APIPA 2016 Conference Courses

Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary Session: Promoting Accountability and Transparency in the Public Sector

(Mary Kendall, 4 Hours, Monday Morning)

Following the Opening Ceremony and Welcomes, Mary Kendall, Deputy Inspector General for the Department of the Interior, will present a Keynote Speech to the APIPA Conference participants. This will be followed by two panel discussion/presentations. The first discussion, moderated by Agnes Aruwafu, will address the importance of International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions #12, "Making a Difference in the Lives of Citizens." The second panel, moderated by Mary Kendall, will explore the Outreach and Capacity Building efforts of APIPA, PASAI, and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of the Interior.


Squeezing the Sponge: Taking What You've Learned and Applying it Back Home

(Frank Crawford, 4 Hours, Friday Afternoon)

Squeezing the sponge? Really? You would think somebody could have came up with a better title for the closing session! All kidding aside, squeezing the sponge is the phrase we’ve chosen to best describe what you should be doing upon return to your governments next week. But before you run out and buy a sponge, let’s be clear…this is just an analogy. You are the sponge, and the squeezing is you releasing all of the knowledge that you learned this week and putting that knowledge into your day-to-day jobs. Whether that is by implementing things you’ve learned this week personally, or by training those around you with what you’ve learned, both represent a squeezing of the learning sponge by which all can benefit.


Audit Track

Audit Analytics & Risk Assessment

(Frank Crawford, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

Data analysis is a key component to any auditor’s work product. The name of the game is “Ready, Aim, Fire!” in the world of the auditor, not just “Fire!” If you don’t take time to get ready to audit, nor take time to know what your targets are so that you can aim at them, your firing process will be guaranteed to most likely miss. That’s where data analytics comes into play. The right data analytic procedures can help the auditor aim at the right targets, by assisting in assessment of the where the risks are located within your various audit objectives. Whether you’re a financial statement auditor, a performance auditor, or an internal auditor, the concepts are all similar. This session will attempt to provide insight into this world of data analytics and risk assessment.


Audit Evidence and Documentation

(Bruce Crandlemire, 12 Hours, Monday Afternoon - Tuesday)

This active course provides a how to session on preparing audit documentation to meet Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS). The course will help ensure that audit findings and recommendations are properly supported and documented by sufficient, appropriate evidence. Attendees will learn the types of evidence, the tests that evidence must meet, alternative methods for collecting and documenting each type of evidence to include use of structured data collection instruments, and the benefits of referencing. You will also learn how make your audit objectives result in evidence required to support your findings.


Internal Controls for Auditors

(David Hancox, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

Auditing standards require auditors to assess the adequacy of internal control in an organization in financial, compliance and performance audits. Auditors, though, sometimes place too much emphasis on the wrong control components under the misguided premise that control activities (i.e., policies and procedures) are the most critical elements of an organization’s success. This misplaced focus can cause managers to respond with strong — but wrong — preventive controls over day-to-day activities, which ultimately frustrates efforts to correct an organization’s real problems. This session will help auditors to identify and recommend the right controls to prevent the past practices, which have harmed major organizations involved in fraud and scandals over the years, from reoccurring.


Interviewing Techniques for Auditors

(Bruce Crandlemire, 8 Hours, Thursday)

This interactive course will sharpen the skills needed to obtain testimonial information for an effective audit! Attendees will learn the mechanics of effective interviewing techniques through lectures, discussions, and simulated interview exercises. By using an 8-step technique for conducting audit interviews, attendees will learn the importance of interview preparation. Attendees will witness the interview process demonstrated in a mock interview conducted by some of the class attendees who “volunteer” to go on camera.


Audit Supervisory Track

Assessing Risk in Your Audit Office

(David Hancox, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Understanding where the real risks exist in organizations is critical to assuring audit effort is devoted to the right areas. Assessing risk requires auditors to obtain knowledge about the area under audit. Gaining that knowledge can be a challenged that requires full-time effort by audit supervisors to assure they use audit resources effectively. This session will explore approaches audit supervisors should consider to assign audit resources, so auditors consistently produce high impact audits.


Auditing Standards Update

(Jeanne Yamamura, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

Staying current on changes in the auditing standards is essential for every auditing professional as well as being helpful for those they audit! This 1-day course covers new releases from the Auditing Standards Board and other recently issued guidance in the auditing, attest, and review and compilation areas. It will also review prior Yellow Book guidance related to the independence matrix and risk assessment focusing on implementation and documentation issues in practice. Real life cases and discussion will provide an opportunity to apply what you have learned.


Finding and Reporting on Fraud

(David Hancox, 4 Hours, Monday Afternoon)

Fraud committed within an organization can create unique challenges. It can create significant financial, reputational, and legal challenges. It also erodes confidence in the organization. This session will discuss several major frauds, how they occurred, and why the auditors did not find them. The lessons learned from these frauds should help guide future audit efforts to improve an auditor’s capability of finding fraud. Also, Mr. Hancox will discuss how a major audit organization revamped its operations to use the latest audit, data analysis, and data mining techniques to find fraud, waste, and improper transactions.


How to Implement Big Ideas in the Management of an Audit Oversight Office -- Large and Small

(Mary Kendall, 8 Hours, Tuesday)

Mary Kendall, and members of the Office of Inspector General for the Department of the Interior, will engage a Roundtable Discussion on "How to Implement Big Ideas in the Management of an Audit Oversight Office -- Large and Small."


Finance Track

Government Auditing for Non-Auditors: What Do You Do When the Public Auditor Comes Knocking?

(Bruce Crandlemire, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

Why do auditors do what they do? Do you need to interact with auditors and thus need to know what is expected of you and what you can expect of the auditors? These are very important questions when the Public Auditor, A-133 auditor, or Department of Interior Office of Inspector General come knocking at your door. Attendees will learn the critical role that public sector auditors play in ensuring that government organizations, grantees, and contractors merit the public's confidence. Topics will explore the required standards they use and the processes they follow in planning, executing and reporting on financial, compliance and performance audits. You will discover the expectations that audit organizations have in working with agency personnel and what agency staff can expect of auditors. After this session attendees will have the knowledge needed to effectively interact with your auditors, represent your agency before auditors, and respond to their findings.


How To Reduce Bias in Decision Making

(Jeanne Yamamura, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

The human brain has an unfortunate tendency to perform in an irrational manner preventing us from making sound decisions. The failure to recognize the unconscious biases that influence your thinking and judgment can result in ineffective, even bad, decisions. In a business setting, this can lead to poor performance and unhappy employees. This ½ day workshop helps participants to recognize the cognitive biases that influence judgment and presents steps that can be taken to overcome these biases.


Introduction to Governmental Accounting

(Jeanne Yamamura, 12 Hours, Monday Afternoon - Tuesday)

This active 1½ day course provides an introduction to the basics of accounting and financial reporting for governmental entities. Participants will gain a working knowledge of fund types and categories and learn how to record routine transactions for governmental activities. Internal controls as they apply to the accounting cycle and good accounting practice will be emphasized throughout the course. The session emphasizes hands-on practice in the accounting cycle process, from recording a transaction to preparing financial statements. Participants will leave the course with a more complete understanding of accounting terminology, the recording process, the role played by reconciliations, and the preparation of financial statements. No advance accounting knowledge is necessary.


Managing Your Grant Successfully

(Dianne Arakaki, 8 Hours, Thursday)

What does it take to manage a grant successfully? Managing federal and other grants is a critical and complex endeavor for most governments anywhere. This course will address key issues, practices, and outcomes of successful grant/s management. We will also discuss and share grant management experiences with each other, and share lessons learned.


Accounting & Management

Advanced Governmental Accounting Issues that Remain Perplexing to this Day

(Frank Crawford, 12 Hours, Monday Afternoon - Tuesday)

For those of us that think we know generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), there are always some issues that we don’t understand as well as others. This session will take a look at a number of these more “perplexing” issues found in governmental accounting today by focusing on several of the 2,000=plus questions and answers located in the GASB’s annual Implementation Guide. Topics to be covered will include unique and complex guidance related debt extinguishments, capital assets, pensions and other post-employment benefits (OPEB), non-exchange revenues, and differences between modified accrual and full accrual, among others. A session guaranteed to make you sweat (probably due to the location more than the subject matter…)


The Essentials of Project Management

(Dianne Arakaki, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

Understanding the essentials of successful project management if not being able to manage projects oneself is critical to most of our individual and organizational success. Whether projects are construction or information system/s related, all successful projects use and follow the same essential project management theories, practices and techniques. We will cover the essentials of successful project management for non-project managers including the project management life cycle and other key concepts and techniques.


GASB Update: Where Are We Going from Here?

(Frank Crawford, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Just when you thought it would be time to catch your breath after a number of new GASB accounting principles required implementation in the last few years, along comes several new accounting standards from the GASB, many of which will require significant implementation efforts over the next few years. The GASB has just put the wraps on issuing Statement 81, and I am wagering that your governments just finished implementing GASB 71, which means that we have 10 more standards to go, with many due to be implemented by September 30, 2016. This session will focus on the new standards that governments will begin implementation efforts on soon. Topics to be covered will include new other post-employment standards, asset retirement obligations, split-interest agreements, and tax abatement disclosures, just to name a few.


Internal Controls for Managers

(David Hancox, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

Internal controls are fundamental to effectively managing an organization. Unfortunately, some managers can not properly define the components of an effective internal control system. Sometimes they listen to auditors who are not sufficiently informed to recommend the right control components. This session will explore the objectives, components, and principles of internal control based on the framework issued by the Treadway Commission’s, Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO). Mr. Hancox will offer ideas and suggestions on how to put in place the right control system that will help you become a highly effective manager.