June 13, 2024

8:25–8:30 a.m. – Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:30–9:20 a.m. – Peer Review Update
Douglas Rodrigues, CPA, CGMA, Rodrigues, Drum & Company, LLC
This session will cover key aspects of peer review administration, including the transition from MassCPAs to New England Peer Review (NEPR), as well as upcoming challenges due to enhanced documentation in specific areas, compliance testing for Yellow Book and Single Audit and effective risk assessment for auditees. We’ll also address essential considerations in commercial audits, such as ASC 840-842 and ASC 606 documentation, and the anticipated new Quality Management Standard in 2035.

9:30–10:30 a.m. – Hot Topics at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) – Part 1
Lisa Parker, CPA, CGMA, Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)
Hear an overview of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) pronouncements that will become effective in the coming fiscal years. You’ll also get an explanation of select projects on GASB’s current technical and research agendas.

10:40 a.m.–11:40 a.m. – Hot Topics at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) – Part 2
Lisa Parker, CPA, CGMA, Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

11:40 a.m.–12:20 p.m. – Lunch Break

12:20–1:20 p.m. – Bureau of Accounts Update
Deborah Wagner, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Local Services
We’ll discuss current issues relevant to municipalities in the Commonwealth, including a discussion of the Municipal Empowerment Act.

1:30–2:30 p.m. – Frontline Defense: An FBI Veteran’s Guide to Cybersecurity Preparedness for Government Finance Professionals
Scott Augenbaum

2:40–3:40 p.m. – Implementing Generative AI in Governmental Accounting
Karl Ahlrichs
This session will cover future sustainability and talent shortage solutions through a blend of risk management and people strategies. Objectives will be presented from the perspective of the client, employee and organization, and will cover topics including strategies for selecting and leveraging AI for talent shortage relief, navigating ethical concerns and understanding risks. We’ll also explore potential outcomes of proper implementation, poor implementation and avoidance with an emphasis on addressing human resources and workforce issues, which are key to long-term success.

3:50–4:40 p.m. – Navigating Green Initiatives Panel
Moderator: Don Piatt, Roselli, Clark and Associates, CPAs
Panelists: Naomi Mermin, Naomi Mermin Consulting
Chris Collins, Energy Conservation Inc.
Matt Selman, Energy Tax Savers
Ryan Bradley, National Grid
In this panel discussion, experts will delve into the intricacies of government initiatives available to local entities, with a specific focus on town municipalities. From funding opportunities to regulatory compliance, the panelists will explore the landscape of grants, subsidies, and programs designed to enhance public services. Join us as we discuss best practices and the critical considerations that municipalities should weigh when pursuing these initiatives. Whether you’re a finance officer, auditor, or policymaker, this session promises valuable insights to help your community thrive.

4:40 p.m. – Closing Remarks

Speaker Bios

Shane Barber, COO, Business Excellence Group
Shane Barber is the COO of Business Excellence Group and has over 30 years of manufacturing experience working with over 200 companies. Barber has a record of improving performance by over 20% on safety, quality, cost, output and morale, and has helped companies achieve two times growth in revenues. He has held roles in human resources and organizational development, executive coaching and performance consulting.

John Boorack, Actuary, Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC)
John Boorack is the actuary at the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), the agency responsible for the oversight, guidance, monitoring and regulation of the 104 Massachusetts Public Pension Systems. Boorack has been with PERAC for 27 years. In his current role, he advises the systems’ boards on benefit and actuarial related matters and is responsible for performing PERAC’s actuarial valuations, determining annual appropriation amounts, reviewing and approving funding schedules for each system and analyzing cost and liabilities under proposed legislation.

Brian Callow, CFA, Senior Vice President and Director of Fixed Income, Rockland Trust
Brian Callow, CFA, is senior vice president and director of Fixed Income at Rockland Trust. He’s been with the company since 2004 and focuses on integrating an investment strategy that reflects each client’s objectives, financial goals and risk tolerance, including custom asset allocation, long-term goal planning and securities research. Callow has worked in the financial services industry since 1992 and prior to joining Rockland Trust, he was a vice president and senior fixed income analyst with Income Research & Management (IR&M).

Charlotte Cathro, CPA, Partner and Co-founder, TAC CPAs LLC
Charlotte Cathro, CPA, is a partner and co-founder of TAC CPAs LLC, a boutique public accounting firm with an industry focus in the regulated cannabis industry. Her prior public accounting career includes over 10 years of audit, tax and consulting services at two regional accounting firms. Cathro is a member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MassCPAs) Board of Directors, serves on the finance committee for the Dakin Humane Society and has taught accounting at the college and graduate level for five years.

Nicole Costanzo, Chair of the Marijuana Practice Group and the Housing Transition Practice Group, KP Law, P.C.
Nicole Costanzo is chair of the Marijuana Practice Group and the Housing Transition Practice Group at KP Law, P.C. Costanzo is an experienced litigator and represents municipalities across the Commonwealth in state and federal courts and before administrative boards. Her practice focuses on civil litigation and general municipal law, with particular specialties in land use law and municipal marijuana regulation. She assists clients with a variety of municipal law issues, including town meetings, municipal charters and by-laws, conflict of interest and the Open Meeting Law, and also provides formal trainings and seminars to clients on a wide range of topics and counsels clients on the development and implementation of policy, drafting by-laws and regulations, contact review and consultation on day-to-day operations. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Costanzo served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Chief Mark L. Wolf, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts and worked with the Fair Labor Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

Tracy LeMaire, CPA, MBA, Partner and Co-founder, TAC CPAs LLC
Tracy LeMaire, CPA, MBA, is the Co-Founder of TAC CPAs LLC, where she provides accounting advisory services to both multi-state operators (MSOs) as well as start-ups in the cannabis industry. She is passionate about helping companies navigate the inherent complex accounting issues in the growing and evolving cannabis industry. Prior to her current role, she was a senior audit manager with a large regional CPA firm where she worked for the past 11 years and led the cannabis practice audit team.

Blake Mensing, Esq., Founder and Chief Counsel, The Mensing Group LLC
Blake Mensing, Esq. is founder and chief counsel at The Mensing Group LLC. His legal experience includes transactional real estate, consumer protection litigation, environmental law and municipal law. In his capacity as associate town counsel for seven towns throughout the Commonwealth, Blake has written and edited zoning and general bylaws, advised boards of selectmen on medical marijuana dispensary regulation by the Department of Public Health, worked with planning boards and zoning boards of appeal and represented municipalities before the Massachusetts courts and administrative regulatory agencies. As a former conservation commissioner for the Town of Holliston, he was one of the local regulators charged with enforcing both the state’s Wetlands Protection Act and the town’s wetlands bylaw. Blake also serves on the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Education Committee.

Rick Papworth, Managing Director and CFO, Impact Utah
Rick Papworth is currently the managing director and CFO of Impact Utah. He has over 25 years of experience as a senior finance executive and his background includes driving strategy and execution for fast-growing companies in numerous industries, including manufacturing, distribution, homebuilding and financial services.

Lisa Parker, Project Manager, Governmental Accounting Standards Board
Lisa Parker is a project manager with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.  Prior to joining the GASB, Lisa worked for Runyon Kersteen Ouellette CPA’s for 10 years, the Town of Old Orchard Beach, Maine as their Finance Director and interim Town Manager for 2 years, and the City of Saco, Maine as their Finance Director for 8 years. Parker is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.  She is also a member of the Association of Governmental Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants and has served as their President. Parker also has previously served as President of the Maine Governmental Finance Officers Association, an Executive Board member of the New England Governmental Finance Officers Association, and a member of a National GFOA standing committee. Parker attended Boston College and the University of Southern Maine graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors and a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Tony Roselli, CPA, CGMA, Managing Partner, Roselli, Clark & Associates, CPAs
Tony Roselli, CPA, CGMA, is managing partner of Roselli, Clark & Associates, CPAs, where he works closely with clients Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) implementation. Roselli has 40 years of accounting and auditing experience in the Massachusetts municipal sector, servicing over 150 municipal accounts annually.  He is member of MassCPAs Government Accounting and Auditing Committee and a special review member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Annual Comprehensive Financial Report certificate program.

Mary Sahady, CPA, ESQ, CGMA, Principal, Hague, Sahady & Co., CPA’s, P.C.
Mary Sahady, CPA, ESQ, CGMA, is a principal at Hague, Sahady & Co., CPA’s, P.C. where she has over 40 years of municipal audit experience and was admitted as a partner in 1987. She has dedicated her accounting and auditing career to her involvement with Massachusetts municipalities, schools, districts and other governmental entities. In addition, Sahady is an active member of the Massachusetts Financial Community, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Massachusetts Government Finance Officers Association, the Association of Governmental Accountants and the Massachusetts Peer Review Committee.

Deborah Wagner, Director of Accounts, Division of Local Services (DLS) of Massachusetts
Deborah Wagner is the director of accounts for the Division of Local Services (DLS) of Massachusetts. Having been with the DLS for almost 24 years, she began her career in the Education Audit Bureau, auditing school districts related to funding they received under the Education Reform Act of 1993. Prior to this role, Wagner was with the Bureau of Accounts for the last 22 years as a field rep and regional office supervisor. Before working with the DLS, she started her accounting career in public accounting at KPMG and was an internal auditor at Baystate Health Systems.

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