

Kenneth Hunter
City of Rocky Mount, NC

Executive Committee
2011-2013 Term
Carolyn Bourdeaux, Georgia State University

Meagan Jordan, Old Dominion University
Eric Scorsone, Michigan State University

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


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

ABFM's website is made possible by a grant from Public Financial Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation & publisher of Public Budgeting & Finance
Copyright © 2013 ABFM Secretariat, All rights reserved.
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