Public Funds Investment Act Training


Register for PFIA


Sponsored by the William P. Hobby Center for Public Service at Texas State University

Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA) training is provided through the auspices of Leita Hart-Fanta. Ms. Hart-Fanta is the PFIA course designer and instructor for the PFIA training courses offered by Texas State University. Ms. Hart-Fanta is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Government Financial Manager, and Certified Government Audit Professional. She serves on the government conference planning committee the Texas Society of CPAs and is a member of the AICPA, TSCPA, IIA, and AGA. For additional information about Leita Hart-Fanta, go to Yellowbook-CPE.com.  

Please note, while Texas State University is a recognized sponsor by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (Sponsor ID 009805), the PFIA courses offered through Texas State University are not eligible for CPE credit. We strongly encourage that participants check with their employer to verify that this training satisfies their organization’s specific PFIA training requirements before registering.

Are you tired of traveling to a distant city to satisfy your 10-hour training requirement?
Would you like to choose your own curriculum from a menu of choices?
Would you like to learn something new and fresh about investments?

Then this online course is for you!
 
A portfolio manager taking the course says:
“This beats sitting in class for two days. It was convenient—I worked at my pace and time schedule. Information was an interesting refresher and not focused entirely on repetitive topics of regulation.”

An investment officer taking the course says:
"You have made this a very positive experience and I plan on obtaining my investment credits through your program every year going forward. As you know, governments are strapped for cash and although we must continue to train our staff, we not long have the cash and budget to do so. Thereby, I was delighted to find this option. Attending a seminar requires an overnight stay , therefor not only do we incur the hotel and travel costs, but also lost time working to travel to and from the seminar."

Designed with the busy city official in mind.
 This online course is designed to help you comply with the training requirements of the Public Funds Investment Act without having to travel to attend a seminar or conference. All of the instruction can be done at your own pace in your own home or office. All you need to complete the course is access to the internet and a physical mailing address.
We send you books on topics that you select. You read the books and answer a series of questions online. Once you complete your questions, we send you a certificate of completion. It really is that easy!

What does the Public Funds Investment Act require?

In 2015, the Texas Legislature updated the requirements of the Public Funds Investment Act. The Act (Chapter 2256, Texas Government Code)   governs the investment of public funds in Texas and requires that treasurers, chief financial officers, and investment officers of government entities complete training on topics pertinent to the Act.  The required number of credit hours differs based on the type of government entity as follows:

 Type of Government Entity Initial Training Renewal Training (every 2 years) Exceptions 2 Year Training Period
Municipalities 10 hours within first 12 months in position 8 hours No investments outside of Interest Bearing Accts and local CDs – Exempt from renewal training at the discretion of the Entity and the local auditor Based on Entity’s  fiscal year
School Districts 10 hours within first 12 months in position 8 hours   Based on Entity’s  fiscal year
Other Local Governments 10 hours within first 12 months in position 10 hours   Based on Entity’s  fiscal year
State Agencies and Institutions of Higher Education 5 hours within first 6 months in position 5 hours   Based on the State fiscal biennium
Water Entities (Ch. 36 or 49 only) 6 hours within first 12 months in position 4 hours   Based on Entity’s  fiscal year

Texas State University provides over a dozen topics to choose from.  The topics and a combination of topics – is up to you.  We strongly recommend that public officials unfamiliar with the Public Funds Investment Act enroll in the module entitled “The Act.”

What does the course cost?

4-8 hours       $200
9 hours          $270
10 hours        $300
11 hours        $330
12 hours        $360

How can I pay for the course?

Payment may be made by credit card or check.  A Purchase Order for payment can be submitted by your organization.  When you register for the course work, you are taken to the TouchNet payment site.  Follow the instructions for registration and payment.  If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn Balanoff at mb39@txstate.edu.

How does it work?

Once you have registered for your course and selected your modules, you will receive an automated email from the TRACS System (Texas State  University’s learning management system).  In the email, you will be instructed how to log on Texas State University’s learning management system where you will find instructions on how to complete each module.  

You can immediately begin learning modules that are based on on-line documents and videos.  If you select modules that are based on hard-copy books, those will be mailed to your home or office. Once you have read your assigned documents, simply log back into the system to answer questions about your reading.

The learning management system will give you feedback about the accuracy of your answers to the questions immediately. To earn credit for a learning module, you must answer 70% of the questions correctly.

Once you have completed all of your modules and submitted your honesty statement and evaluation email Leita@leitahart.com Shortly after you have submitted your honesty statement and evaluation and sent your email to Leita Hart you will receive an email with an attached Certificate of Completion for your PFIA Training..

Learning Modules

You get to choose your curriculum!

Choose any combination of modules to add up to the number of hours you need.  Your selection is completely up to you.

NOTE: If you are a returning student, please select modules that you have not taken before. If you need to know which modules you have already taken, email leita@leitahart.com

The Act – 2 hours
Review the Public Funds Investment Act. This module is required for all new investment officers

The Ascent of Money – 10 hours
In this module, you will read the New York Times Bestseller, The Ascent of Money, by Niall Ferguson, to learn the history of money and identify the economic forces that precipitated gigantic government bailouts and upended global markets.   

Bonds – 4 hours
Learn bond types and bond terminology.  Watch videos and read online documents to get an overview of how bonds work and how they are priced.

Cash Flow – 3 hours
The Public Funds Investment Act is about investing extra cash. But how do you generate this extra cash? The book The Four Principles of Happy Cash Flow discusses ideas for managing working capital and cash so that you generate as much cash as possible in your organization. Read the short book "The Four Principles of Happy Cash Flow" by Leita Hart, CPA. The book is attached as a PDF file.

Derivatives: How to recognize them – 2 hours
Laws in 2011 forced hedge funds and other firms that trade opaque derivative products to bolster their capital cushion. U.S. regulators are working to curb risky behavior that fed the 2008 financial crisis. A derivative contract can be based on something impossible to trade, such as changes in the weather, or as normal as a DOW stock. In this module, learn the risks of derivatives as well as how to recognize and avoid them.

Due Diligence - 1 hour
As an investment officer, you are responsible for prudently investing your organization's extra cash. And there are plenty of folks who would love to control your investments and earn a living from them. In this module, learn simple due diligence procedures that make sure you and those you serve are not ripped off by slick investment guys in gray suits!

Federal Monetary Policy – 4 hours
In this module, you will learn the responsibilities of the Federal Reserve Banks and the tools they use to manage the US economy. You will read three chapters from US Monetary Policy and Financial Markets written by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Financial Statement Analysis – 4 hours
Learn tools and ratios that can help you diagnose the financial health of an entity – either your own entity or an entity that you are investing in.

Fraud – 3 hours
This module introduces you to concepts and terminology relating to fraud prevention and detection. As one of our readings tells us:

“Fraud is a common risk that should not be ignored. The incidence of fraud is now so common that its occurrence is no longer remarkable, only its scale.”  Watch a video, read articles, and refer to reports created by the Certified Fraud Examiners.

Graphics – 3 hours
Learn how to present investment information in user-friendly graphics and tables. Read Say It with Charts.

Investment Policy – 2 hours
Examine several example investment policies from the Government Finance Officers Association and the Association of Public Treasurers.

The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers that Rule our World - 5 hours
We are bombarded every day with numbers that tell us our economy is doing, whether our future looks bright or dim.  GNP, balance of trade, unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence guide our actions as investors, yet few of us know where these numbers come from, what they mean, and how they impact our economy.  In this module, read the 2014 book on the subject by Zachary Karabell.

Money Markets – 1 hour
Are money markets as safe as the bank would have you believe? In this module, learn the nature of money market funds so that you invest wisely.

Mutual Funds – 4 hours
Learn the unique purpose and history of mutual funds as well as how to choose a high performing mutual fund.

Risk and Diversification – 2 hours
Hear what Warren Buffett and other investment experts have to say about portfolio risk and diversification as well as learn the different types of portfolio risk and how to manage them. Watch videos and read online documents.

The Trigger of the PFIA: Orange County – 2 hours
Learn why the financial managers of Orange County were pushed into making risky investments, how the Orange County Bankruptcy happened, and what necessary reforms (including Texas's PFIA!) resulted.  Read an online document.

Common Sense Economics - 8 hours
What economic forces are at work shaping your investment returns and the safety of your organization¹s resources?  Enjoy the surprisingly entertaining book entitled ³Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy² by Thomas Sowell published in 2015. The book is filled with interesting examples and stories making the 625 pages of hard-copy text less daunting.

Investment Controls - 3 Hours
How do you help make sure bad things don¹t happen to you investments?  Internal controls.  Wise managers intentionally design controls to protect investment assets.  In this module, learn the terminology and concepts that will allow you to create a strong control system.  Refer to the GAO¹s standards for internal control and the GFOA¹s guide to internal controls over investments.

Fequently Asked Questions

What is the refund policy?

Once you register for this course, NO refund will be given. Depending on circumstances, you may be granted an extension of time to complete the course.

How long do I have to complete the course?

You will have six (6) months from the day your password is sent to complete the course.

When will I get my certificate of completion?

Your certificate will be delivered via email within a few days after you email Leita@leitahart.com  and inform her that you have completed the course.

Who can I contact to ask questions?

At any time during your studies, you may contact Leita Hart, the curriculum designer, at Leita@leitahart.com

If you have questions on the process and/or procedures for the course,  contact Marilyn Balanoff (mb39@txstate.edu Phone: 512-422-8955) or Jeff Fanta (Jeff@yellowbook-cpe.com Phone: 512-801-0526).

How do I register?

Please proceed to our Marketplace to register and select payment option. If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn Ballanoff at mb39@txstate.edu. We will contact you via email with further instructions once we receive your registration. If your modules are based on hardcopy books, you can expect delivery at your home or office within two weeks. Please note, if you select to be invoiced, payment is due within 30 days of your order.


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