Welcome to the 22nd Annual APIPA Conference

The APIPA 2010 Conference is offering sixteen courses in four separate tracks. The course descriptions below are listed in alphabetical order by track. You can register for the conference here, or view the current course schedule here.

Plenary Sessions

Giving Voice to Values: Practical Ethics in Action
(Jeanne Yamamura, 4 Hours, Monday Morning)

Most people know when something unethical is occurring or when an unethical decision is being made. They don’t really need assistance in identifying unethical behavior or actions. What they do need is practice in knowing how to speak up and what to say. Giving Voice to Values (GVV) is an innovative approach to enabling ethical behavior. It assumes that most people want to behave in an ethical manner; they want to be able to voice or act on their values. What GVV offers is practice in scripting what to do and what to say when faced with an ethical dilemma.

What Everyone Should Know When Reviewing Government Contracts
(Ralph Capio, 4 Hours, Friday afternoon)

As an accounting or auditing professional your skills and knowledge directly contribute to the success and growth of your organization. This presentation is an overview of the government contracting process, giving you the information you need to understand procurement from start to finish — from contract formation to contract closeout. We will analyze key issues so that you will have a clear understanding of their practical application to your everyday job responsibilities, whether it is auditing government contracts to ensure compliance with various laws and regulations or whether you provide some other function. You will learn how government contracting works, how to find solutions to common problems, how to understand the content of key contract documents, how to recognize warning signs, and how to use research resources such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Audit Track

Audit Evidence and Documentation
(James Blume, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

As a performance auditor, you know you are to ensure that your findings and recommendations are supported by sufficient, appropriate evidence that is recorded in audit documentation (working papers). In this course you analyze the types of evidence, the tests that evidence must meet, alternative methods for collecting and documenting each type of evidence, and the benefits of referencing. You also learn how your audit objectives and design strategy affect the evidence required to conduct an audit.

Developing and Presenting Audit Findings
(Betsy Cohn, 12 Hours, Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday)

Any auditor trained in performance audit can name and define the elements of a finding. Yet most auditors recognize the difference between understanding the elements and actually using them for reporting. Developing and Presenting Audit Findings aims to bridge this gap. Course participants will explore the elements as a logical system in order to master the reasoning process behind them. In addition, they will learn the basic themes, or “performance aspects,” that provide the basis for consistent and coherent planning, data gathering, and reporting of findings. Finally, participants will examine various kinds of finding and the circumstances in which each would be appropriately used.

Nonstatistical Sampling for Auditors
(Jeanne Yamamura, 4 Hours, Friday Morning)

The President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency issued the Report on National Single Audit Sampling Project in 2007 disclosing numerous audit deficiencies related to sampling. Common deficiencies included failure to test internal control over compliance, wide disparity in sample sizes without justification, improper/inadequate evaluation of results, and inadequate documentation. To address these deficiencies, the AICPA added a chapter on sampling to the 2009 edition of the AICPA Guide Government Auditing Standards and Circular A-133 Audits. This workshop offers a review of basic sampling concepts and a step-by-step walkthough of a nonstatistical attribute sampling application incorporating guidance from the AICPA Guide.

Writing Audit Reports by Objective
(Betsy Cohn, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Even the best performance auditors sometimes encounter a discouraging prospect at the end of the field work: they may have more information than they can use, but find that they are missing some information essential for the report. Writing Audit Reports by Objective introduces a method for preventing such an avoidable situation. Course participants will practice a specific model for drafting objectives that allows them to predict what information they need to gather—and what they don’t. This method is applicable both to specific audit planning and to report development. Participants will apply the method to planning both the audit field work and the report outline.

Audit Supervisory Track

Government Auditing Overview
(James Blume, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Why do auditors do and what they do? Do you need to interact with auditors and thus need to know what is expected of you and what you can expect of the auditors? Learn the critical role that public sector auditors play in assuring that government organizations, grantees and contractors merit the public’s confidence. Explore the processes they follow in planning, executing and reporting on compliance and performance audits. Discover the expectations that audit organizations have in working with agency personnel and what agency staff can expect of auditors. With this knowledge, you are prepared to effectively interact with your auditors, represent your agency before them, and respond to their findings

Planning Audit Assignments
(James Blume, 12 Hours, Monday afternoon, all day Tuesday)

Careful planning is the foundation of audit success. Auditors must adequately plan and document the planning of the work necessary to address the audit objectives. This course takes you through the process for planning performance audits: from formulation of the audit objectives to selection of the scope and methodology. It provides a structured approach for using risk assessment in audit selection and a structured approach for planning the audit work that parallels project management principles.

Managing the Audit Engagement
(Betsy Cohn, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

It’s an entire government! How does a performance auditor decide what to focus on? How does the auditor define the objectives and scope of an audit so that it is doable and reportable in a reasonable time? How can a manager meaningfully participate in the audit planning and helpfully review the audit program? Managing the Audit Engagement will present a coherent, step-by-step system for planning an audit. Participants will examine, in practical terms, exactly what goes into producing a usable Audit Program, one that not only defines precisely what field work to perform, but also predicts the organization of the report itself.

Finance Track

Closing Up at Year-End
(Jeanne Yamamura, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

This 1 day course is geared toward participants who have already completed a basic introduction to accounting principles course and are therefore familiar with accounting terminology and concepts. The focus of this course is getting ready to produce the financial statements – what steps must be taken at year end to “clean up” the accounts and records? The course begins with an unadjusted trial balance and works through reconciliations, analysis of standard deferrals and accruals, and the preparation of the financial statements.

Governmental Accounting for the Non-Accountant
(Jeanne Yamamura, 12 Hours, Monday afternoon, all day Tuesday)

This 1.5 day course provides an introduction to governmental accounting and reporting, geared toward participants who lack a formal accounting background. Participants will gain a basic understanding of governmental accounting and reporting principles. The session will include hands-on practice in the accounting cycle process, from recording a transaction to preparing financial statements. Attendees will leave the course with a more complete understanding of double-entry accounting, reconciliations, accounting terminology, and financial statements.

Procurement Fraud
(Ralph Capio, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Fraud is a persistent problem with both commercial and government procurements. Procurement fraud can have many negative effects, including endangerment of personnel or property, monetary loss to the buyer, denigration of program or personnel integrity, compromise of the procurement process, and reduction or loss of mission readiness. This presentation will cover the criminal, civil, administrative and contractual remedies available to combat procurement fraud. Since fraudulent practices can occur at every stage of the contacting process, it is important that accounting and auditing professional involved in the government contracting process understand and recognize the warning signs that might indicate the presence of fraud. Such practices might include payment or acceptance of bribes or gratuities, making false statements and false claims, bid rigging or collusive bidding, defective products or product substitutions, and falsifying contracting records.

Service Delivery Model: Information in Organizations
(Betsy Cohn, 4 Hours, Friday morning)

Organizations, whether public or private, abound in information! Every public agency, every department, every unit, maintains hundreds of files, either paper or electronic, putting on record literally millions of data points. Of course, the staffs of these organizations know why they collect this information. What they may not understand is how that information may be used by others in government, such as auditors and grantors, for measuring or evaluating performance. This session, The Service Delivery Model: Information in Organizations, presents a model that categorizes organizational information in four areas. It will define two of these areas in very specific terms, showing how relationships between what is done and what is produced can be defined. The aim of the session is to help staff understand how cause-and-effect relationships in these areas form the foundation for evaluation of organizational performance.

Advanced Finance Track

The Essence of Internal Controls
(Jeanne Yamamura, 8 Hours, Thursday)

Internal controls are a critical component of EVERY entity. They are scrutinized by external auditors and grantor agencies and criticized when they are missing or inadequate. They are blamed when fraud or reporting deficiencies occur. But what are they exactly? And how many do you have to have? This course provides a review of the internal control framework and detailed discussion of its components. Case studies will enable participants to see the effects of internal controls in action or problems that occur when internal controls are missing. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the internal control functions that they may be performing as well as an appreciation for the internal control system as a whole.

Grants Management: Administrative requirements and Cost Principles
(Charles Hester, 12 Hours, Monday afternoon, all day Tuesday)

Designing a program and training a technical staff to obtain and work with discretionary or mandatory grants and cooperative agreements is at best a challenging endeavor. We all know rule number one: It is your responsibility to know and comply with all related laws and regulations! But, how do you adhere to that rule in your performance of you job each day? This course focuses on the administrative responsibilities and cost principles that grant management and operating personnel musts comply with and the best practices for fulfilling those responsibilities. In addition, personnel involved in evaluating application budgets, exploring audit findings, and reviewing recipient financial management systems, as well as pass-through entities responsible for evaluating and selecting sub-recipients, will find this course invaluable.

Overview of Federal Appropriations Law
(Ralph Capio, 8 Hours, Wednesday)

This presentation on principles of Appropriations Law acquaints accounting and auditing professionals with the purposes and principles of federal fiscal law. The presentation is designed to provide the participant with an analytical framework for approaching critical issues dealing with the availability and use of funds appropriated by the Congress of the United States. We will address real-world questions such as when do funds become available for obligation, what are the permissible uses of appropriated funds, what are the limitations on the use of appropriated funds, and what are the consequences if appropriated funds are used illegally or otherwise impermissibly. Other topics addressed include the availability of appropriations as to purpose, time and amount, the necessary expense doctrine, the Antideficiency Act, augmentation of appropriations, the bona fide needs rule, multiyear contracting, transfer and reprogramming funds, and supplemental appropriations.


22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Pacific Island Public Auditors (APIPA)

Republic of the Marshall Islands Office of the Auditor General. P.O.Box 245. Majuro, MH 96960. p: 692.625.3390. e: info@apipa2011.org. © 2011.

Conference support provided by DOI-OIA & the Graduate School's Pacific Islands Training Initiative.
Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affiars Graduate School, Pacific Islands Training Initiatives