2022 Presentation Abstracts

Financial Modeling Best Practices
The Marquee Group
15/11/2022 3:00 pm – 4:30pm ET

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.
Structure and Other:
Specific topics will include:

  • The Discipline of Financial Modeling
  •  Top 10 Modeling Best Practices
  • Key Modeling Tips
  • Great Modeling Technical Skills

For more info, please click here

Welcome Reception
Virtual Trivia Time Machine
15/11/2022 7:00pm – 8:00pm ET

Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from pre-pandemic 21st century, through the decades all the way to the 60’s. This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing. A virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “table hopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home or office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers! 

For more info, click here

Morning Yoga Sessions
Wednesday & Thursday Mornings
9:45 AM to 10:15 AM

There is no better way to start the day than with yoga! Yoga helps you work out the kinks and lubricates the joints after a nighttime of immobility, re-oxygenates and re-vitalizes all the body’s systems, increases your mobility, gets the blood and lymph moving, and prepares your body for a great day ahead. When you start your day with yoga, you will probably find that you feel more alive, work more efficiently, retain what you’re learning, have better focus and concentration, think more clearly, and come up with better solutions to problems. It feels great to do and leaves you feeling better overall.

Indigenous Art Tutorial and Culture Session
Lance Cardinal (ᐊᐧᒐᐢᐠ), 2-Spirit First Nations member of the Bigstone Cree Nation in Treaty 8 territory.
His artist name (ᐊᐧᒐᐢᐠ) means wacask (Wa-chusk) or muskrat.

Introductory virtual art tutorial that will have Indigenous teachings, ideals and language. This will be a fun project for the whole family to do together or for individual participants to create at home. *Supply list will be provided ahead of time to all participants in case they want to follow along LIVE, but the session will be available to watch again after the conference is over for those who just want to watch!

Keynote Speaker: Motivation & Leadership
Ron Tite, Purpose-Driven Leadership and Marketing Expert

Your Stories Are More Powerful Than Your Data: Once upon a time, business was interesting. Then we discovered metrics and spreadsheets. Before you know it, the left brainers took over and we became a legion of data evangelists who let the numbers speak for themselves.

Data can help you make important decisions but it should never speak for you. The stories of your customers, the stories of your brand’s promise, the stories of your experiences, heck, even the stories of your stories are far more interesting than any graph or table. Normally, interesting trumps boring. Emotional beats rational.

Ron’s humorous and interesting sessions will help you and your team collect, curate, tell and share the stories you already have.

Keynote Speaker: Mental Health & Diversity
Dr. Bill Howatt, Founder and President of Howatt HR

Leading with Mental Health in Mind: Since the pandemic, workplace mental health has been top-of-mind for more boards, CEOs, and senior leaders. This is happening because of the growing understanding that workers’ mental (behavioral) health is related to retention, attraction, disability costs, productivity, sustainability, and quality of life. This understanding has increased the focus on psychological safety and health (PSH). PSH goals are to drive out fear and create inclusive, welcoming cultures where employees feel a sense of belonging, value, and purpose. Employers are discovering leaders’ critical role in protecting workers from mental harm and promoting mental health.

This presentation introduces leaders to five competencies and key performance behaviors (KPBs) for becoming psychologically safe leaders. Dr. Howatt is a leading international expert in workplace mental health with an extensive background in leadership development and executive and team coaching for leaders to create psychologically safe workplaces.

2022 Economic Update
Andrew Grantham, Executive Director and Senior Economist, Economics, Capital Markets, CIBC

CIBC Senior Economist Andrew Grantham provides an economic overview for 2022-2023, including key trends that will impact public sector organizations.

PSAB Update
Michael Puskaric, Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards, Public Sector Accounting Board

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.

CAGFO Annual General Meeting
Lorrie Schmalenberg, CAGFO President

The Evolving Role of the Public Sector Finance Leader
Jayrani Bungsy, FCCA (UK), CIA, Senior Internal Auditor- Internal Audit Division, Region of Peel
Imran Zia, MSc, CPA, CA, FCCA (UK), CIA, CISA, CFE, CRMA, Director, Risk Management and Assurance, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

While the circumstances of the pandemic were exceptional, it has demonstrated the public sector’s ability to adapt to change. Finance leaders had to react quickly to enable their organizations to support governments’ dual aims of saving lives and protecting livelihoods. Senior finance leaders will need to be innovative and creative as they navigate the challenges as the sector navigates the challenges that have built up since 2020, as well as new and emerging risks.

Building on the experience of the pandemic, this session will examine the three broad areas where lessons can be learned: transforming systems, rethinking leadership, and adapting to new ways of working.  We will also discuss the challenges and skills needed when leading recovery, including attracting and retaining talent, spending constraints and adapting to wider societal change.

This will be informed by our latest report, Leading Recovery.

Assessing and Selecting Reporting Automation Solutions for Government Finance
Jamie Black, President, F.H. Black & Company Inc. 

Manually preparing government financial reports is extremely time-consuming and error-prone.  Most organizations recognize the need for advanced solutions in order to keep pace with the ever-shifting landscape of government standards. As the number of solutions that claim to support and enhance the preparation of the Annual Financial Reports/PSAB and other financial reports increases, so does the difficulty for finance professionals to choose between them. While many leading solutions have made giant strides in improving report preparation through automation, collaboration, and enhanced business processes, many others can best be described as ‘lipstick on a pig.’ These solutions make the same claims but fail to deliver.

This session will run through a checklist of 8 of the most important criteria to consider when selecting a financial reporting automation solution for your organization.

Topics to be covered include:

  1. Desktop vs. Cloud
  2. Flexibility (support for other standard reports)
  3. Data source (Database-driven vs. Spreadsheets)
  4. Collaboration
  5. Security
  6. Graphic design and formatting
  7. Provincially mandated requirements (understanding and meeting legal obligations)
  8. Vendor stability

Recruiting Finance Staff in the 2020’s
Todd Pugh, Executive Director, CivicInfo BC & Instructor, School of Public Administration, Capilano University
Sam Weller, CPA, CA, MBA
Mirna Eid, Senior HR Business Partner, ATB Financial

Many local governments are finding it difficult in 2022 to find competent qualified staff to fill key positions in their Finance Departments. The traditional recruitment methods don’t seem to work as well any more. Three panelists will discuss different aspects of the recruitment process and share ideas that may help.

Cyber Threats
Steve M. Brown, Manager, Program Management, BDO
Rob Philpotts, Director, Cyber Threat Management & Response, BDO

The proliferation of cyber threats has us scrambling to find ways to protect ourselves and our data. In our attempt to better protect ourselves, we sometimes lose sight of what is important by getting lost in the thousands of blogs and articles, having no idea where to start. This session will help you distill all that noise and help you focus on the basics.

Join Rob Philpotts, Director, Cyber Threat Management & Response and Steve Brown, Manager, Cybersecurity at BDO where they will discuss the fundamentals of cybersecurity, what you should focus on, and where you need to invest to get the most value from your security investments.

Budgeting in a Time of High Inflation
Bob Cortland, Senior Solutions Engineer, Questica
Lana Whittaker, Creative Technologist, Questica

Inflation is at a 40-year high, meaning the cost for local government routine service delivery and capital projects is going up. The tight labor market means provinces and cities are having to increase salaries, which in turn puts upward pressures on pension costs. Inflation causes pain but it also leads to increases in sales tax revenues. The hot housing market will also pay dividends in increased property taxes, although policymakers will be under a lot of pressure to offer property tax relief as values surge. With all of these uncertainties, how do local governments anticipate inflation and recessions in their annual budgeting process?

Today’s Must-Have Skills for Tomorrow’s Growth
Michael Shultz, Director of Strategic Accounting, BlackLine

Amid fierce competition and ongoing disruption, accounting and finance leaders play an increasingly critical role—providing vital consultancy, analysis, planning, and due diligence to ensure sound decision-making.
However, just 14% of CFOs are confident they currently have the skills they need within the finance function.
With a growing skills gap and talent acquisition quickly rising to the top of the CFO’s agenda, BlackLine worked with independent research firm Censuswide to survey C-level executives and accounting and finance professionals in organizations around the world. Join us as Michael Schultz of BlackLine discusses the survey findings, ways to stay ahead of the curve, and how to attract and retain the best talent for your organization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the technological and other skills accounting and finance professionals need today to ensure growth for tomorrow.
  • Recognize the biggest barriers for recruiting and retaining accounting and finance’s future leaders.
  • Describe what makes companies attractive for talented accounting and finance candidates.

Impact of inflation on Sustainable Service Delivery – Tale of two cities
Jude Pillainayagam, MBA, P. Eng., MIAM, ISP, City of Coquitlam
Hakim Bismel, CFP, CPA, CGA, Infrastructure Asset Manager, Township of Langley

The inflation over the past few years has created challenges directly and in-directly in Cities delivering services sustainably. While the impacts to both Capital and Operating budgets due to material and labour cost increases are direct, the spin-off erosion of purchasing power is indirect and significant. This presentation discusses how this impact may affect the levels of service to residents and Citys’ sustainable service deliveries over long term.


Asset Management Forum
Jude Pillainayagam, MBA, P. Eng., MIAM, ISP, City of Coquitlam

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.

Police Finance Forum
Earl Warwick, CPA, CMA, CTAJ, Director of Finance and Asset Management, Saskatoon Police Service

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 firearm replacement, space and facility planning and funding/budget sustainability.

Investment Forum
Doug Spindler, CTP, Director Treasury Services, City of Burnaby

The Investment Forum will be an interactive session with facilitated discussions on related topics including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Investment Policy Statements
  • Cash Flow forecasting – the importance of starting with a cash flow projection
  • Current Environment Investing Strategies (inverted curve)
  • Short-Term and Long Term Investment Strategies
  • Provincial or Private funds

Library Forum
Nancy Gomerich, Director of Finance, FVRL