February 4, 2021 – February 5, 2021 8:00am – 11:30am Map & Directions

Webcast: Governmental Accounting Conference

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


Hear the latest on GASB, fraud and cybersecurity at the first all virtual 2021 ASCPA Governmental Accounting Conference February 4 & 5, 2021. Your favorite speakers, including David Cotton, Marianne Jennings and David Bean are back, along with other local and national experts to assist you in discovering insights and understanding on new developments in governmental accounting and auditing.

The Governmental Accounting Conference will now be held as a virtual conference only. Please see below for more details and the updated conference agenda. 

With your virtual conference registration we are able to offer you even more than before:

  • The conference will now be held over two days (February 4 & 5) to help you maximize CPE while balancing your busy schedule.
  • All general and breakout sessions will be available via webcast. Just like our seminars, most sessions will be recorded and available to attendees to re-watch after the event for up to one year. 
  • Attend both days to earn up to 12 hours of CPE, for the price of 8!

Register on-line or by phone at 602-252-4144. 

General sessions and the most popular breakout sessions will be available for the webcast.


Registration Time



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


Conference Agenda

Thursday – February 4, 2021

8 – 9 a.m. | Performance Auditing Made Easy 
David L. Cotton, CPA (in VA & NC), CFE, CGFM, Cotton & Company LLP

Unlike a traditional financial audit objective (Are the financial statements materially misstated?), performance auditing can address a wide variety of objectives (Is this program working? Can it be improved? Where can we save money? How can we operate more efficiently and effectively?). 

This session will explain what a performance audit is, describe the standards that must be followed and provide examples that indicate the value of a performance audit. Performance audits can add value to any entity and practitioners can profit from adding these assurance services to their practices. 

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. | Economic Changes and What It All Means 
Jim Rounds, Rounds Consulting Group, Inc. 

Current economic conditions will be reviewed with emphasis on the recent recession, how public policy will impact the economy and what your economic future might look like. 

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | GASB Update
David R. Bean, Governmental Accounting Standards Board

This session will focus on recently issued GASB pronouncements, including guidance that governments need to apply in the implementation of the new fiduciary activities standards. In addition, the session will address several proposals that the GASB expects to issue in 2021, including compensated absences, prior period adjustments, and risks and uncertainties.

Friday – February 5, 2021

8 – 9 a.m. | COVID-19 Effects
David R. Bean, Governmental Accounting Standards Board

This deep-dive session will explore the effects of COVID-19 on accounting and financial reporting standards.  In addition to pronouncements that were directly related to the CARES Act and the impact of the pandemic, specific authoritative questions and answers and nonauthoritative responses and technical inquiries received by the GASB will be discussed.

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. | Defeating the Hackers – The Top 5 Things to Stop Them in Their Tracks 
Michael Cocanower, Certified Ethical Hacker, itSynergy

There is no such thing as an unhackable system. However, there are a few simple steps you could take to defeat 90% of the methods the hackers will use to compromise you. Join Michael Cocanower as he takes you inside the world of hacking, shows you the ‘low hanging fruit’ the hackers generally leverage in their attacks and then tells you how to shut them down.

Whether your staff is in an office, remote or a mix of both, these tips are easy to implement and adopt by your staff while very difficult for hackers to overcome.

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | Single Audit Update
Brittney Williams, CPA, CGFM, HeinfeldMeech  

Join this session to stay up to date with what’s going on with Single Audit requirements, grant accounting and other issues related to federal requirements.

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Lunch Break

12 – 1 p.m. | Data Analytics for Your Government Organization
Kevin C. Bach, CPA, CVA, Henry+Horne

At the end of this session, you will know how to implement data analytics for your organization and be able to to brainstorm additional use cases and modeling techniques. 

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. | Implementing GASB 87—Leases 
Michael G. Stelpstra, CPA, Arizona Auditor General’s Office

GASB’s new leases standard will soon be effective. Are you ready to implement it? This session will help you identify and address implementation challenges such as identifying and valuing leases, evaluating materiality, gathering information for note disclosures and maintaining adequate documentation.  

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Benford's Law—A Valuable Audit Tool 
David L. Cotton, CPA (in VA & NC), CFE, CGFM, Cotton & Company LLP

Numbers—and especially the digits within those numbers—can conceal a lot of information.  Benford's Law is the key to unlocking that information. This session will explain what Benford's Law is, how it works and how it can be used to reveal bogus information and made-up data. Accountants and auditors should understand how to use this valuable audit tool. But, if you attend this session, you must promise not to reveal the secret behind the technique to any fraud perpetrators.

3:45 – 4:45 p.m. | The Ethical Issues We Miss, Rationalize Away or Fail to Report
Marianne Jennings, JD, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

During the past year we have witnessed events, issues and cases to which we all responded, "That was just wrong!" Yet, those involved proceeded with great comfort while those surrounding them said nothing. In this session we will look at how and why these ethical lapses occur and how we can catch ourselves in the midst of our blind spots, rationalizations and silence. 


Thank You to Our Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors

Heinfeld Meech & Co., P.C.

The Pun Group, LLP


CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)

Fester & Chapman, PLLC

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For details, contact Heidi Frei, MBA, ABC, Senior Director of Marketing & Membership at (602) 324-4743 or at hfrei@ascpa.com

Designed For

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

Event Leaders

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.

More With Bean, David R.

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 and North Carolina, 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”).

More With Cotton, David L.

Williams, Brittney

Rating: 4.30

Brittney Williams, CPA, CGFM is a Partner for the public accounting firm HeinfeldMeech where she is involved with developing and monitoring the Quality Control policies and procedures for the firm. She currently manages audit services for municipalities, school districts, transportation authorities and non-profits out of their Phoenix office.
Williams speaks frequently for HeinfeldMeech, several State CPA societies and AICPA Conferences on topics including GASB pronouncements, auditing standards, Government Auditing Standards and Single Audits. She has worked in the single audit environment for 16 years and has assisted clients and other professionals with single audit implementation matters.

Williams is also a peer reviewer of firms enrolled in the AICPA Peer Review Program and is currently serving on the AGA Financial Management Standards Board and the AICPA Technical Issues Committee.

More With Williams, Brittney

Rounds, Jim

Rating: 4.63

Jim Rounds is President of Rounds Consulting Group. The firm specializes in economic development and tax policy analysis; education research; transportation economics; fiscal planning including revenue forecasting and budget development; strategic planning and marketing; impact and market studies; and litigation support.

Mr. Rounds regularly provides advice to policymakers at the State Capitol, mayors throughout the state as well as city council members, county board members, and other public and private sector leaders in the community. He has delivered hundreds of economic presentations throughout Arizona and is quoted weekly on television, radio, and in printed media.

Mr. Rounds specializes in using proper analysis and communication to bridge political gaps. For example, Jim is a Senior Fellow at the Goldwater Institute; a board member of the Maricopa County IDA and Valley Partnership; and advisor to education focused groups including the Helios Education Foundation, Achieve 60 AZ, the Rodel Foundation, the Arizona Board of Regents, and the various state universities, among others. Jim is also the lead economist for multiple rural and urban area healthcare and hospital associations.

Other areas of recent study include advanced workforce analysis; minimum wage impact analysis; State Trust Land finance; public employee pension reform; utility infrastructure investment; and state and local area tourism planning.

Mr. Rounds began his career as a Senior Economist and Senior Budget Analyst with the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and has been engaged in policy related economics for more than two decades. Jim has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Economics from Arizona State University.

More With Rounds, Jim

Bach, Kevin C.

Rating: 0.00

Kevin joined Henry+Horne in 2012 and has over 14 years of experience in the account industry. Specializing in “big data” he has built the firm’s data analytic nice and is the partner in charge of the niche. He is experienced in setting up interactive dashboards and visualization tools across a variety of platforms to improve internal operations and review operations for effectiveness.

More With Bach, Kevin C.

Jennings, Marianne M.

Rating: 4.87

Professor Marianne Jennings is a professor emeritus of legal and ethical studies in business in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. She served as director of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999.

Professor Jennings has hundreds of articles in academic, professional and trade journals. In 2006, Emerald Management Review named her article, “Ethics and Investment Management,” one of the top 50 articles in 2005. She was named a Top 100 Thought Leader by Trust Across America and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere.

She has six textbooks and monographs in circulation. The ninth edition of her Business Ethics was published in 2017. Her Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse is used as an audit tool and a primer on corporate culture.

Her columns have been syndicated, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and Washington Post.
Professor Marianne Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies in business in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. She served as director of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999.

Professor Jennings has hundreds of articles in academic, professional and trade journals. In 2006, Emerald Management Review named her article, “Ethics and Investment Management,” one of the top 50 articles in 2005. She was named a Top 100 Thought Leader by Trust Across America and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere.

She has six textbooks and monographs in circulation. The ninth edition of her Business Ethics was published in 2017. Her Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse is used as an audit tool and a primer on corporate culture.

Her columns have been syndicated, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and Washington Post.

More With Jennings, Marianne M.

Stelpstra, Michael G.

Rating: 0.00

Michael Stelpstra, CPA, is a financial audit technical manager with the Arizona Auditor General’s Office. His responsibilities include providing technical research and assistance, assisting with accounting and auditing standards implementation, and performing quality assurance reviews of financial audit reports and other publications.

More With Stelpstra, Michael G.

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.

More With Cocanower, Michael


Committee Chair: Levi D. Gibson, CPA, MAcc, City of Glendale

Conference Committee Members:
Michael D. Baumert, CPA, Arizona State University
Vanessa Burke, CPA CPFO, The Pun Group, LLP
Elisa K. Gin, CPA, City of Mesa Transportation Department
Michael W. Hawthorne, CPA, Michael Hawthorne CPA
Gary Heinfeld, CPA, CCIM, CGFM, Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C.
Brian J. Hemmerle CPA, CFE, Henry+Horne
(Ben) Hyungju Hur, CPA, Fester & Chapman, PLLC
Keith J. Orr, CPA, Retired  
Jennifer L. Shields, CPA, CGFM, Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C.
Gerald E. Snyder, CPA, CGMA, Retired    
Jaimie L. Soulvie, CPA, CGMA, Retired                           
Cheryl Toone, CPA, ARM, Arizona Department of Risk Management