Vector Image Auditing Icon

PITI-VITI Home Event Subscribe icon Training Event Subscribe 2nd icon Upcoming Events

Opening Plenary: Government Finance and Audit in the New, New Normal + Appreciative Leadership: Encouraging the Best in Everyone

Course CategoryLeadership

Event calendar iconAugust 23, 2021

Event time icon9:00 a.m.

Event globus icon Change


This virtual course will be delivered regionally via Zoom.

Registration is open to insular government professionals.

Course Description

The opening plenary will contain welcoming conference remarks and two sessions – First, Mark Funkhouser will present on Government Finance and Audit in the New, New Normal.  Second, Margie Bastolla will present on Appreciative Leadership:  Encouraging the Best in Everyone.

Government Finance and Audit in the New, New Normal

The presentation will address three questions as shown below, but the bulk of the discussion will be focused on the third question – how should government finance and audit professionals respond in the new, new normal?

What happened? 

Over the last year state and local government workers have experienced and had to respond to a global pandemic, the largest social protests in the history of the United States, a sharp economic turndown followed by an extremely uneven and uncertain recovery, historic floods and wildfires, and the most contentious election in generations. Take as a whole these events have had a profound effect on government. The period after the Great Recession at the end of the previous decade was widely referred to as “the new normal.” What we are entering now is the new, new normal.

What does it mean? 

There has been a huge transformation in the way government workers in general and finance and audit professionals in particular do their work. Most have spent most of the year working remotely – preparing budgets and financial documents and conducting audits entirely from their own homes. In doing so they have discovered in themselves, their governments, and their communities heretofore unrecognized strengths and weaknesses. Vulnerabilities government operations and finance have been exposed in ways that lead to a whole new understanding of risk assessment and response.

How should government finance people and auditors respond?

It is essential that government finance and audit professionals step up their involvement in policy and implementation. It is very clear that every operational decision has financial implications and every financial decision impacts operations. While there has been much talk about “breaking down the siloes” in government, the focus has not been as much on finance and audit. There to, however, siloes need to be broken. Effective democratic governance requires strong and engaged finance and audit professionals who identify risks – “lurking demons” – and opportunities – “fat rabbits” – that other professionals and elected officials might not recognize or feel the responsibility to call attention to.

Appreciative Leadership: Encouraging the Best in Everyone

This topic will be the second part of the opening plenary.  To build more satisfying relationships with the people around you at work, express more appreciation, affirmation, encouragement, and gratitude.  Simply put, employees want to feel valued for who they are and what they bring to the workplace. Because work requires us to continually attend to problems and breakdowns, it’s easy to only see what is broken and needs repair. The solution is genuine appreciation—tailored to the individual—that makes work relationships strong enough to accommodate differences and disagreements. Appreciative leadership brings out the best in everyone!

Will learn icon What You Will Learn

Government Finance and Audit in the New, New Normal

Two tools used by futurists – scenario planning and causal layered analysis – can be used by government finance and audit professionals to strengthen their foresight and find ways, within the bounds of their professional norms, to use their skills to force political discussions aimed at improving the quality of life of members of the communities they serve. The tumultuous year we have just been through shows the truth of what David Leonhardt recently wrote in the New York Times, “Americans sometimes like to dismiss politics as a grubby business that is disconnected from the things that really matter — science, health and everyday life. And while politics certainly can be grubby, it also remains the most powerful mechanism for human progress.” David Leonhardt NYT


Appreciative Leadership: Encouraging the Best in Everyone

  • Learn how customizing appreciation to the individual employee increases productivity, builds a positive corporate culture, and enhances employee retention.
  • Discover how recognition and appreciation differ.
  • Study the four appreciation languages.
  • Leave with new skills to build respect and cooperation in the workplace.

Who Should Attend

APIPA conference sessions are intended for island government accountability professionals.  Audit, budget, finance, accounting, and related management and staff members will find interest and value in this presentation.

Info icon Tuition Fees

With funding support from the United States Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, courses are available free of charge for government accountability professionals within the insular areas. The course fee is waived and there is no cost to register and attend, Professionals who do not meet the above criteria, please contact [email protected].










August 23, 2021

9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


course right section times icon2

CPEs - 4 Credit Hours

course right section virtual delivery

Virtual Delivery

moderator icon2Panelists

Margie P. Bastolla

Margie P. Bastolla

Orlando, FL

Margie Bastolla helps internal auditors and other oversight professionals write reports that get results!  She has trained thousands of auditors in over 40 countries on topics such as risk management, internal control, operational auditing, and communication skills.

Mark Funkhouser

Mark Funkhouser

West Virginia

Mark Funkhouser, president of Funkhouser & Associates, is a municipal finance expert who has spent decades in government service. As the mayor of Kansas City during the Great Recession, Mark made the tough choices to put his city on the path to fiscal sustainability. That experience, his long tenure as an auditor and his most recent post as the publisher of Governing magazine have made him a trusted and credible advisor to government officials across the country. Mark holds a master’s degree in social work from West Virginia University, an M.B.A. from Tennessee State University, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in public administration and urban sociology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.