Categorized in: Center for Government Innovation

Tags: resources

Published: January 27, 2021

As we begin a new year in 2021, we thought it would be a great time to reflect on how the Center for Government Innovation helped local governments in 2020, including a look back at some key resources that we want to make sure you didn’t miss.

The Center is happy to help

Lean is alive and well as we work with local governments to help the people they serve. Our Lean facilitators have been working remotely, with some new applications, to provide services tailored to individual governments’ unique situations. If you are considering upcoming changes in the New Year, the Center is happy to help.

We are also available to help you with financial management technical assistance. Reach out with your questions, and we will be happy to have a conversation and make sure to point you to the best resources.

2020 resources and best practices

Speaking of resources, last year we created a variety of publications, tools and assistance to provide best practices and guidance. Here are a few of them.

Cybersecurity

  • Are You Doing All You Can to Keep Your Government Safe from a Cyber Attack?: This is a two-page document pointing you to six free resources, including training and webinars, to help protect against cyber attacks.
  • Phishing posters: Due to the pandemic, Washington governments increasingly became targets of cybercriminals. These colorful posters reminded your employees of the “bait” that can be used to trick them into unauthorized access to your governments systems and information.
  • Backup and Recovery Best Practices: This short guide provided leading practices to help you develop a strong plan to quickly return to normal operations if your data access is compromised because of risks like a hardware failure or malware attack.

Purchasing and procurement

  • Buying and Bidding – Ensuring your government follows Washington purchasing laws: This is a comprehensive guide you can use to ensure you are following state laws when procuring goods, services or public works projects. It points out many of the alternatives and unique circumstances with these activities, and includes best practices and links to state laws to save you time.
  • Is This Bidder Responsible?: To help you navigate whether a bidder meets the criteria to be responsive and responsible, we have compiled a handy checklist you can use to walk through this evaluation and make notes about things you might wish to follow up on later.

Internal controls

  • Cash Receipting Guide: This 16-page guide summarizes key factors to consider in one of your most important financial processes. It has single-page pullouts with tips for each of the key roles: leadership, managers, supervisors and cashiers.
  • Internal Control Checklists for Cash Receipting and Payroll processes: Use these tools to evaluate your existing internal control systems and identify potential areas for improvement.

Financial Intelligence Tool (FIT)

With the financial impacts of the pandemic, it’s never been more important to have a tool to monitor your government’s financial health. In 2020, we added or updated features to the FIT tool including the ability to:

  • Compare financial health indicators to similar governments across the state
  • Focus your financial indicator analysis at the fund level
  • Project your financial data into the future
  • Modify your projections using user-defined variables for scenario planning

Coming in 2021

As we look forward to 2021, here are some new resources you can expect:

  • Best Practice Guides for Payroll and Accounts Payable
  • Internal Controls checklists for Accounts Payable and Petty Cash
  • Best Practices and Internal Controls over Fuel Inventory and Usage
  • Additional FIT enhancements

How to contact us

Remember: As soon as resources are published, you can find out first by subscribing to the Audit Connection Blog updates. And don’t forget to check out the blog for more informational articles.

For Lean services, resources and technical assistance or questions about FIT, we hope you will reach out to the Center for help. We can be reached by emailing a question or request to center@sao.wa.gov. We know that, together, we can work to make 2021 a very happy year!

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Categorized in: Center for Government Innovation

Tags: resources