A Message from NASACT's President
Section: Around the Nation

By NASACT President Clark Partridge, State Comptroller of Arizona

How quickly a year goes by! It seems like we were just together in Salt Lake City last August for the annual conference, and now the 2019 conference is just around the corner. I hope you will join me and my co-hosts, Auditor General Lindsey Perry and State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, in Scottsdale this August 17-21. We have a wonderful line-up of technical sessions and networking events planned.

I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the major things we’ve accomplished together this year:
  • Participating as an observer in the XBRL State and Local Government working group, which is developing a taxonomy for state and local government financial reporting.
  • Monitoring the progress of the GREAT Act and its implications for grant reporting.
  • Providing input to the IRS on the W-4 redesign to conform to new requirements of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Working with the U.S. Government Accountability Office to address improper payments, with a particular emphasis on Medicaid.
  • Responded to six exposure drafts from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board and testified at the hearing for the Financial Reporting Model project.
  • Providing training on the new Yellow Book, which recently went into effect for performance audits.
  • Offering a forum for states to collaborate as they implement the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Guidance… and offering feedback to OMB on problem areas related to implementation, such as the implications of GASB 87 (Leases) on the interpretation and application of the guidance.
  • Following proposed legislation as it makes its way through Congress to ensure that we have a voice on issues that will affect the states.
  • Working with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Professional Ethics Division on the recently issued interpretation, “State and Local Government Client Affiliates.”
  • Working with the U.S. Government Accountability Office and various Federal Inspectors’ General to ensure accountability over disaster relief funds.”
  • Participating in a bi-national forum with our counterparts in the Mexican state of Morelos, focusing on “Transparency, Accountability and Ethics in Public Management.”

Oh, and did I mention, we’ve also planned seven webinars, providing training to over 6,650 people, and 11 conferences and workshops, providing 167 hours of CPE and serving over 1,700 people? And that doesn’t even include the many conferences and webinars we coordinate under contract for some of our peer associations.

Looking back is important, but I also want to be sure that we are looking forward. Technical issues, new standards, new legislation… these are the realities of the industry of state government financial management. But there are other, less tangible areas that we must also consider:
  • How do we develop leaders to succeed us? There are important national issues that will outlive those of us currently involved. How do we identify and nurture the talented individuals to come who will surely have new ideas and new ways of addressing problems?
  • How do we tap into our collective strength as an association? Collectively we are even stronger than we are individually. Together we have a powerful voice and through NASACT, a strong platform. How can we best use these to make life better for ourselves, our families and citizens in each of our respective states?
  • How do we pique interest – in our association, but also in careers in state government financial management?

NASACT is only as strong as its members. And in that regard, we are clearly strong. It has been wonderful to see the numerous individual and collective contributions over the past year. It never ceases to amaze me what a difference we truly can make, and how we seem to get so much more benefit back than what we give.

There are so many people to thank, and I won’t attempt to name them all here. But you can rest assured that we have talented, committed members serving on committees, planning conferences, reading and responding to standards, and supporting each other professionally. NASACT truly is a community, a family of sorts, and I’m so blessed to count you as my colleagues and friends. Thank you to all those who have participated in some way in the association’s activities and efforts during my year as president.

The association has a rich history of interest and involvement in the issues that shape our professional worlds. There have been so many that have contributed greatly to our governmental financial and accounting environment. We honor them and owe them a depth of gratitude and appreciation. However, we cannot be complacent. We must build upon these pillars of success, leverage our reputation, integrity and dedication to efficiency and effectiveness, to ensure our future relevance and usefulness. We must both carry the torch with our colleagues serving today, and successfully pass the torch to those who will lead and serve in the future.

Harry S Truman said, “Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” We have opportunities ahead, and the future begins now. I look forward to a great conference and the opportunities that it will provide. See you in Scottsdale!