Civic Financial Services Strategic Finance Forum

It’s easy to get trapped in the daily grind of financial statements and systems. This year’s event focuses on what’s on (or just over) the horizon that’s of importance to the finance manager. This includes the impact of technology, shared capability, infrastructure challenges, audit committees and developments in the regulatory and policy environment. There will also be a session on what the 2018 LTP consultation documents have told us, and one on the second Funding Inquiry.

  • 26 Mar - 27 Mar
  • Chateau on the Park, Christchurch
  • 26 Mar 9.30 am - 5.30 pm, 27 Mar 8.30 am - 2.00 pm; Venue: Chateau on the Park, 189 Deans Avenue, Christchurch
  • $805.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $925.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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Overview

It’s easy to get trapped in the daily grind of financial statements and systems. This year’s Forum focuses on what’s on (or just over) the horizon that’s of importance to the finance manager. This includes the impact of technology, shared capability, infrastructure challenges, audit committees and developments in the regulatory and policy environment. There will also be a session on what the 2018 LTP consultation documents have told us and a session on the second Funding Inquiry.

With expert presenters providing content specifically tailored to the finance function in local government, our 2018 Forum will:

  • highlight current and emerging financial management issues that are relevant to local authorities
  • provide opportunities to identify and discuss solutions
  • showcase best practice within the sector.

Who should attend:

  • Local government Chief Financial Officers
  • Finance managers and staff
  • Appointed auditors

Accommodation

If you wish to book accommodation at the Chateau on the Park, please follow the instructions below

Booking Link: http://group.doubletree.com/StrategicFinanceForum
Hotel: Chateau on the Park - Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton
Group Name: Strategic Finance Forum
Please note, the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.

The Programme

Day One: Monday 26 March 2018

9.30am Welcome to the Forum
Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM

9.35am The Economy in 2018
Ganesh Nana, Executive Director, BERL

Where’s the New Zealand economy heading in the short-medium term?
What are the challenges and risks local authorities should be aware of?

10.20am Leveraging Technology for the Finance Function

Representatives of PwC, Mirko von Schroder, Matthew Whitaker

  • Exploring the role of data analytics in decision making
  • Utilising process analytics to chart process and data flows
  • Application of robotic process automation (RPA)
  • Exploring how your data can aid in fraud detection and further improve proceses
11.10am Morning Tea

11.30am Trilogy

Alan Adcock, General Manager Corporate and Chief Financial Officer, Whangarei District Council

Trilogy is a story of one council’s transformation into a ‘digital council’ to support the council’s vision for future service delivery. The project started with a complete overhaul of all IT systems – including a move to infrastructure as a service, moving to a new enterprise content management system, a move of the enterprise system to the cloud. Trilogy was delivered on time, on budget, with full functionality and without disrupting the business as usual.

Trilogy was one of the entrants in the LGFA Transforming Service Delivery category of the McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®.

12.05pm Regional Services Holdings Limited

Mike Nield, Director Corporate Services, Taranaki Regional Council

12.40pm Civic Financial Services: The State of Play

Ian Brown, Chief Executive, Civic Financial Services

1.10pm Lunch

2.00pm What's Coming Up From SOLGM?

Richard Mabon, Principal Advisor, Sector Improvement, SOLGM

The annual update on SOLGM’s good works on behalf of the sector and what’s on the policy agenda in Wellington that interests finance managers.

2.30pm Marketplace of Information - Session One
Choose one of the three topics below.
A. Son of Shand: The Funding Inquiry Returns - Raymond Horan

A new funding inquiry was one of the items in the eight page coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First. This session will focus on the issues that SOLGM plans to raise with the inquiry (whether by ourselves or in conjunction with LGNZ).

OR B. The cost of debt: managing interest rate and funding costs in an uncertain world - Stuart Henderson and Brett Johanson, PwC

A forward look at key trends and drivers in interest rate and funding markets and the impact on borrowing costs for the local government sector. This session will focus on treasury and financial market considerations and managing Council funding.

OR C. Effective Rating Reviews - Stephen Halliwell, Principal, Working Smarter

Working Smarter was the lead agency that delivered the recently released SOLGM guidance on undertaking an effective rating review.This session will focus on the key aspects of keeping a rating review on the path to a useful conclusion.

3.20pm Afternoon Tea

3.40pm Marketplace of Information - Session Two

Choose another from the three topics that are running at 2.30pm (or go to the same one – we aim to please):

A. Son of Shand: The Funding Inquiry Returns – Raymond Horan

OR B. The cost of debt: managing interest rate and funding costs in an uncertain world - Stuart Henderson and Brett Johanson, PwC

OR C. Effective Rating Reviews – Stephen Halliwell, Principal, Working Smarter

4.30pm Finance and Infrastructure Strategies – What are We Seeing?
Sarah Markley, Sector Manager Local Government, Office of the Auditor-General

By the end of March, local authorities should be consulting the community on the 2018-28 long-term plans. This session will pick up on the key themes and issues from the financial and infrastructure strategies that are the foundation stones of these processes.

5.20pm Summing Up and End of Day One

5.25pm LGFA Networking Drinks

With welcome by the Local Government Funding Agency.

Day Two: Tuesday 27 March 2018

8.30am Welcome to Day Two

8.35am Infrastructure – The Challenges for the Next Thirty Years

This interactive panel will focus on the major issues and challenges that the sector will face in its core infrastructure role, how delivery, governance and funding might change.

Panelists

Samantha Gain, President IPWEA (NZ) and Manager Legal and Procurement, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Jim Palmer, Chief Executive Waimakariri District Council and Chair, SOLGM Business Performance Working Party

Sarah Markley , Sector Manager Local Government, Office of the Auditor-General

9.35am Project Aspiring: An Asset Management Transformation Story
Myles Lind, Asset Planning Manager, Queenstown-Lakes District Council

Project Aspiring is the name Queenstown-Lakes gave to its three year programme to transform its asset management practices. Myles will cover the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of the journey, what Queenstown did first and why, and provide practical advice for a council that’s embarking on such a journey.

Project Aspiring was an entrant for the Minister’s Award for Innovation in Asset Management at the 2016 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®.

10.05am The New Zealand Business Number and the Opportunities for Better Financial Management
Jo Tarleton, Principal Implementation Adviser (Government), NZBN & Beth Williams, Manager, Business Engagement, New Zealand Business Number

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a globally unique identifier available to all Kiwi businesses. It will simplify finance transactions by enabling more efficient ways to onboard, invoice suppliers and customers, pay bills and apply for credit. Initial value will come through enhanced customer experience and streamlined administration, speeding up interactions for all New Zealand businesses. Jo will provide:

  • a high level overview of the NZBN
  • benefits of implementing the NZBN
  • some guidance on the NZBN for finance and procure-to-pay systems
  • support and services that the NZBN team can provide
10.20am Morning Tea

10.40am Marketplace of Information – Session Three

Choose from:

A. Legal Update - Lizzy Wiessing, Senior Associate, Simpson Grierson

An update on the latest in decision-making, rating and other legal developments especially tailored for the needs of the finance manager and finance specialists.

OR B. Taxation Update - Michelle Macdonald, Director, PwC and Phil Fisher, Partner, PwC

An update on this year’s crop of taxing issues.

OR C. Accounting Standards - Anthony Heffernan, Director Accounting Standards, External Reporting Board

11.30am Marketplace of Information – Session Four

Choose another from the list of topics offered in Marketplace of Information – Session Three. Choose from:

A. Legal Update - Lizzy Wiessing, Senior Associate, Simpson Greirson

OR B. Taxation Update - Michelle Macdonald, Director, PwC and Phil Fisher, Partner, PwC

OR C. Accounting Standards - Anthony Heffernan, Director Accounting Standards, External Reporting Board

12.20pm Getting the Most from An Audit Committee

Bruce Robertson, Director R Bruce Robertson Limited

All but two local authorities have set up an Audit and Risk Committee, many with an independent chair and/or independent directors. But what are the benefits of these committees and of independence? To finish, a practical and interactive session delivered by a Chair or member on eight audit committees.

1.10pm Summing Up and Announcement of 2019 Venue

Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM

1.20pm Seminar Closes

Members of the SOLGM Business Performance Working Party are reminded that there will be a meeting commencing at 1.30pm. No gatecrashers!

1.20pm Lunch Break


Note: Claiming CPD Credits

Delegates at this Forum who are members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) may be able to claim credits towards meeting their Continuing Professional Development requirements. Delegates wishing to pursue this should provide CA ANZ with the Forum’s outline and confirmation, which we can supply, of their attendance.

Presenters

  • Raymond Horan

    Manager, Sector Improvement, SOLGM

    Raymond re-joined SOLGM in June 2014 taking on a new role, Sector Improvement Manager. He has spent most of the last 20 years in local government related roles, most recently with the Department of Internal Affairs.

    He describes his job as two-thirds, providing assistance to the local government sector and one-third providing advice to central government on local government matters. His ambition is to help develop a Local Government Act that doesn’t require changes every 18 months. He asks that you wish him well with this task.

  • Sarah Markley

    Sector Manager, Local Government, Office of the Auditor-General

    Sarah joined the Office of the Auditor-General in 2007. Before joining the Office, Sarah was an Audit Manager at Audit New Zealand.

    As a Sector Manager in the Local Government team, Sarah is responsible for developing and maintaining the audit methodology for the audit of long-term plans (LTPs), including amendments.

    She is also responsible for the Auckland Council Group and the councils and associated entities in the Northland region, the Department of Conservation, and stakeholder engagement with Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM).

    Sarah also provides support to the Secretariat of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI).

  • Dr Ganesh Nana

    Chief Economist - BERL

    Ganesh is Chief Economist at BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited) - a privately owned, independent economic research consultancy. His current focus is on the Māori economy, and the inter-relationship of the Māori economy to the wider New Zealand economy.

    Ganesh has over 30 years of experience in the field of economics since first working as a researcher at Victoria University and joining BERL in 1983. His experience includes a variety of contract project work for BERL, research, tutoring and lecturing at Victoria University, as well as macroeconomic policy analysis and forecasting during a four-year stint in the UK using the IMF Multimod model.

    Despite his passion for numbers, Ganesh believes economics is about people; their jobs, incomes, opportunities and futures. He strongly believes robust economic analysis is critical to ensuring informed choices and policy decisions are made, that have positive effects on the life and prospects of New Zealanders.

  • Jim Palmer

    Chief Executive, Waimakariri District Council

    Jim is the Chief Executive of Waimakariri District Council, a role he has held for fourteen years, having previously worked in the public sector in finance, audit and risk management roles.

    Currently, Jim is the chair of SOLGM’s Business Performance Working Party, a member of the establishment board of the Local Government Risk Agency, a member of the Roading Efficiency Group and the chair of Canterbury’s Chief Executive Forum.

    Much of Jim’s work over the past seven years has been dedicated to recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes, and embedding the lessons learned into all aspects of the Council’s operation and its long-term planning.

  • Myles Lind

    Asset Planning Manager, Queenstown-Lakes District Council

    Myles Lind is a Chartered Engineer and is the New Zealand Vice President of Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia. Myles received is early training in asset management at MWH (now Stantec) in the UK. In 2001, he was recruited to the planning department of Watercare Services in Auckland, before taking up the role of Asset Planning Manager at Metrowater in 2006. Following the amalgamation of the Auckland councils in 2010, he established the new Compliance and Performance department at the expanded Watercare. He currently leads the Asset Planning business unit at Queenstown Lakes District Council. Myles is a strong advocate for infrastructure benchmarking and risk-based investment.

  • Jo Tarleton

    Principal Implementation Advisor (Government), NZBN

    Jo is passionate about putting the customer’s experience at the centre of every interaction. She believes that the NZBN offers an opportunity to transform business engagement in this digital age. Her role in the NZBN team entails collaborating with public sector agencies to provide support, inspiration and advice on implementing the NZBN into agencies’ systems and processes. Jo’s experience covers both public and private sector organisations in NZ and the UK working from the boardroom to the shop floor.

    In this session, Jo will present some insights and learnings from a recent report developed by ArcBlue that was commissioned by NZBN. The report covers the benefits of implementing the NZBN into finance systems and processes.

  • Beth Williams

    Manager, Business Engagement, New Zealand Business Number

    Beth’s area of expertise is collaborating with stakeholders to create enduring, strong relationships and rewarding associations, built on mutual respect and integrity. She has worked with a variety of stakeholders from large government agencies and sizable corporates through to small businesses and charitable trusts. She has a wealth of experience in conceptualising future states, selling the strategic intent and creating the pathway to implementation.

  • Alan Adcock

    General Manager Corporate and Chief Financial Officer, Whangarei District Council

    Alan has been with Whangarei District Council since 2006 and is currently the General Manager Corporate / CFO for, with responsibility for Financial Management, Revenue, ICT, Business Improvement, Communications and Business Support

    He is also a Director of the Northland Regional Landfill Limited Partnership, a joint venture between WDC and a private company that operates the largest recycling facility and landfill north of Auckland.

    Prior to entering local government he had over 20 years experience in the financial services sector, including funds management, merchant banking and retail banking both in NZ and offshore.

    Alan has also been directly involved in the NZ Local Government Funding Agency since its inception; from assisting in its establishment through to his current role as Chair of the Shareholders’ Council.

  • Samantha Gain

    President IPWEA (NZ) and Manager Legal and Procurement, Greater Wellington Regional Council

    Sam is the current President of IPWEA NZ, the professional organisation for those involved with public works engineering and asset management in New Zealand and the organisation behind the International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM). In her day job she is Manager, Legal and Procurement at Greater Wellington Regional Council, a role that also encompasses oversight of asset management.

    A lawyer by training, Sam has worked in legal and non-legal roles in and for local government organisations in New Zealand and the UK for 20 years. She is passionate about the role of local government and the ongoing development of the local government sector.

  • Michelle Macdonald

    Director, PwC

    Michelle is a Director with PwC, who has responsibility for the Public Sector specialist tax advisory team.

    Michelle has more than 20 years experience in advising local authorities and public sector organisations on tax issues.

    Michelle is passionate about making a difference to local communities and is the lead advisor to numerous local authorities providing advice on a diverse range of issues, including indirect tax compliance, tax structuring of local authority groups, management of Inland Revenue audits and ensuring that local authorities have their tax risks covered.

  • Phil Fisher

    Partner, PwC

    Phil is a Partner with PwC, who along with Michelle leads the Public Sector specialist tax advisory team.

    Following many years in the UK as an advisor to high-net-worth individuals and companies on a wide-range of tax issues, Phil joined TaxTeam in 2006 and brought this commercial focus to the unique public sector environment!

    Phil now spends the majority of his time advising the local authority sector on a diverse range of issues, including compliance, policy and transactional matters. His particular areas of expertise include tax‑structuring for better community outcomes, optimising group tax efficiency, advising on tax-efficient remuneration packages, managing IRD audits, and the development and implementation of tailored tax risk management solutions.

  • Anthony Heffernan

    Director Accounting Standards, External Reporting Board

    Anthony heads the team supporting the New Zealand Accounting Standards Board (NZASB) in its role of developing and issuing accounting standards.

    Anthony has over 15 years of professional accountancy experience, providing audit, internal audit and business advisory services across the for-profit, not-for-profit and public sector.

    Prior to joining the XRB, he held senior leadership positions at his predecessor firm providing assurance and technical advisory services, specialising in IPSAS™ and IFRS implementation and interpretation.

    Anthony has been the Technical Advisor to the New Zealand Board member on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) from March 2016.

  • Stuart Henderson

    Partner, PwC

    Stuart has 35 years of financial markets experience. Stuart’s activities have largely focused on advising European, Asian, Australian and New Zealand companies and Government agencies on debt funding and overall financial risk management awareness, strategies and solutions. He offers a diverse global and local market perspective in all areas of debt management and treasury risk management.

    Stuart is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) with the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand (INFINZ) since 1999. Prior to this Stuart was a member of the UK Securities and Futures Authority (SFA).

    Stuart has been a partner in PwC’s Corporate Treasury team for 5 years. Prior to joining PwC, Stuart was a Director and Shareholder at Asia –Pacific Risk Management Limited (APRM) for 11 years. Stuart was Vice President for Deutsche Bank New Zealand’s Risk Management Advisory unit from June 1998 to January 2001. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Stuart was Head of Financial Engineering at National Australia Bank (NAB) and 8 years in London holding senior management positions with Bank of America, Sanwa Financial Products, and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

    Stuart specialises in financial risk identification, analysis, forensics and tailored solutions to add value to client companies’ financial management and performance. He also specialises in debt funding, commodity, foreign exchange and interest rate risk management advice. Stuart’s debt capital markets and banking/credit knowledge assists borrowers in refinancing and debt raising strategies.

    Over the past 3 years, Stuart has advised on over NZD 15 billion of debt for New Zealand entities. Funding sources have been diverse ranging from offshore-sourced US private placements, bond issues and placements in Norway, Switzerland, Australia and Japan, to domestic New Zealand-sourced funding including retail bond issues, wholesale placements, commercial paper programmes and bank debt funding.

    Stuart was a key architect and joint lead advisor on the formation and establishment of the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA). The LGFA has significantly exceeded expectations since inception in 2011 with local government funding totalling $8.3 billion as at December 2017. The LGFA has exceed all business case, KPI and SOI objectives. Standard and Poors considers the LGFA to be a global model benchmark for an agency style funding vehicle.

    Stuart provides ongoing advice to 12 Local Authorities on treasury related matters including their debt funding.

  • Brett Johanson

    Partner, PwC

    Brett has extensive local government treasury experience including treasury policy design, hedging strategy advice, and financial risk management. Brett has been a principal treasury advisor to the local government sector since 1997. Brett is principal ongoing treasury advisor to 20 regional, city and district council clients.

    Brett has over 25 years treasury and financial markets experience in New Zealand and off-shore. Work experience includes ongoing corporate treasury and financial market advice to organisations that operate in the funding, investment, interest rate and foreign currency markets.

    Brett has been a partner in PwC’s treasury advisory team for 5 years and before that was a one-third owner and director of Asia-Pacific Risk Management from 2004 to 1 October 2012. From 1 October 2012, the business was merged with PwC’s business. Brett joined Asia-Pacific Risk Management in July 2004. The business became New Zealand’s leading independent corporate treasury advisory business.

    Brett is an experienced corporate treasury management advisor, having headed ANZ Investment Bank's treasury risk management services unit from 1995 to 2004 and has worked within the NZ financial markets from 1996 to present.

    Brett has worked in London from 1987 to 1995, primarily with Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Financial Products and prior to leaving overseas, held positions in audit and corporate finance with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in Auckland.

    Brett is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) of the Institute of Finance Professionals in New Zealand and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in New Zealand (CA). He has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Accounting and Finance from Auckland University.