National conferences for govt./nonprofit accountants?
November 24, 2017 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Professional development: how do I National Conference? (Public/nonprofit sector accounting edition)

I’ve been tasked with finding a professional development opportunity. It might be a unicorn, but if so, it’s a beige one that poops argyle instead of rainbows.

- National conference for accounting/internal audit professionals
- Preferably focused on the nonprofit/government sectors (USA)
- Occurring after the New Year but before the end of June 2018
- In-person (not a webinar)
- Actually worthwhile (not a glorified resort visit with a few flimsy CPE credits attached)

Further considerations which might be relevant, or not:

- I am not a CPA
- I am a regular accountant by day, at a major research university/med school (this is the job asking me to find a conference to attend). I’ve worked there for 15 months and generally love it; I’ve had a couple raises and a title upgrade in that time, so I’m at an important “prove you can keep growing” stage
- Our very conservative state legislature has some hostility to the university, and the political climate nationwide is somewhat hostile to the medical discipline my department specializes in
- Relevant (?) side-hustle: I am the part-time treasurer of a nonprofit arts organization, a role I’ve held for about 2.5 years
- I also volunteer my time on the budget committees of a few other local nonprofits, one religious and one philanthropic
- I am in a flyover state where most conventions and conferences cater to a very different industry/niche
- I am happy to travel more or less anyplace in the states, but I would prefer to avoid the Bay Area and Las Vegas for Reasons.

...I’m pretty green here, Green. I’ve done the convention thing for some of my nonprofits, but I’ve never done the national conference thing for either of my paid jobs.

Have you ever gone to one of these AICPA conferences, or similar? Which ones are really worth it, and what should I expect?

Please assume my budget is “the less she spends, the better her stewardship of taxpayer money looks,” but if it’s something really cool I might be willing to supplement the cost out-of-pocket, or even ask my second job to contribute.
posted by armeowda to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not an accountant, or in accounting, so I'm just going to lay out some bread crumbs to find the right conference. I'm focused on the "government" part of your question, not the "and I also do some non-profit stuff" part. There is a spiderweb of different national associations for all kinds of roles in state government and higher ed. If you lived in my state, there is actually a non-profit (with a conference) for what you do, just for accountants and other finance professionals at state government agencies within my state. There may be something like that in your state, or region. At the national level, the kinds of associations - and they all have conferences - that sort of/kind of fit what you are doing are:

National Association of State Budget Officers (this would be for the budget office in your state government)
National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Council of University Research Administrators (which puts on the National Conference on College Cost Accounting)

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and none of these are probably exactly the right organization you are looking for. However, they all run with small professional staffs that interact with other national associations. I would suggest just looking at the websites, contacting the ones that are closest to what you are looking for directly, explaining what you are looking for, and seeing where they refer you. Good luck!
posted by kovacs at 3:10 PM on November 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I am a local gov lawyer and my finance coworkers like the Government Finance Officers (GFOA) conferences.
posted by notjustthefish at 3:22 PM on November 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


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