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October 7, 2020 Newsletter 10 min read
Welcome to Government Perspectives, your hub for insights on everything from new audit standards, balancing cybersecurity with transparency to factors that affect service delivery, such as streamlining operations and optimizing technology investments. Subscribe now.

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October 2020

COVID-19 funding impact on single audits: Key questions and answers
If your organization received federal funds related to COVID-19, you might need a single audit. Our experts answer key questions about determining whether you do, completing the SEFA, internal controls, and preparing for the audit.

Coronavirus relief funds: What to know now
Coronavirus relief funds come with significant strings attached. Funds must be used for the specified purpose, costs carefully identified, and reporting and recordkeeping requirements strictly followed. Here’s what you need to know to stay in compliance.

Vendor security breaches: Four steps for risk reduction
Your organization could be the Fort Knox of cybersecurity when you consider these four steps for risk reduction.

GASB update: Are you on track?
There are several GASB updates coming over the next few years, and now is the time to prepare. This educational session will walk you through the upcoming changes and help you prepare.

GASB accounting standard update: Fall 2020
Download our fall update for an overview of important GASB activities and new standards.

Defined contribution plans & GASB Statement 97: Key considerations
With the issuance of GASB Statement 97, defined contribution plans can now enjoy some favorable treatment when it comes to applying GASB Statement 84. But government entities still need to consider a couple of key factors. We explain.

Plante Moran announces the election of 25 new partners
Plante Moran celebrates the election of 25 new partners in 17 offices across four states.

September 2020

Optimization or transformation: Public sector ERP in a remote environment
The pandemic has caused many organizations to adjust their budgets, and enterprise software projects have been impacted. Whether you’re planning to optimize your current system or planning to procure a new one, our government technology experts will have valuable insights to share with you.

Provider post-payment notice of reporting requirements update
You may have received CARES Act provider relief funding without realizing it. Here’s how to find out and what to do next.

Should you outsource your accounting department? Take the assessment now
During times of uncertainty, it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of internal operations like finance and accounting. Would your organization be more successful if you outsourced your accounting department? Our two-minute assessment will help you decide.

Software replacement plans canceled? Optimize your existing enterprise system
If you can no longer afford a new ERP system, what’s your next best option? Finding ways to work with what you have. Consider these 12 ideas to optimize your current system to drive efficiency across your organization.

COVID-19 and software procurement: How governments can manage the process remotely
Outdated technology is a risk to your organization, so if you put your software project on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's time to pick it back up.

Top three things to consider if you’ve received COVID-19 funding
If your government agency received federal COVID-19 funding, address these three areas to make sure you’re covered. Federal funding for COVID-19 is bringing welcome relief, but certain guidance from federal agencies is lacking. Here’s how to address compliance requirements in the meantime.

GASB 84, Fiduciary Activities: Implementation lessons learned
Join our CPE-eligible webinar to learn how recent actions taken by the GASB affect GASB 84 implementation. We’ll also discuss implementation challenges that you may encounter and how these can be addressed.

August 2020

Manage through today, prep for tomorrow
While it’s difficult to see past the current COVID-19 crisis, leaders need to think about tomorrow while managing through today.

Long-term financial planning for governments: A roadmap for uncertain times
The best way to analyze and react to revenue declines? A solid, long-term financial plan. It can help you see where you’re headed financially and calculate the changes needed to maintain financially stability.

Facing the COVID-19 aftermath: Impact on municipal revenues
Now is the time to think about how your municipality will change post-COVID-19. Understanding the revenue picture will be a key challenge. How you meet it will determine your ability to continue to serve your community and maximize economic recovery.

GASB accounting standard update: Spring 2020
Download our update for an overview of important GASB activities and new standards.

GASB 87, Leases: Our four most frequently asked questions
The deadline extension for the GASB 87, Leases, implementation came as a welcome relief during the COVID-19 crisis. But don’t delay it for too long —planning requires significant time and effort. These FAQs can help keep you on track.

Michelle Watterworth named chair of the AICPA’s State and Local Governments Expert Panel
Partner Michelle Watterworth has been selected as the chairperson of the AICPA’s State and Local Governments Expert Panel.

Amanda Ward named to the AICPA’s Governmental Audit Quality Center executive committee
Partner Amanda Ward has been appointed to serve on the executive committee of the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center.

January 2020

What’s at stake when governments lack proper segregation of duties (plus three ways to fix it)
Do you have time to restate and refile your financial statements? Can your reputation withstand a corruption scandal? Failure to segregate duties means a lack of proper oversight and major fraud risk, but the solutions are simpler than you might think.

Are these GASB standards on your radar?
Effective dates for various GASB standards are upon us. Now is a good time to refocus on which GASB standards should be on your radar. We’ve provided an overview of the standards that may impact your organization and resources to help you implement them.

Reading governmental financial statements: A primer
Want to know how your government is doing financially? Here’s how to read those daunting government audited financial statements.

GASB 84: Next steps for fiduciary activities standard implementation
Are you prepared for GASB 84 implementation? Here’s a breakdown of the implementation guide and action steps you can take now for a successful implementation.

Is your IT department ready for the disruption ahead?
Not sure how your IT department is doing? What’s worked in the past doesn’t guarantee future success. If you’re setting IT priorities (and you should be!), here’s how to assess your IT department for the digital future.

Nailing it: National Nail’s Scott Baker on character-based culture
As president and CEO of National Nail, Scott Baker led its renovation from a small distributor of fasteners into a global manufacturer of patented solutions. At the heart of the turnaround was a cultural makeover as innovative as its products.

September 2019

Smart city implementation: Nine tips to get you started
Smart city technology implementations aren’t simple. With various moving parts — including people and data — now isn’t the time for a light touch. Here are our tips.

GASB 87, Leases: Answers to your implementation questions
Preparing for GASB 87, Leases implementation? We answer your burning questions.

Data protection 101: Why you need security awareness training
Your organization has anti-virus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. Isn’t this enough to protect your vital information? The simple answer is no.

Michelle Watterworth named vice chair of AICPA’s State and Local Government Expert Panel
Michelle will address accounting and auditing issues at the national level, frequently working directly with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

GASB 84: A Deeper dive into the GASB fiduciary activities standard
Unsure how to apply GASB 84 to fiduciary activities? Unclear on the impact of the GASB Implementation Guide 2019-2? Join our webinar to get prepared.

GASB 84: Next steps for fiduciary activities standard implementation
Are you prepared for GASB 84 implementation? Here’s a breakdown of the implementation guide and action steps you can take now for a successful implementation.

GASB issues additional guidance on GASB 84, Fiduciary Activities
Read GASB’s new Implementation Guide to truly understand how to think about fiduciary activities and apply the provisions of GASB 84.

Growing into business analytics
There are several maturity stages within an organization’s data journey — from dipping your toes in the data sea, to leveraging advanced analytics techniques to drive innovation and market differentiation. Where are you on this journey — and where would you like to be?

Leadership at the Detroit Lions: CFO Allison Maki on coaching with kindness
Working as CFO in an organization of high-performing people, Allison Maki has learned the power of human kindness and authenticity while leading a team "doing ordinary work at an extraordinary place" where success equals games won versus a strong income statement.

Market perspectives
Explore emerging market trends and insights from our Investment Research team. If it’s top of mind for you, it’s top of mind for us.

December 2018 

GASB Statement 84: The changing landscape of fiduciary activities
GASB 84 outlines how to identify and report fiduciary activities for governmental units. Here’s what you need to consider as you plan to implement the new standard.

GASB releases Statement 90, Majority Equity Interests
Here are a few things to consider when applying this new standard.

GASB 87, Leases: Four steps to a successful implementation
GASB 87 makes significant changes to how you report for leases. Are you prepared? Follow these four steps for a smooth implementation.

Crisis communication: Five steps to engage stakeholders
In tough times, communicating with stakeholders is critical to minimizing negative impacts, maintaining control, and securing the support your organization needs to move forward. Here’s how to start.

The Road Ahead
PMFA’s 2019 economic outlook

Learn from Leaders
Executives from The Detroit Lions, Carhartt, and PVS Chemicals share their best leadership tips

September 2018

The devil is in the data: Optimizing value in the digital age
Are you making full use of the data you collect? Here are some practical ways to gain the upper hand.

ERP change management: Five pillars of success
Change is a certainty when implementing any new ERP system. Use these suggestions to help you ensure, and your workforce embrace, a smooth and successful ERP implementation.

Five benefits of cloud-based disaster recovery
Are you prepared for an IT disaster? If you think you’re immune, think again. Here’s how to get started on your disaster recovery plan and key considerations to weigh when thinking about cloud-based disaster recovery solutions. 

Risk vs. reward: Six considerations for smart cities
From safer communities to more effective, data-driven decision-making, smart city technologies have numerous benefits. But, with opportunity comes risk. Here are the top six considerations for successful smart city planning. 

GASB 83: Asset retirement obligations
Per GASB 83, certain asset retirement obligations now require the recording of a liability, and a corresponding deferred outflow on the face of the financial statements. Here are the key considerations for adopting this standard.

June 2018

Thinking about becoming a smart city?
Smart city technology can help cities operate more efficiently while improving services to citizens and businesses, among many other benefits. Here are the top 10 ways we see smart cities — and their stakeholders — benefiting. 

Split what? A guide to split-interest agreements under GASB 81
Now in effect, GASB 81, Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements, provides recognition and measurement guidance for situations in which a government is a beneficiary of an irrevocable split-interest agreement. Here are the key terms and common accounting situations to know.

Protect your digital assets with these cybersecurity best practices
Looking for steps you can take to improve your data loss protection? Look no further. These cybersecurity best practices will help you stay a step ahead of hackers and can keep you and your clients safe.

March 2018

Cybersecurity for the public sector: You've been hacked — now what?
Cyberattacks often target the public sector. This on-demand webinar series will help you figure out where to start after a data breach, determine how it happened, and protect your organization for the future.

Communication is key: Working with your actuary to prepare for GASB 75
Good communication with your actuary can make or break successful GASB 75 implementation. Here's how to start the dialogue to ensure important assumptions used in the actuarial valuation are appropriate for your OPEB plan.

Best practices for successful implementation of GASB 75
Gearing up to adopt GASB 75? These best practices can guide you to a successful implementation.

Fostering staff engagement by putting people first
Plante Moran was recently named one of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the 20th year in a row. Why? Because of our people and our environment centered around high-touch relationships, transparency, and trust.

What’s the difference between a construction manager, architect, and owner’s representative?
Failing to meet financial expectations, running behind schedule, or going over budget from mistakes can increase a capital project’s costs exponentially. Owner’s reps are uniquely able to help governments plan and execute successful capital improvement programs.