February 8, 2019 8:00am – 4:30pm Map & Directions 602-252-1234

Governmental Accounting Conference

Online registrations are currently closed, please call (602) 324-6847 for additional registration options


This conference is designed for CPAs, auditors and accountants in federal, state, local and Tribal governments, to provide insights and understanding on new developments in government accounting and auditing.

Register on-line, by phone at 602-252-4144, or download the Conference Registration Form: www.ascpa.com/confregform18 and send to ascpacpe@ascpa.com

We will send a survey one week prior to the conference, so you may select your breakout sessions.


Hyatt Regency Phoenix at Civic Plaza
122 N 2nd St
Phoenix, AZ 85004-2379

Registration Time



Non-CPA Staff:
Non-CPA Staff (100% club):
Non-CPA Staff (sole proprietor):
Specialized Knowledge



8:00-8:05 Welcome and Opening Remarks 
Committee Chair Brian J. Hemmerle,  Henry+Horne

8:05-8:55 Auditor General Update
Lindsey Perry, Office of the Auditor General, State of Arizona
Change can be unsettling for employees at all levels in an organization, but with great change comes new and exciting opportunities. Learn how the Auditor General’s Office has coped with change and used it as an opportunity to accomplish new goals in its mission to provide independent, objective and impartial information, assistance and recommendations to improve Arizona government for its citizens.

8:55-9:20 Networking Break

9:20-11:00 Anatomy of a Fraud
David L. Cotton, Cotton & Company, LLP
Be part of the action, as volunteer participants play key roles in the case – a case study that demonstrates the importance of having sound systems of internal control over the grant award and grantee monitoring processes. It quickly becomes obvious that procedures were either missing or broken down in several important areas. Were there more sinister forces at play? Who had motive, access and opportunity? Learn how to identify risk factors, understand that internal controls protect innocent employees, and value the importance of an active and involved governance body.

11:00-11:20 Networking Break

11:20-12:10 GASB Update
David R. Bean, Governmental Accounting Standards Board
With OPEB still fresh in our minds, it is now time to begin focusing on the next wave of new GASB standards. Asset retirement obligations, fiduciary activities, leases and related implementation guides are all front and center. In addition, the Board has addressed several practical issues. Learn what you need to know to implement these new standards.

12:10-1:20 Sustaining Arizona
Grady Gammage, Jr., Gammage & Burnham, PLC
Hear about Arizona’s future growth prospects from Grady Gammage, Jr. who is a part-time academic, a practicing lawyer, an author, a real estate developer and a former elected official.

1:20-1:35 Networking Break

1:35-2:50 Concurrent Sessions
A. In-Depth GASB Report
David R. Bean, Governmental Accounting Standards Board
The financial reporting model and revenue and expense recognition projects continue to move through due process. They have now been joined by the note disclosure framework project. Learn where governmental accounting and financial reporting may be headed and how you can help shape that future.

B. Thinking the Unthinkable: Real World Lessons From Actual Disaster Recovery Scenarios
Michael Cocanower, ItSynergy
You’ve just gotten the phone call you never want to get. Your office was burglarized. There has been a fire. A water pipe burst. You’ve been hacked. How well you have prepared for this moment could have a significant financial impact and determine your future. The most valuable lessons are those learned from real world disaster scenarios.

C. Who Reads This Stuff Anyway? Why Preparing a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is Important and How it Can Help Your Government
Vicki L. Rios, City of Glendale and Thomas F. Duensing, City of Tempe
Explore what it takes to successfully compile a meaningful and award-winning Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Examine the perspectives of different types of users to understand what information is needed, how the information is used and how having the right information can help your government.

2:50-3:15 Networking Break

3:15-4:30 Concurrent Sessions

D. What you Absolutely, Positively Need to Know About What it Costs
David L. Cotton, Cotton & Company, LLP
Not understanding the nuances and details of cost accounting can have very serious consequences for the accountant or auditor. This session conveys some of the important details and nuances via a series of case study examples.

E. Yellow Book Update
Vanessa Burke and Jack Georger, Jr., The Pun Group, LLP 
F. Integrating Multi-Generational Work Styles 
Aaron Peterson, City of Tempe
Your experienced people are retiring or cutting back on their contributions of time and effort. How will the next generation of employees, supervisors and leaders take on their new roles? Learn how you can help them with this transition for you, your team, and the company.


Thank You to Our Sponsors
Platinum Sponsor



Gold Sponsors

The Pun Group LLP

Fester & Chapman, PLLC


Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C.

CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)


Designed For

Manuals will be furnished electronically only. We encourage laptops and readers at the conference.

Event Leaders

Burke, Vanessa

Rating: 0.00

Vanessa Burke is a Partner at The Pun Group, LLP, focusing on governmental accounting and financial management. With over 27 years of experience in auditing and finance, Ms. Burke has worked with a broad spectrum of clients, including government, nonprofit, healthcare, technology, manufacturing and distribution, and insurance.
Prior to joining The Pun Group, LLP, Ms. Burke served as managing director for Grant Thornton’s West Region office. Her resume includes public accounting experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Moss Adams, as well as serving as a private sector CFO. Much of her expertise in the public sector stems from her work as chief financial officer for the City of Stockton during its high-profile bankruptcy, and as senior advisor for large accounting and advisory firms, guiding the City of San Bernardino and other municipalities through their fiscal challenges.

The veteran CPA is also a sought-after speaker who has presented on many technical and non-technical topics, and is an active member of several professional CPA organizations. In addition to being recognized for her expertise in California municipal finance circles, she is also one of 650 individuals in the United States accredited as a Certified Public Finance Officer by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

Ms. Burke has earned a reputation as a respected financial advisor and dedicated advocate for her clients. She possesses a deep commitment to her profession, and consistently demonstrates the high quality of work ethics and representation her clients expect and deserve.

BS degree in Business Administration (Concentration in Accounting) from California State University, Sacramento.

Professional & Civic Affiliations
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – California
Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) – US
Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
Member, California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA)
Member, Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committee of the CalCPA
Co-Chair, CalCPA Annual Government Accounting and Auditing Conference

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Georger, John

Rating: 4.51

Georger has served a broad base of clients, including port authorities, higher education institutions, community service organizations, foundations, counties, school districts, cities and employee retirement systems. In addition, the commercial clients he has served include construction, real estate, aerospace, research and development, agricultural and professional service firms. He has also consulted on numerous budgets and rate and cost studies for municipal authorities, as well as the design and implementation of internal control systems for various entities.

During his career, Georger has had the opportunity to audit publicly traded companies, both accelerated filers under PCAOB Auditing Standards and non-accelerated filers; major U.S. cities and counties; colleges and universities; and some of the largest not-for-profit organizations in the United States. He is licensed to practice as a certified public accountant (CPA) in the states of California, New York, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina (inactive), Nevada, Connecticut (inactive), Wyoming (inactive), and Georgia (inactive), and in the District of Columbia (inactive); he is also a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

Georger is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA), New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), Nevada Society of Certified Public Accountants and Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). He currently serves on the Financial Accounting Standards Committee, Not-For-Profit Committee, Sustainability Committee, and Government Accounting and Auditing Committee of the NYSSCPA. He has been a member of the GFOA Special Review Committee for the Certificate of Achievement for Financial Reporting since 1990.

Georger graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Business Administration, and he first became a CPA in the state of Connecticut in 1981. He was in private practice in New York, where his firm provided auditing, accounting, and tax services to various local governments, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals for over twenty years. Since selling his practice in 2001, he has been an Audit Senior Manager with KPMG, LLP and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP; a partner in a regional firm in Los Angeles; Audit Director with McGladrey and Pullen, LLP; and, currently, a partner with the Pun Group, LLP.

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Bean, David R.

Rating: 4.65

David R. Bean is the director of research and technical activities for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. He assigns and provides oversight to the GASB’s research, technical, and administrative activities.

Prior to joining the GASB in 1990, Mr. Bean worked in public accounting and government. He also has served as Deputy Chairman of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB). He was the lead author on the 1988 Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting and was the founder of the GAAFR Review. He was the last director of the National Council on Governmental Accounting before the formation of the GASB in 1984.

Mr. Bean is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association, the Connecticut and Illinois Government Finance Officers Associations, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois CPA Society, the Association of Government Accountants, the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, and the Municipal Analysts Group of New York.

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Cotton, David L.

Rating: 4.75

Dave Cotton is chairman of Cotton & Company LLP, Certified Public Accountants, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The firm was founded in 1981 and has a practice concentration in assisting federal and state government agencies, inspectors general and government grantees and contractors with a variety of government program related assurance and advisory services. Cotton & Company has performed grant and contract, indirect cost rate, financial statement, financial related and performance audits for more than two dozen federal inspectors general as well as numerous other federal and state agencies and programs.

Cotton & Company’s Federal agency audit clients have included the U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Capitol Police, U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Millennium Challenge Corporation, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Cotton & Company also assists numerous federal agencies in preparing financial statements and improving financial management, accounting and internal control systems.

Cotton received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering (1971) and an MBA in management science and labor relations (1972) from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He also pursued graduate studies in accounting and auditing at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (1977 to 1978). He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Virginia, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).

Cotton served on the Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards (the Council advises the United States Comptroller General on promulgation of Government Auditing Standards — GAO’s yellow book) from 2006 to 2009. He served on the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Anti-Fraud Programs and Controls Task Force and co-authored Managing the Business Risk of Fraud: A Practical Guide. He served on the American Institute of CPAs Anti-Fraud Task Force and co-authored Management Override: The Achilles Heel of Fraud Prevention. Cotton is the past-chair of the AICPA Federal Accounting and Auditing Subcommittee and has served on the AICPA Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committee and the Government Technical Standards Subcommittee of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee. Cotton chaired the Fraud Risk Management Task Force, sponsored by COSO and ACFE and is a principal author of the COSO-ACFE Fraud Risk Management Guide.

Cotton was the recipient of the ACFE 2018 Certified Fraud Examiner of the Year Award (“presented to a CFE who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fraud examination … based on their contributions to the ACFE, to the profession, and to the community”); AGA’s 2012 Educator Award (“to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the education and training of government financial managers”); and AGA’s 2006 Barr Award (“to recognize the cumulative achievements of private sector individuals who throughout their careers have served as a role model for others and who have consistently exhibited the highest personal and professional standards”).

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Cocanower, Michael

Rating: 4.86

Michael Cocanower is the founder and president of itSynergy based in Phoenix, Arizona for over 20 years. itSynergy focuses exclusively on providing strategic technology management for small and midsized organizations on a fixed monthly fee.

Cocanower has received numerous awards and widespread industry recognition throughout his career. Most recently Cocanower received his Certified Ethical Hacker certification which he utilizes daily to counsel customers on the world of cybersecurity and risk management. In the past, he was recognized by Arizona State University in the inaugural class of Sun Devil Select to recognize successful alumni entrepreneurs. He was named by the Arizona Republic as one of Arizona’s Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35. Cocanower’s services have been retained by both Microsoft and Cisco as a subject matter expert in the use and implementation of Microsoft technologies in small and medium businesses. Cocanower has also served on numerous boards and advisory councils including both the United States and International Board of Directors of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners as well as the Arizona chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) where he is currently the President.

Cocanower is a Phoenix native and has lived in Arizona his entire life. He graduated from Arizona State University with bachelor’s degrees in both Finance and Computer Information Systems.

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Gammage, Grady

Rating: 0.00

Grady Gammage Jr., an Arizona native, has practiced law in Phoenix since his graduation from Stanford Law School. In 1983, he founded Gammage & Burnham, a firm which has since grown to more than thirty lawyers. He is also an adjunct professor at the Arizona State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the College of Law, where he teaches classes on land use regulation and on historic preservation planning.

Professionally, he has spent the last twenty years representing real estate development projects such as master-planned communities, high-rise buildings, regional shopping centers and sprawling tracts of subdivisions. In 1981, he was instrumental in structuring Arizona's innovative Urban Lands Act, which allowed State Trust lands to be released for private development.

Since 2002, he has also held an appointment as a Senior Fellow at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University. In that role, he focuses on issues of growth, land use, water supplies and economic development.

From 1992 – 2004, Gammage served as an elected official on the Board of the Central Arizona Project (CAP), the $5 billion canal which brings Colorado River water to central Arizona. The CAP represents Arizona’s largest source of renewable water supplies. He served as Board president from 1994-98.

Gammage has been quoted in The Arizona Republic, The Phoenix Business Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and on National Public Radio. He is the author of numerous articles on land use and growth issues. His book, "Phoenix in Perspective" was recently published by the Herberger Institute on Design Excellence. In a review on Amazon.com, Yale University Professor Alexander Garvin called Phoenix in Perspective, "America's most thoughtful book on city development." Gammage has been continuously listed in the Best Lawyers in America since the 1991-1992 edition under the headings of both Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law. He has also been recognized in Southwest Super Lawyers for Land Use & Zoning since the start of that publication in 2007.

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Perry, Lindsey Burger

Rating: 0.00

Linsey Perry was appointed Auditor General effective April 18, 2018. Ms. Perry is responsible for carrying out all Office audit, consulting, and investigation activities and management responsibilities, as well as overseeing the Office’s day-to-day operations and interacting with the Legislature, state and local officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Perry advanced to progressively responsible positions during her 16-year Office tenure, with her most recent service in the role of Division of Financial Investigations Director.

Ms. Perry is an Arizona native and a graduate of the University of Arizona with a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Public Administration (Accounting and Management Information Systems). She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, the National State Auditors Association, National Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and Arizona Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners. Ms. Perry was awarded the 2010 CFE of the Year award by the Arizona Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners, for her work in making a significant contribution to the fraud-fighting profession and exemplifying excellence in investigative expertise.

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Rios, Vicki L.

Rating: 0.00

Ms. Rios started with the city of Glendale in December of 2013, as the Assistant Finance Director and since April of 2015 she has been serving as the Budget and Finance Director.

Prior to working in Glendale, her career included positions at the City of Phoenix, the City of Peoria, and Arizona State University in various financial roles. In addition, Ms. Rios periodically teaches accounting courses at Glendale Community College and Arizona State University.

Ms. Rios holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and, a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Accountancy, and M.B.A., from Arizona State University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Government Finance Officers Association of Arizona, the Government Finance Officers Association, and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is also the Chairperson of the Certification Advisory Committee for the Arizona State Board of Accountancy.

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Brian J. Hemmerle, CPA, CFE, Henry+Horne - Committee Chair
Vanessa Burke, CPA, CPFO, The Pun Group, LLP
Levi D. Gibson, CPA, MAcc, Pinal County Finance and Purchasing Administration
Elisa K. Gin, CPA, City of Mesa
Hyungju Hur, CPA, Fester & Chapman, PLLC
Lisa B. Lumbard, CPA, CGFM, Lumbard & Associates, PLLC (ADvision of the Pun Group)
Marilyn M. Mays, CPA, Henry+Horne
Keith J. Orr, CPA, Retired
Jennifer L. Shields, CPA, CGFM, Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C.
Gerald E. Snyder, CPA, CGFM, Retired
Jaimie L. Soulvie, CPA, CGFM, Retired
Cheryl Toone, CPA, ARM, Arizona Department of Risk Management


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