President’s Message – April 2013

Carrie Ferguson
Southern Wisconsin Chapter President Carrie Ferguson

So the season has turned and it appears that the weather may finally be changing. Of course, this is Wisconsin, so we all know it can change back just as quickly.

I bring up change, because during our March luncheon meeting, David Cagigal, CIO of the State of Wisconsin, discussed the State’s current enterprise resource planning process. He spoke of the changes the State is currently facing, and the difficulties it will encounter in meeting those changes. While the final cost of the ERP process was uncertain, it is expected to be significant; however, David felt this enterprise resource planning will be critical to ensure that the State’s information systems remain secure and competitive. More information about this presentation is provided in the April Monthly Footnotes on page 5.

Thinking beyond our March luncheon meeting, spring is a time of changes. We are not always ready to make them and they may not always be easy. We have to try to remain optimistic and flexible. We also have to remember that changes don’t always work right away. They take continued management, monitoring and adjustments. This is important, because we need to assess all along the way whether it appears a newly implemented process is working successfully, or if we need to refine our strategy – or even develop a new one altogether.

I’m sure there is a change to manage in everyone’s life. Whether it’s a small challenge, like cutting back on the amount of coffee you drink each morning, or whether it’s something more significant, like a major life challenge, change is all around us. In fact, change is something of an underlying theme of our upcoming 36th Annual Spring Symposium on Tuesday, May 14th at the University of Wisconsin Union South. I hope many of you will be able to attend this 7 CPE event, since we have a great lineup of speakers.

We’ll begin the day with Tom McHugh and Amy Banicki from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development speaking about the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The economy’s changes in recent years have definitely affected that part of the State’s operations.

Next, we’ll have Mary Peterman, CGFM, CPA, of Savantage Solutions (and AGA National President-Elect) presenting Get in Control! Leveraging Your Internal Control Work. While internal controls don’t always lead a person to think of change, internal controls should be the backbone of an organization. As such, internal controls should be considered as part of any organizational changes, since operational changes may signal a need for control changes.

At the end of our morning, we’ll have Matt Stohr from the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds discussing the operations of the Wisconsin Retirement System. I’m sure they’ll be some members of our Symposium audience that will soon be contemplating the major life change of retirement, even as others will have only recently changed from being a college student to entering the workforce in a new career.

Beginning our afternoon, we’ll have Douglas Raubal, a Special Agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, speaking about cyber-based threats. Obviously, the technology environment is one that is always changing – changing in ways that bring with them new and ever more serious risks.

Closing our day, we’ve asked Sarah Gibson of Accent Learning and Consulting, LLC, to speak on managing change. Since change is everywhere, hopefully we’ll all pick up a few tips from her, so that we are able to implement and adjust to change in the most successful way possible.

President’s Message – March 2013

Carrie Ferguson
Southern Wisconsin Chapter President Carrie Ferguson

Spring is fast approaching we are told. After all, the clocks are moving back and the sound of bouncing basketballs fills the air. Unfortunately, signs of spring aren’t quite as visible in nature, given the recent snowstorm. Although, perhaps that is just a sign that Mother Nature is taking “March Madness” to heart, too.

March also brings another event – AGA membership and CGFM renewal time! For all AGA members and CGFMs, please try to get your renewals in by March 31! If you are not currently an AGA member, this is a great time to join. Remember, you are only responsible for dues as the national level as our chapter does not charge any additional chapter dues. If you have questions about membership, please check out the Membership page or contact our membership chair (see Contacts). If you are not a CGFM, this is a great time to consider looking over the requirements and to start studying for the exam. Check out our CGFM corner in the March newsletter (see page 9) and the CGFM section of our website for additional information. Also, feel free to contact either of our CGFM co-chairs with any additional questions you might have (see Contacts).

In fact, March also marks AGA’s CGFM month. Congratulations to all Southern Wisconsin Chapter CGFMs! We hope to see many of you at our upcoming March luncheon! In recognition of CGFM month, Madison’s mayor and Wisconsin’s governor have issued proclamations to recognize this event. See the March Newsletter for copies of these proclamations. Also, good luck to those of you who are still working to complete your remaining parts of the exam!

If March sports are not your cup of tea, or if you have some free time between games, perhaps you might be “mad about art.” If so, you should consider entering the Chapter Citizen Centric Reporting (CCR) Program Logo Contest. More information about the rules for this contest can be found on page 7 of the newsletter. There are some great prizes if your design receives the most votes (or even if your design is the runner-up). Not only that, the winning design will impact the CCR program for years to come! All members are welcome to enter, since chapters may submit more than one design for the contest, so be sure to submit your entry by March 29, 2013.

Finally, March is also a time when many of us our thinking taxes (if we aren’t fortunate enough to have them completed yet). After all, April 15th is fast approaching. Hopefully, you were fortunate enough to attend the January luncheon meeting to pick up some additional tax preparation tips from the presentation provided by Andrew Justl, Manager at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.

Happy CGFM Month! And Happy Spring (whenever it gets here)!