2021 Presentation Abstracts

Please note all times are Eastern Time.

Monday, September 27, 2021

09/27/2021  from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Join The Toronto Magic Company for an awesome virtual happy hour, packed with laughs, interaction, and mind-blowing magic, plus a twist — we teach everyone at the show 2 amazing tricks you can do with normal items you have around the house.
Not only is this fun, but it also leaves you with tricks that you will talk about with the rest of the team for WEEKS after the event!

Don’t forget to bring a deck of cards, some rubber bands, and a pen or a pencil (any kind) so you can watch the magic happen right in your hands!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Conference Welcome & Opening
Kelly Lemoine, CAGFO President
09/28/2021 from 11:30 AM to 11:45 AM

Report from the Auditor General of Canada
Karen Hogan, CPA, CA, Auditor General of Canada
09/28/2021 from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM

Growing an ethical culture: Ethics and Public Service
Jill Inget, Director of Corporate Ethics, BC Public Service Agency
09/28/2021 from 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM

This presentation will explore some of the ethical issues and concerns facing public sector organizations, and how to lead with integrity, provide quality services and manage the bottom line. Jill will touch on these concept broadly and share some of the opportunities and challenges faced by the BC Public Service in building an ethical culture.

Priority Based Budgeting to Achieve Growth Management Objectives
Julia Cziraky, Consultant, Hemson
Stefan Krzeczunowicz, Associate Partner, Hemson
09/28/2021 from 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM

With finite resources, many municipalities find balancing the demands of capital asset “state of good repair” objectives with the cost of more strategic objectives, including investing in growth-related infrastructure, a challenge. This session will build on Hemson and the City of Edmonton’s 2020 CAGFO session on Edmonton’s City Plan Relative Financial Assessment Study.
Following adoption of Edmonton’s bold and innovative City Plan, Hemson has been engaged to advise the City on how best to implement the plan, including input into a new Priority Based Budgeting framework to integrate growth management objectives with capital development planning. This session will address the key challenges faced by the City in making investment decisions to support growth management and will discuss municipal best practices, lessons learned, and the key steps towards implementing Priority Based Budgeting for growth management.

Powerful Financial Analysis – The changing role of Finance
Karine Benzacar, Managing Director, Knowledge Plus Corp. and Professor, Smith School of Business, Queens University
09/28/2021 from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM

The role of financial professionals is rapidly changing. In today’s fast-paced world, financial analysis can mean many things to different people. This workshop will cover the key facets of a financial professional’s role and help analysts further their career by providing meaningful information to those around them. It will provide an overview of the key contributions a financial team makes to the organization’s overall objectives while identifying how to increase value to internal business partners. It will identify where to focus analysis, whether that analysis involves financial reporting or planning. Finally, it will look at some new and emerging best practices, both in analyzing past results and planning for the future. This seminar is intended for accountants working within organizations rather than public practitioners.

Understanding Unconscious Bias: Diversity and Inclusion at Work
Roy Johnson, The Neutral Zone Coaching and Consulting
09/28/2021 from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM

Though most of us don’t see ourselves as racist, sexist or discriminatory, research and current media prove that we all have unconscious biases that affect our judgment and behaviours without our own awareness. This dynamic workshop gives participants an opportunity to examine implicit bias, to reflect on their own potential unconscious judgments and to apply skills for managing and overcoming unfair and unhelpful biases. Participants will leave this interactive and dynamic session with practical tools they can use right away for improved communication, decision-making and teamwork.

Transforming Government; the Calgary Experience
Mayor Naheed Nenshi, The City of Calgary
09/28/2021 from 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Strategy to Results
James Richardson, MBA, Partner, Consulting Services, Alberta Public Sector Consulting Leader, MNP
Wendy Gnenz, CPA, CA, Partner, Technology Solutions, MNP
09/28/2021 from 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM

Council sets priorities and strategic objectives. Administration is charged with delivering results against those priorities and objectives. This session will present leading practices and tales from the trenches on how municipalities can transform strategy to results with an effective blend of strategy, planning, measurement, reporting and integrated technological tools that will leverage the machinery of municipal government to deliver against priorities and effective citizen service delivery.

How to Reduce Risk, Rejuvenate Municipal Buildings, and Meet ESG Goals through Energy Management
Trina Innes, Executive Director of Sustainability Services, AUMA
Kyle Kasawski, Director, Client Development – Energy Management, AUMA
09/28/2021 from 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM

Presentation of Case Studies that show how capital investment lowers operational costs for municipalities.

Aging buildings and rising costs of energy create many challenges for municipalities. Many are taking a multi-pronged approach to rejuvenating aging municipal infrastructure, reducing risk, avoiding costs and achieving greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association provides funding, programs, and services to help municipalities build internal capacity and achieve significant
energy savings. After attending this session, you will understand more about AUMA’s Energy Management Program and Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, and how to position your organization on the path to savings.

Learning outcomes from our session: Participants will learn about tools for developing and implementing energy conservation measures within municipalities. Examples will be provided that reveal how capital projects can be funded and financed to reduce operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions.

Budget Forum
Ratan Grewal, CPA, CGA, Assistant Director Budgets & Reporting, City of Burnaby
09/28/2021 from 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM

  • Public Engagement on the Budget: Discussion will provide an opportunity to participants to share how their organizations facilitate public engagement on the budget.
  • Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) :Discussion will provide an opportunity to participants to share their experience with priority based budgeting. Participants may also discuss the benefits of the PBB and also the challenges and complexities of PBB in the public sector environment.
  • Other budget issues of common interest.

The Municipal Investment Policy Statement
James Hobson, First Vice-President, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy
Charet Chahal, First Vice-President, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy
Nick Poulias, MBA, Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy
09/28/2021 from 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM

The Investment Policy Statement is the foundation that guides municipal investing. It is essential to develop a well-written policy statement to ensure safety and return maximization for the municipal funds we are entrusted with. We will cover policy creation and key elements, best-practices specifically for municipalities, and review and rebalancing. Finance officers can add significant value to their municipality by setting the framework to ensure a disciplined investment approach and long-term success.
The Hobson Chahal Advisory Group at CIBC Wood Gundy is currently responsible for the professional oversight and investment management for more than 50 municipalities across Canada, manage over $2.6 billion in assets and have co-authored an educational book on institutional investment policy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Opening & Greetings from CPA Canada
Charles-Antoine St. Jean, FCPA, FCA, CPA Canada President & CEO
09/29/2021 from 11:30 AM to 11:45 AM

PSAB Update
Clyde MacLellan, FCPA, FCA, CHAIR, Public Sector Accounting Board
Michael Puskaric, Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards, Public Sector Accounting Board
09/29/2021 from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM

The Annual PSAB update is one of the mainstays of our conference. The session will provide up-to-date information keeping you current with the current with the recent releases of PSAB and the coming proposals. In the end, participants should have the knowledge and skills they need to assess new standards and be aware of emerging issues in public sector financial reporting.

Digital Transformation in a Post Pandemic World
Paul Martin, Comptroller, Province of New Brunswick
Mitch Mitch Stevenson – Financial Reporting Supervisor
Moderator: Todd Eyolfson, Director of Education, CaseWare                         
09/29/2021 from 12:45 PM to 1:30 PM

The impact of the pandemic may have long-lasting effects on the workplace: Handshakes, face-to-face meetings and document reviews have now been replaced with virtual interactions and digital transactions. Government organizations have had no choice but to go digital to survive.
As new technologies continue to emerge into the market, government organizations need to understand how to embrace them with the mindset to learn, adapt and shift so they are prepared for the future.
In this panel presentation you will hear from two government finance officers – one Provincial, the other is Municipal – about their successful adoption of technology and some of the pitfalls encountered along the way. They will also share how improving efficiencies has helped them move from a standard audit and accounting roles to a more strategic advisory work.

Risk Management, Emerging risks and where to focus in a changing world
Carlie Persson, Partner, Risk Assurance, National Public Sector Assurance Leader, PwC
Owen Taylor, Partner, National Public Sector Leader, PwC
Venkat Somasundaram, Director, Consulting and Deals, Lead – Digital Operations for Public Sector
09/29/2021 from 12:45 PM to 1:30 PM

Governments are facing ever changing risks and keeping up with this changing risk landscape is easier said than done. PwC’s public sector team will share experience and leading practice in risk management working closely with Canadian governments to bring you insights in emerging risks and where and how to focus on risk to help achieve your organizations objectives.

PSAB’s Draft 2022 – 2027 Strategic Plan
Michael Puskaric, Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards, Public Sector Accounting Board
Lauren Pennycook, CPA, CA, Principal, Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB)

09/29/2021 from 1:45 PM to 2:30 PM

PSAB will present key elements of PSAB’s Draft 2022 – 2027 Strategic Plan Consultation Paper and will engage with members for Q&A and feedback.

Leading Practices for Modern Comptrollership
Jason Brisbane, MBA, Senior Finance Transformation Specialist, BlackLine
Sharhonda Rush, Senior Strategic Innovation Manager, BlackLine
09/29/2021 from 1:45 PM to 2:30 PM

A wave of stimulus funding requires strong budgeting, improved transparency, and a real-time view into spending throughout the fiscal year. Moreover, rising fraud risk requires accounting teams to identify every variance, exception, and detail in an environment of increased audit scrutiny.
With traditional manual close processes, many accounting departments struggle to understand where they are with substantiated balances or how they are performing against budget. With already-stretched teams expected to do even more, it’s more important than ever to modernize accounting so your teams can focus on what matters the most.
In this session, we’ll cover:
• 5 strategies to cut manual effort by more than 50%
• The latest accounting technology innovations and process transformation strategies
• How one local government tackled accounting modernization

Navigating Difficult Conversations… Counter-Intuitive Strategies for Dealing with Challenging Situations
Sue Wazny, MSc, Dip.Rc.Leadership, CCR, Director, Senior Consultant, The Neutral Zone Coaching and Consulting
09/29/2021 from 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM

You know those difficult, awkward conversations, where you needed to tell someone something they really didn’t want to hear? Or, those conversations where someone came at you and caught you off-guard? Or you had opposing opinions? We usually deal with these situations in one of two ways… Either we want to run away, or we come in guns-a-blazin’. Usually, neither of these choices works long term. There is a third, much more effective way. This presentation will give you completely counter-intuitive strategies for successfully managing difficult situations.

International Public Sector Accounting Standard Board overview and activity update
Ian Carruthers, Chair, International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB)
Clyde MacLellan, Chair, Public Sector Accounting Board
Thaksa Sethukavalan, MFin, CPA, CA, Principal, Public Sector Accounting Board
09/29/2021 from 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM

The session will provide an overview of the IPSASB, its strategy, key projects on its work program, and relate these to the Canadian context.

PSA Forum
Lorrie Schmalenberg, Manager, Public Accounting & Reporting, City of Regina
09/29/2021 from 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM

The PSA forum is an opportunity to discuss issues related to the Public Sector Accounting Standards that are either upcoming or out for comment. After the conference, attendees are invited to continue the dialogue during the CAGFO monthly forums on these or other topics of interest to members. Particular focus at this forum during the conference will be the Employee Benefits exposure draft and the draft Strategic Plan.

Modernizing the Finance Department – Reconciliations, Robots & You
Jamie Black, President, F.H. Black & Company Incorporated
Darryl Parker, Manager of RPA and Accounting Automation Services, F.H. Black & Company Incorporated
09/29/2021 from 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM

The finance department of the future must do more with less, and do it faster. Examining and enhancing tools and processes to facilitate transformation is critical. In this session we will illustrate an approach to this process using one of the finance officer’s most dreaded tasks – the reconciliation. Reconciliations are a standard part of every finance department. We dread having to complete them, and sometimes try to avoid them, but understand their essential value. What if we told you, you would never have to do them again? Don’t believe me? Come see how you can make it happen. This presentation will expose delegates to opportunities available to finance departments of all sizes today to save time, eliminate frustration and boredom while strengthening internal controls

Thursday, September 30, 2021 –  National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Opening & Conference Welcome
Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux
In acknowledgement and to honor of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we welcome opening day comments from Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux.
09/30/2021 from 11:30 AM to 11:45 PM

An Economic Outlook
Matthieu Arseneau, Deputy Chief Economist, Managing Director, Economy & Strategy Group, National Bank Financial Markets
09/30/2021 from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM

Financial Modeling Best Practices – 10 tips to build a world-class model
Ian Schnoor, Principal and Founder, The Marquee Group
09/30/2021 from 12:45 PM to 2:15 PM

Financial Modeling is a discipline. A good model needs to tell a story and create confidence for the users and decision makers. Unfortunately, many financial models are a mess. Financial modelers are often self-taught and left to figure things out on their own, often wondering if “there’s a better way”.
In this live webinar, Ian Schnoor will review a better way. During the session, he will present and discuss some critical tools and skills required to build a best-in-class financial model that inspires confidence and leads to optimal decision making.

Managing Cyber Risk in A Rapidly Evolving Threat Environment
Imraan Bashir, Partner, Cyber Security, National Public Sector Cyber Leader, KPMG LLP
09/30/2021 from 12:45 PM to 1:30 PM

The increased focus on digital transformation, coupled with the rapid evolution of technology, has made cyber security even more of a key strategic priority for business. However, in an era where “digital” is synonymous with words like agility, adaptability and speed, traditional risk-averse approaches to cyber security are no longer acceptable.

This session will focus on:
• Identifying trends in the current cyber threat environment
• Describing how cyber security risk management practices need to evolve to enable successful digital transformation
• Highlighting some key areas where organizations can focus in order to succeed

Financial Modeling Best Practices – 10 tips to build a world-class model (cont’d)
Ian Schnoor, Principal and Founder, The Marquee Group
09/30/2021 from 12:45 PM to 2:15 PM

Financial Modeling is a discipline. A good model needs to tell a story and create confidence for the users and decision makers. Unfortunately, many financial models are a mess. Financial modelers are often self-taught and left to figure things out on their own, often wondering if “there’s a better way”.
In this live webinar, Ian Schnoor will review a better way. During the session, he will present and discuss some critical tools and skills required to build a best-in-class financial model that inspires confidence and leads to optimal decision making.

Transforming Public Procurement Post-COVID-19
Alex Metcalfe, Head of Public Sector, ACCA
09/30/2021 from 1:45 PM to 2:30 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic brought public procurement to the foreground of public scrutiny. Governments worldwide were forced to procure at speed and often without the necessary safeguards, resulting in large-scale purchasing lacking transparency, competitiveness and cost-efficiency.
As we look to the future and refocus – can public procurement help governments tackle the health and economic impacts of COVID -19, while also working towards broader social and environmental goals?
Join Alex Metcalfe, Head of Public Sector, ACCA, as he examines the lessons from the COVID-19 procurement crisis and provides actionable next steps and best practices to design transparent, fair, and efficient public procurement systems. Drawing on ACCA’s global research, key recommendations will be provided on the following issues:
• Eliminating bribery and corruption
• Improving the buyer-supplier relationship and promoting competition
• Modernizing and refocusing procurement to meet the challenges of a post- COVID-19 world
• Public procurement as a tool in the COVID-19 recovery
• Alex will also explore how public procurement can also be used as a tool in achieving critical social and environmental goals, linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Costs are Up, Costs are Down, and COPE Data is Key: Managing Property Valuation and Data Issues in Today’s Economy
Anand Trivedi, ASA, MRICS, Director , Duff & Phelps, a Kroll company (Toronto)
09/30/2021 from 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM

• Property Valuation – Why?
• Initial Diagnostic Review of Property Values
• Property Valuation Benchmarking Resources and Cost Trends
• Trending Fixed Asset Records
• Valuation Solutions
• Insurance Appraisal Services – Buildings
• Insurance Appraisal Services – Contents / Personal Property
• In Addition to Insurance Appraisals (COPE data)
• Summary Points and Questions

Duty to Accommodate
Thomas V. Duke, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP
09/30/2021 from 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM

One of the most challenging tasks for employers in the modern workplace is the Duty to Accommodate. Employers both big and small are forced to deal with a variety of complex issues and obligations. This includes employees with permanent or temporary disabilities, as well as employees with family care needs. In many cases, the information provided by treating doctors leaves more questions than answers for employers who need to adequately staff their businesses. Tom Duke regularly advises employers on these issues. He will outline the obligations of the employer and how organizations can establish plans to obtain the information necessary to manage the employment relationship.

Work-Life Balance, Blend, or Blur: Using brain science to work smarter and thrive
Diana Vissers, BA, MA (Disability Management), CVRP(D), Founder Work to Wellness- Workplace Mental Health Consultant
09/30/2021 from 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM

Prior to the pandemic, the World Health Organization identified work related burnout to be an international problem. Between 2019 and 2021, there has been unprecedented change to how we work including a dramatic increase in video conferencing and the blurring of work/non work lives. This interactive presentation explores how our brains and bodies respond to these changes. Participants will apply the findings of three key research projects and learn to use brain science to work smarter. This workshop is designed to engage participants through active learning encouraging participation and questions.
What will you learn?
• Why work-life balance may not be possible
• Explore technology’s impact on your work-life balance
• Apply the neuro-science of stress to your situation through self-assessment of your current strategies
• How your communication platform and work-day structure impacts your brain health
• Learn more than 10 actions you can take to improve your work-life balance, avoid burnout, and thrive in today’s work context

Police Finance Forum
Earl Warwick, CPA, CMA, CTAJ, Director of Finance and Asset Management, Saskatoon Police Service
Tara Holowka, CPA, CGA  BCom, Manager of Finance, Comptroller, Winnipeg Police Service
Nancy Eng, CPA, CA, BCom, Senior Director, Financial Services, Vancouver Police Department
09/30/2021 from 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM

The Police Finance forum will provide an opportunity in a Q&A format for participants to discuss and share experiences on budget/fiscal challenges that Police services across the nation are facing. Some of the topics may include NG911, Body Worn cameras and funding/budget sustainability.

Friday, October 1, 2021

CAGFO Annual General Meeting
Kelly Lemoine, CAGFO President
10/01/2021 from 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM

Presentation of CAGFO Lifetime Member Award
2021 recipient: Sam Weller

10/01/2021 from 11:50 AM to 12:00 PM

Finance Officers, Big Thinking and Fitting In
Leroy Little Bear
10/01/2021 from 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM

In our present world, we are all comfortable within our specialties. Seldom are we called upon to think “Outside the Finance Box”. We like to think of our science as “Exact and Objective” and a base from which we can make predictions. But when we look and examine the Foundational Base from which we operate, things can look very different.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report gave us an opportunity to Stop and Reflect. Now, COVID-19 is giving us another chance to Stop and Reflect. If we, in good faith, Stopped and Reflected on our science and methodology, will things be the same?

Sustainable Funding Model Development & Optimal Asset Replacement
Jude Pillainayagam, MBA, P. Eng., MIAM, ISP, City of Coquitlam
10/01/2021 from 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM

Sustainably funding asset replacements falls in the hands of accountants. How to meet asset managers’ replacement demands with an affordable plan to finance is not easy unless planned well and with a long-term perspective.

The reality is very few municipalities have addressed this challenge as an effective long-term strategy. The City of Coquitlam has received an award from UBCM for developing its Sustainable Financial Model. This presentation discusses the key features and elements of the model.

The presentation will also discuss:
• The assumptions behind the model and why they are defendable;
• How the model helps communicate to the Council the asset management long-term funding needs; and
• How asset replacement demands are translated into the model

Things That Go Bump in The Night: Major Issues and Future Challenges in Canadian Local Government
Todd Pugh, Executive Director, CivicInfo BC & Instructor, School of Public Administration, Capilano University
10/01/2021 from 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM

What keeps your CAO awake at night, in a way that five Red Bulls can’t match? What terrifies your local elected officials? And aside from a possible addiction to Tim Horton’s coffee, what do local government professionals have in common from coast to coast to coast? Todd Pugh has unique perspectives. Join him for an engaging session where we’ll explore the issues at the root of these questions and drawing from new research we’ll discuss the significant challenges our communities are likely to face in the coming years.

Career Conversations: Retaining & Engaging your Employees
Joanne Loberg, BA, CMP, CEC, Career Strategist / Certified Executive Coach
10/01/2021 from 2:00pm to 2:45pm

Fortune Magazine reports that career conversations are a critical retention strategy and succession planning activity. In response, pro-active companies are placing employee career development at the top of their priority list.
Joanne Loberg, Career Strategist & Certified Executive Coach of JL Careers, brings over 20 years’ experience leading career planning conversations and coaching managers so they can conduct meaningful career conversations with their employees.
In this session, managers will learn how to engage in career conversations and access strategies to help employees identify their career goals and aspirations, explore career advancement barriers, develop strategies to close the gap between their current performance and their goals and to build a career action plan to support their success.

Working with Municipal Councils and Elected Officials
Jason Haughn, Advisor, Municipal Affairs, Nova Scotia
Nick Barr, Director, Municipal Affairs, Nova Scotia
Marilynn Hay, Advisor, Municipal Affairs, Nova Scotia
Ross MacDonald, Advisor, Municipal Affairs, Nova Scotia
10/01/2021 from 2:00pm to 2:45pm

The roles of elected officials and professional bureaucrats can seem worlds apart. However, when these two groups work effectively together in support of shared goals, it’s a powerful dynamic which has the potential to multiply value for citizens. This nexus of decision-making is rarely clear-cut in practice, and at times may seem vague and confusing to non-elected officials. By understanding the varied motivational factors which may drive elected officials, and the unique lens through which they approach decision-making, professional bureaucrats can better support these decision-makers. In this session the team from Governance and Advisory within the Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs share their experiences of working with elected officials at the municipal level, whether it’s as a full council or on an individual basis.

Addressing Housing Affordability
Catherine Parsons, Planner, City Planning Strategies, City of Mississauga
10/01/2021 from 3:00pm to 3:45pm

Housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable in communities across Canada. Even when all levels of government take a role in addressing affordability, it can be very challenging to influence the housing market through land use planning and financial tools and achieve objectives in a coordinated fashion. This session will explore affordable housing issues in the GTHA and provide an overview of how Mississauga is proposing a multi-pronged approach to improve affordability through the Making Room for the Middle Housing Strategy.

Asset Management Forum
Jude Pillainayagam, MBA, P. Eng., MIAM, ISP, City of Coquitlam
10/01/2021 from 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM

This will be an asset management forum discussing the current status of asset management practices and the involvement of accountants in asset management. Also to be discussed is the asset management training needs of accountants, the various training opportunities and funding available and their suitability. A staff member from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will join to present the available training opportunities through FCM programs which various FCM programs accountants can make use of to access grants in developing systems and tools.