President’s Message
March 2018

February was a busy month. We had two meetings, the first on February 7th, where Lealan Miller presented on the topic of Fraud Awareness. Lealan is a phenomenal speaker and we are fortunate to have had him speak for a number of years now. The second meeting of the month was our very popular ASRS and Tax Update event, which was held on February 16th. During that meeting, we also held our officer elections for the 2018-2019 year. Our slate of officers voted in, are: Michelle Huckabay, President; Cindy Smith, Vice President; Gergana Kovatcheva, Treasurer; and Paola Matson, Secretary. Thank you to those who attended the February meetings, and a special thank you to the members of this chapter that voted during the election.

March is a very exciting month in AGA. We not only again have two meetings, one on March 7th on Infrastructure Financing, and one on March 28th on Cyber Security, both at Skysong, but it is also CGFM Month. This is a time during the year, where we especially want to recognize those who have attained this proud level of certification, as Certified Government Financial Managers. In honor of CGFM Month, we will have special recognition for our CGFMs at the March 7th meeting. We are also pleased to announce that we were able to, once again, receive the Governor’s proclamation, certifying March 2018 as CGFM Month.

I also pleased to share more good news. During this year’s scholarship contest, we had excellent participation in our scholarship contest and some really good scholarship nominees. I would like to thank Kelly Alkhoury, our Scholarship Chair, for her hard work and dedication on this event. Great job! Now that the results are in, I would like to announce the 2017-2018 $1,000 scholarship winner as Getzamany Aragon, and the $500 scholarship winner as Elliana Grow. Congratulations Getzamany and Elliana! Good luck in your journeys.

Additionally, I do have a couple of reminders for everyone.

The annual PDT will be held on April 27th at the Rio Salado Conference Center. Registration is now open and full details are available at:

AGA membership renewals must be made by March 31, 2018. Remember to renew.

Thank you for your continued support of the Phoenix Chapter! Please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions, or you would like to participate on the Board, by e-mailing us at: Thank you.

Gergana Kovatcheva, CPA, CGFM
AGA Phoenix Chapter



Chapter News

March 2018 was proclaimed CGFM month by Arizona Governor Ducey

Upcoming Events


Participants will learn:

  • The principles of the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) triad
  • We will review case studies highlighting actual incidents and relate them to the CIA triad
  • The principles of risk-based security assessment including the elements of criticality, threat and vulnerability
  • We will review examples in order to clarify why this is important to the lay-person and will explain your role in this process
  • What data owners and system users can do to help their IT staff better secure their systems
  • We will review: 1) what questions you should be asking your IT staff, 2) what information you should be providing them and 3) how your business unit can work with the IT staff to affect a positive change in your cyber-preparedness 

Location: SkySong - Room SS1 301 Ingenuity
Date: March 28, 2018
Audit Risk Analysis and Other Considerations

ASU Director of University Audit, Lisa Grace, CPA, CIA, CISA, CISSP, will present on the topic of Audit Risk Analysis and Other Considerations.

Location: SkySong - Room SS1 301 Ingenuity
Date: April 11, 2018
2018 Professional Development Training

8 hours of CPE. Price includes a light breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack.

Session 1 (8:10AM – 9:00AM): Professional Resiliency
Speaker: John Lynskey, CGFM, CPA

Session 2 (9:10AM – 10:00AM) Government Revenue GASB 33
Speaker: Brian Hemmerle, CPA, CFE

Session 3 (10:10AM – 11:00AM) Arizona Management System
Speaker: Ryan Allison

Session 4 (11:10AM – 12:00PM) IT Risks and Best Practices
Speakers: Michael Hiett and Ricard Carrillo
Information technology (IT) is an increasingly important part of conducting operations and financial reporting for governmental organizations but is not without its risks. This session will present an overview of IT risks and best practices available to help mitigate those risks, and what governmental organizations can do to help ensure that its management, finance, and IT groups take a coordinated approach to incorporating best practices.

Lunch 12:00PM - 12:30PM

Session 5 (12:30PM – 1:20PM) 2018 Treasurer’s Updates
Speaker: State Treasurer's Office Representative
This session  will provide an update on how the State Treasurer's Office investments are doing, what the projections are for the future, provide any new or proposed legislative changes impacting the Treasurer's Office, and discuss how the Education Land Trust for Schools funding is doing.

Session 6 (1:30PM – 2:45 PM) 2018 GASB Updates
Speakers: Donna Miller, CPA and Michael Stelpstra, CPA

Session 7 (3:15PM – 4:30 PM) Issues in Implementing Accounting Systems, Panel Discussion
Robert Harwood, CPA and Angie Flick - Maricopa County
Michael Smarik, CPA -  State of Arizona
Tanya Wright, CPA - Town of Gilbert
This session will be a discussion among key personnel with the State of Arizona, Maricopa County and the Town of Gilbert about their recent involvement in new accounting system implementation projects.  The objective of this session is to hear the lessons learned from these projects and what the opportunities and pitfalls were. 


Location: Rio Salado College, Conference Center
Date: April 27, 2018
Fraud/Data Analytics

Learning objectives: Participants will learn about types of data and available tools to look for signs of fraud. They will gain understanding of data analytics processes, the application of various data analysis techniques and evaluating results of the analysis.

Location: SkySong - Room SS1 301 Ingenuity
Date: May 16, 2018

Learning objectives: 

  • Learn the ethical leadership model to apply the six virtues to realize the public-sector goal of preserving the public trust and the public good.
  • Develop an understanding of why earning and maintaining the public trust is vital for the viability of governmental organizations, and what role accounting and finance professionals play in building that public trust.
  • Develop an understanding of the need for good governance and how it is influenced by ethical leadership for effective risk mitigation. 

Location: SkySong - Room SS1 301 Ingenuity
Date: June 13, 2018

© 2018,  AGA Phoenix Chapter. All rights reserved.