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CPE for Government Auditors

Forecasting for Profit in Tough Times

You’ve been tapped to create the forecast process for your division. Now what? Even if you understand the basics, what can you do to make the process faster? More efficient? Cleaner? More accurate? Just better? We’ll discuss best practices in budgeting and forecasting, along with some tips and tricks to make your product the best it can be. This course is a facilitated walk-through of the forecasting process using one division’s product or service.

Course objectives:

  • link the forecast to the strategic plan
  • distinguish between planning for the short-term and the long-term
  • forecast and maximizing revenues
  • forecast and minimizing expenditures
  • identify variables and assumptions that impact revenues and expenditures
  • identify drivers of performance results
  • diagnose the root causes of not meeting forecast and responding promptly

Who should attend? Managers seeking to tighten up their forecasts and budgets

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Two years of professional experience

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Government Financial Statement Analysis

To say that the financial statements of governments are complex is an understatement. A CAFR has several layers and utilizes several accrual methods. Which information is worth focusing on to determine the government’s health? In this session, we will discuss the key differences between proprietary accounting and governmental accounting and then dig in and pull some key numbers to diagnose financial issues. This course assumes that the participant has a working understanding of balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, CGAP demystifies governmental accounting and budgeting. She is the author of Accounting Demystified, The Four Principles of Happy Cash Flow, The Yellow Book (Government Auditing Standards) Interpreted, and Introduction to Government Accounting.

Objectives:

  • Describe governmental fund types and financial statement layers
  • Use key financial statements to tell a story about the financial health of an organization
  • Apply four principles to increase the cash flow of the government
  • Determine a decision’s impact on fund balance and cash
  • Extract the information you need from the organization’s financial reports
  • Use the CAFR to determine if the community is prosperous and how stable the revenue sources are
  • Distinguish between discretionary and non-discretionary spending and identify reserves
  • Evaluate the risk of bond and pension liabilities as well as infrastructure maintenance
  • Interpret key financial metrics and discuss how to impact them

Who should attend: Non-financial professionals AND financial professionals who want to improve communications with their customers.

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Understanding of the three key financial statements – balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Internal Controls Workshop

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“Leita was extremely knowledgeable of the subject matter. She also had was of simplifying the concepts to their base elements. This method made it very easy to grasp the concepts that were presented. For and introductory course, I find that clarity and simplicity key.”
- March 2013

“Leita made a dry subject interesting and imparted a great deal of information.”
- March 2013

“Leita was a wonderful instructor. Her material was relevant. She made the class interesting and interactive. It was a great learning experience and I know that I will be able to take what I have learned and apply it to my job.”
- March 2013

“Very knowledgeable on the material and willing to stop and explain in detail some items to those who were not Auditors.”
- March 2013

“She is incredibly knowledgeable while being entertaining at the same time. She pretty much kept the class riveted.”
- March 2013

How do you make sure bad things don’t happen? Controls! In this short workshop, learn how to define risks and apply controls to mitigate the risks – without creating a burdensome bureaucracy.

Objectives:

  • How to define business risks
  • How to mitigate risks with controls
  • How to choose and strengthen key controls
  • What the COSO model is and why it is important
  • How to identify and lean critical processes

Who should attend: Professionals

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Maximizing Cash Flow

web0973To ultimately succeed, a business must be able to generate a healthy cash flow. Without it, the business will be unable to pay its bills and react quickly to market opportunities or threats.

Learn the secrets of working capital management that Dell, Wal-Mart, and Apple use to manage their working capital and turn their operations into cash generating machines. Leita Hart-Fanta is the author of The Four Principles of Happy Cash Flow.

In this workshop, you’ll learn to:

  • Apply concepts for maximize cash flow using four key principles
  • Discuss ideas for smart receivables, inventory, and payable systems
  • Calculate metrics to measure the success of your redesign efforts and benchmark against other organizations
  • Distinguish between managing for profit and managing for cash flow

Who should attend: Businesspeople

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 2 hours

Financial Statement Analysis

From CPAs in January 2017:

“Very good learning experience from an excellent instructor in a an excellent facility! Good job everyone! Instructor was wonderful, used her experience to add insight to the class, asked excellent probing questions… really enjoyed the experience!”
- 1/30/2017 11:58 AM

“Leita is extraordinary. She relates well to the participants and her real-world examples help everyone understand the material. Her own accounting and business experience as well as her knowledge of current financial operations of public companies is also important. She is one of the very best trainers for TSCPA-Austin!”
- 1/30/2017 7:48 AM

“This is the best class I have ever sat in on.”
–1/28/2017 12:28 PM

What story are your financial statements telling about your company? Or—what story are the competitor’s financial statements telling? By running a few numbers and analyzing the status of certain key financial statement balances, you can begin to develop an overall picture of an organization’s health.

Objectives:

  • Determine key ratios for a particular industry
  • Interpret what key ratios mean and how they are calculated
  • Use comprehensive analysis techniques to piece together a story
  • Evaluate common business pitfalls and discuss to design your systems to avoid them

Who should attend: Financial professionals

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Understanding of the basics of financial statements – the balance sheet, the income statement, the cash flow statement

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Performance-Based Budgeting

Performance budgeting may be the best way to respond to increasing customer demand at a reasonable cost. Performance budgeting provides the means to link performance goals to the appropriate resources and then hold managers at each level accountable for achieving the results.

Performance-based budgets put the money where the goals are. Large organizations and the government are increasingly turning to this results-based approach to allocate limited resources.

Objectives:

  • Select meaningful performance measures
  • Create a performance-based budget, step-by-step
  • Decide if performance-based budgeting is right for your organization
  • Choose the key questions to ask in developing a strategic plan and a balanced scorecard
  • Link annual plans with the budget

Who should attend: Anyone who creates, audits, or must comply with a budget.

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

 

How to Interpret Financial Statements: The Basics of Finance for Non-Financial Professionals

No doubt about it, the more you know the language of business, the more you will be able to contribute to your organization’s success. Understanding the ins-and-outs of business finance, budgeting, and costs leads to wise and profitable decisions.

This fun and interactive course starts with a humorous DVD starring John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, and includes a competitive board game called Profit & Cash where participants simulate running a business.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, the author of the McGraw-Hill book, Accounting Demystified is your guide.

Objectives:

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How profits are made and why profit can’t be your only focus
  • How to use the three key financial statements to tell a story about the financial health of an organization
  • What key financial metrics mean and how you impact them
  • How the concepts of liquidity, solvency, and profitability impact a business
  • How to scrutinize a P&L statement
  • How to use cost terminology including variable, fixed, indirect, and direct costs
  • How to develop revenue, expense, and capital projections
  • How to determine the true cost of new hires
  • How to increase cash flow
  • How to best manage working capital
  • How to determine a decision’s impact on profit and cash
  • How to extract the information you need to manage from the organization’s financial reports
  • How to link your strategic plan to your budget and performance metrics

 Topics:

  • The three key financial statements

– The balance sheet
– The income statement (P&L)
– The cash flow statement

  • The concepts of liquidity, profitability, and solvency
  • The common metrics used to determine the health of a business and the viability of a proposal
  • The principles of cash flow and work flow management
  • The terminology accountants used to discuss costs
  • The line item budget and performance based budget
  • The balanced scorecard and strategic plan and how to link them to the budget
  • The family of performance metrics that keeps you on track with your budget
  • The evidence necessary to back up budget projections
  • The reports used by your organization to report on budget performance and financial results

Benefits:

  • Professionals understand how to manage their departments using financial information
  • Professionals become more confident in discussions with executive, customers, suppliers, employees, budget analysts, and controllers
  • Professionals realize the tradeoffs between liquidity, profitability, solvency, and growth

Methods:

Financial Acumen is designed to be interactive and engaging for participants. Self-discovery is aided by numerous self-checks and discussions. The methods of training include:

  • Terminology quiz
  • Small group exercises
  • Group discussions and questions
  • John Cleese DVD
  • Profit & Cash board game

 

 

Who should attend: Professionals

Program level: Beginning

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

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