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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: 27 May 2017

2017-2018 Event Ideas

Title Description
September 19

The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine: Competition, Cooperation, Team Building and getting as much gold as possible. 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 deciding whether to compete, cooperate or do a bit of both. Outcomes of the event are learning to collaborate and breaking down information silos.   

November 22

Topic TBD

Blockchains, Digital Government and the Financial Manager

Governments hope to expand services to their constituents through digital services. Setting up information websites is one thing but what about Government 2.0, what are the challenges of moving from bricks and mortar to the superhighway for the public sector? What technologies are critical now such as good identity and access management and what are the emerging game changes such as block chain? This session will explore governments who have nailed technology, examples of those who failed miserably and what local Edmonton area efforts are underway.

Effective reporting

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 or understand? This session will allow the public servant to understand what is information, how can it be managed, how it can be used for decision-making and how this is a good career tool. (Suggested by Angela W)

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

January 2017, Alberta introduced the 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)

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)

Standards, Standards and More Standards

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 Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAS), Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises (ASPE), International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), and Government Accounting Standard Board (GASB). The focus of this event will be on how these standards are used in the public sector context and key differences to the private sector rather than a technical dive into what the standards contain.

Immigration: Exploring Canada's Open Door Policy for Better or Worse

Did you know that one of every six Canadian residents was born outside the country? Every year approximately 160,000 people become Canadian citizens and take an  oath of citizenship at ceremonies across the country. Immigration has helped to make Canada a culturally rich, prosperous and progressive nation but what about the costs and challenges that accompany the welcoming of these new citizens. To pretend that each and every story is filled with sunshine and rainbows would be just that-pretending. In this session hear a panel of experts weigh in on the benefits and costs of growing our Canadian culture and economy through immigration.
Powerful levers: Not every need requires a Government Program. Celebrating the Everyday Heroes that know how to make a difference At times like these when Government budgets are strained and demands for social supports are ever increasing, government decision makers face the impossible challenge of setting priorities and then facing a long line of angry responses. These are very difficult times where there are more losers than winners and it is unlikely that things are going to turn around anytime soon. Despite these challenges there is still hope and a reason to celebrate. Come hear some success stories from a few of the Community Leaders and NGO's that are making a positive impact in improving the lives for thousands of Albertan's. In this session find out how they do it.

Idea Locker for Future Consideration

(The scores in brackets for certain topics represent FMI Edmonton board scoring in 2016)

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.

Art of Performance Measurement, Management and Avoiding Unintended Consequences
An old saying 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'. Balancing these two statements is at the crux 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, and what is the role of the financial professional to managing measurements (both financial and non-financials)?

Critical Thinking and the Financial Professional
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. (Suggested by Lucia S)

Generations, Cultures and Diversity: Viva la difference
Canada's culture and the public sector work place continue 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 FMI's Capital Chapter): Generation Next - The Transformation: People, Processes, and Systems)

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? Learn some techniques for prioritizing your work, when and how to say no to new requests, minimize, and effectively deal with distractions during the work day.

In Search of Lost Dutchman's Mine (Score 9)
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.   

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 a plain English grammatical style in a format appropriate for your audience.

Surviving the Dreaded Re-Organization (Score 6)
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? (Suggested and contributed by Rene M and Darci S)

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?

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)
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; and 5) Used as a priority tracking system. (Suggested by Dianne L)

360 Review and Benefits of Self-Knowledge
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 (such as its strengths, shortcomings, and costs) and how you can collect feedback informally about yourself through less formal means. (Suggested by John K)

Change Management: How to Survive, Thrive and Live with Change
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 will illustrate impacts of uncertainty and discuss what it means from an accounting and financial management perspective. (Inspired by FMI St. John's)

Identity Management
Knowing who the residents are 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 (such as identifying Jews in NAZI occupied Europe) when have governments failed in this basic task? How do you agencies cope when residents lose their identification? 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 and understand? 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
Public servants are asked to lead, contribute, evaluate, and manage a variety of plans. But what exactly should be contained in 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. (Suggested by John K)

Transfer Pricing and Internal Costing of Goods and Services
Full costing of government is a challenge. Central services (such as finance, human resources, and IT) 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.