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Edmonton Chapter

Upcoming Events

Confirmed and board musings on possible future events.

The following are future events the FMI Edmonton Chapter Board have either confirmed or are working on.  If you would like to assist, suggest ideas for speakers or events please email us at  

Last Updated: 2016-03-08

2016-2017 Events (specific dates indicates the event is confirmed):

Date Title Description
May 17, 2017 Building a Healthy Workplace 

Disability claims, absenteeism, and engagement: are they connected? What is the role and some of the challenges mental health poses in the workplace? How can managers    create environments where business needs are being met and employees flourish? How can we deal proactively with our staff who are going through a challenging time and    make sure they come out successful? This session will examine the facts of mental health and provide tools for leaders to help manage the impact on the organization.

TBD Effective reporting

Effective reporting - what does this mean and what does it entail: Information Management and Government Decision Making
A central role of financial managers and public servants is to 'speak truth to power'; however truth needs to be based on good information and evidence. What are the sources of information that can be used to make good decisions? How do public servants manage information that is growing faster than the ability to assimilate let alone understand it. This session will allow the public servants to understand what is information, how can it be managed, how it can be used for decision-making and how is this a good career tool. (Suggested by Angela W.)

TBD Retirement for the Public Employee

Revisiting a high popular theme from 2014, how goes the retirement plans?  Guest speakers will discuss and revisit some of the challenges including transitioning from the Government to the 'Real World'.  (Suggested by Eva H.)

TBD Work, life balance and how do we achieve this?

One of the draws of working for the public sector is work life balance.  How real is this draw and how are financial managers doing in this regards as compared to comparable individuals in other industries.  (Suggested by Angela W).

TBD  Change Management  

How to Survive, Thrive and Live with Change
(Inspired by the St. John's Chapter) An overview of the key drivers of uncertainty at all levels of government and the impact of this uncertainty on accounting and financial reporting, internal controls and information systems and, most importantly, people. Recent experience with uncertainty and downsizing in the federal government and in the United States, Bailey will illustrate impacts of uncertainty and discuss what it means from an accounting and financial management perspective.

TBD Pricing Carbon: beating the hydro-carbon addiction or a tax grab?

January 2017, Alberta will introduce a carbon levy.  Billed as tax neutral, it will transfer wealth from those who consume more fossil fuels to those who consume less via cash payments.  Is this good fiscal policy, will it work and is it a provincial sales tax in an environmentalist's clothing?

(Suggested by Melville M)

Idea Locker for Future Consideration

(With 2016 Scoring from the FMI Board)

Lost Dutchman's Mine (Score 9)

In Search of the Lost Dutchman's Mine - Session facilitated by Randy Shuttleworth. Participants are divided into teams and engage in a "game" to get as much gold as possible. The key to winning the game is sharing information with other tables. Outcomes of the event are learning to collaborate and breaking down information silos (Suggested by Neil P).

Healthcare, Finance and Your Tax Dollars (Score 5)

An exploration of the healthcare expenditures made within the province and nationally. How can this expenditure can be maintained, what is the impact on government revenues (at all levels) and how will it be affected by the aging of the Baby-Boomers. A panel discussion will occur.

Sharpening Your Business Writing Skills (Score 7)
Accountants communicate through writing on a daily basis in mediums such as: email, formal reports, and instructional manuals. This session will provide a refresher on effective writing techniques with a focus on using 'plain English' in a format appropriate for your audience.

Surviving the Dreaded Re-Organization (Score 6)
(Suggested and contributed by Rene M and Darci S) Ministry re-organizations and municipal re-engineering have been with public servants since the initial governments.
Why do re-organizations occur in the first place from the political level, who has mastered the art of surviving and what can a public servant take away from or contribute to the re-organization? Beyond the structural changes, what are the specific challenges in changes in leadership and the loss of corporate knowledge at the executive level? What are the impacts to managers, non-managers with a specific focus on the role of the finance person in the reorganization.

Robert's Rules: How to Run an Effective Meeting (Score 5)
Accountants are often looked to as leaders in a variety of organizations and a variety of initiatives in jobs and in personal lives outside of work. Inevitably these leadership roles involve meetings to determine strategic direction and progress on initiatives under-way. 'Robert's Rules' provides a structure for how to run effective meetings in organizations and minimizes the need for a meeting after the meeting. This topic will outline some of the foundational components of Robert's
Rules and provide members with a working framework to help run meetings with greater effectiveness.

Sharing, Sharing, Sharing... Systems (Score 5)
Shared systems and central agencies can reduce the cost of providing services - but they can also take friggin *&&^^%)(^#! to deliver that good or service. When does centralization work, when should it be avoided and what are the common lessons of both successful and less successful shared services?

SharePoint More Than File Storage (Score 4)
(Suggested by Dianne L) The Microsoft collaboration tool SharePoint has become the new standard in offices. Unfortunately for many organizations, it quickly becomes simply another network drive - and not a particularly good one at that. In this session you will learn 5 things that you may not have known SharePoint could do: 1. Be your go-to Desk Reference/Procedure resource; 2. De-clutter the infamous network drive; 3) Become a budget system - without (almost) using Excel; 4) Store emails and declutter your inbox; 5) Used as a ministry/department priority tracking system.

Conflict Resolution (Score 3)
Talking your way out of a harmful situation and defusing the aggressive person. This may include: More on client negotiations and/or conflict of interest (Suggested by Shelley B and Dale L.).

Everyday Heroes (Score 3)
Community leaders in the Not-for-Profit sector. An economic driver that changes lives and supports our community.

Experience Versus Fresh Faces in the Public Service (Score 2)
What is the value and challenges of recruiting from outside of the public service. Does an outsider really bring new perspectives? Is it difficult to acclimatize the 'irrational' world of public service? What are the experiences for those who have made the leap? (Suggested by Melville M)

Mission Possible: Building Better Teams? (Score 3)
(Suggested by Sandra V) Teams or at least work units are the basis for most organizational structures. How can financial managers build better teams and how can financial professionals and public servants be better followers and contributors to a team? More importantly, how to balance the success of the team with individual performance management and promotion. This session will explore these issues and concepts.

Public Sector Budget, Part II: Do Results/Performance Based Budgets really perform (or deliver results) (Score 2)
(Contributed to by Nobey) Known by many names and methodologies (Results Based, Zero Based, etc.), a performance based budget strives to link inputs (financial and other resources) with the outputs and intended outcomes. In theory, a perfect model for allocating the scarce resources available to a public service. In practice though, what have been their successes and challenges?
These are the perspectives and challenges FMI will explore in this engaging panel discussion and presentation formatted conference. Of interest to all who hold, manage or rely on public-budgets.

Teaching Finance to Non-Financial Managers (Score 2)
(Courtesy of the Regina Chapter) Financial professionals often struggle sharing essential financial information with program managers in terms everyone understands. There is a specific language and complex concepts are involved in interpreting financial reports. This impedes the ability of program managers to use financial information effectively in their daily business decisions.
This workshop is focused on providing tools to financial professionals to assist them with translating essential financial information in terms program managers can understand and to encourage effective use of this information to have positive impacts on business and operational objectives.

The 360 Review and Benefits of Self-Knowledge
(Suggested by John K) Many organizations employ 360 reviews to help employees better understand themselves through how others perceive them. During this session, the 360 review will be explained (including its strengths, shortcomings, costs, etc.) and how you can collect feedback informally about yourself through less formal means.

Accounting for and Managing Assets in Government
How well does your organization manage the asset life cycle? How is that asset verification thing working out for you? Are your organization policies, procedures and technology current or are they getting a bit stale? Finally, do you understand the accounting standards relative to tangible, intangible, componentization or work in progress accounting? This session will examine the asset life cycle, who is doing it well, the standards and what could be done better.

The Art of Performance Measurement, Management and Avoiding Unintended Consequences
An old saw goes, 'What gets measured gets done'. However in dueling quotes, Albert Einstein said: "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count;
everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted'. Thus the challenge of performance measurement in the public service. What are the acknowledged performance
measurements for government organizations, how can the costs to collect these measures be reduced while improving their accuracy, finally, what is the role of the
financial professional to managing measurements (both financial and non-financials).

Cost Accounting in the Public Service
Activity Based Costing (ABC) and Budgeting (ABB) have seen their fortunes rise and fall over the past few decades. The Alberta Government has passed the Results Based
Budgeting (RBB) Act which seeks to systematically review all government programs and services from an output and outcome perspective. This session will discuss the
role cost accounting/budgeting plays in this new world at all levels of government. What are the human, system and cultural changes needed to make RBB, ABC, ABB or
any other similar resource allocation process successful?
Variation (Courtesy Capital Chapter): Investment and Project Planning - Costing Initiatives, How and When?

Critical Thinking and the Financial Professional
(Suggested by Lucia S) How well do you perform when it comes to critical thinking and analysis and how well do you communicate the results? This session will explore
the dark arts of critical thinking and combine it with how to present and communicate such analysis in a simple and effective manner to executives and to the political
level.

Generations, Cultures and Diversity: Viva la difference
Canada's culture and the public sector work place continues to evolve. What are these changes, what can you expect, what is expected of you? The challenges as well
as costs, benefits, and obligations of all concerned will be explored during this interactive session.
Variation (Courtesy of Capital Chapter): Generation Next - The Transformation: People, Processes, and Systems

Identity Management, the Good, the Bad and the Risks
Know who are its citizens and providing documentation to prove this is a central function of governments. What has been done in the past to identify citizens? How
has identification been used for evil purposes (e.g. identifying Jews NAZI occupied Europe), when have governments failed in this basic task? How do you agencies cope
when there an identity is lost either as a refuge or as a disadvantage citizens. Finally, what does the future hold for identity management in western democracies?  Join us in this whirl wind tour from clay tablets to retina scans and all identified parts in between.

Information Management and Government Decision Making
A central role of financial managers and public servants is to 'speak truth to power'; however truth needs to be based on good information and evidence. What are the sources of information that can be used to make good decisions? How do public servants manage information that is growing faster than the ability to assimilate let alone understand it. This session will allow the public servants to understand what is information, how can it be managed, how it can be used for decision-making and
how is this a good career tool.

Operational, Strategic, Business, Risk and Other Planning
(Suggested by John K) Public servants and in particular financial managers are asked to lead, contribute to, evaluate and then manage to a variety of plans. But what exactly does the organization when they want a strategic/operational/business or risk plan? What are the common elements in these documents? More importantly, how can public servants prepare credible, useful and enduring plans from that ever so-edge of the side of their desk? This session will provide definitions, tips, tricks, guidance and most important, clues how to plans that spend as little time on the shelf as possible.

Public Sector Budget, Part I: Who Loves their Budget System
Budgets are central to a public service organization. In many ways they are as important or perhaps more important than even the financial statements. This is particularly so in organizations using the Westminster model of budget approval (e.g. the provincial or federal governments). Given their importance, who does budgeting well? Who has clients that love the system and who can produce reliable and forecasts quickly? This session will explore these questions and opportunities from four lens, the system, municipal, provincial and federal perspectives.

Saying No to Your Boss: Prioritizing New Requests
The dreaded 'one more thing'! What is the gentle art of saying no to one more request? What are techniques for prioritizing work both from the trenches up and from the executive suite down? How can organizations ensure they are doing the right work first?

Standards, Standards and More Standards
(Suggest by John K) for accountants working in non-traditional finance areas, it is easy to get rusty on the standards that underpin our work. This refresher will provide a whirlwind tour for the financial manager on the accounting standards in force and that influence the public service. This will include the legacy Canadian CICA, International Accounting Standards (IAS), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Canadian Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB), International
Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

Time Management
Time and attention has become the new precious commodity for busy professionals. Email, smart phones and pervasive technologies nibble away at the twenty-four hours allocated each day to deal with business, family and personal priorities. What are the philosophies, techniques and methods to make the best use of those twenty-four hours?

Transfer Pricing and Internal Costing of Goods and Services
Full costing of government is a challenge. Central services (finance, human resources, IT, etc.) are often seen as a 'free-good'. Nevertheless, stakeholders (taxpayers, citizens, politicians) want to know the cost of delivering a project, program or service. Twenty years ago, activity based costing, budgeting and management was one method to accomplish transfer pricing - since then the accounting world has become largely silent for these techniques. This session will discuss
the value and purpose transfer pricing, the existing accounting standards and success (and not so success) stories.

Fraud Revisited
From our very popular 2015 presentation, a return to the world of fraud.

Unions Revisited

From our very popular 2016 presentation, a return to the challenges and benefits of an unionized public service.