City earns international award

Published 7:32 pm Thursday, May 29, 2014

For 18 consecutive years, the City of Washington has won the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence. The honor has been given to Washington on May 16 by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, annually.

Washington was the recipient of the award for its (CAFR) comprehensive annual financial report. The city was one of 1,949 communities in the United States to win the recognition, including 85 municipalities in North Carolina.

“At the end of the audit, we complete what is called the certified annual financial report,” said Matt Rauschenbach, Washington’s chief financial officer. “It’s the final official financial report of the city’s finances of the previous year.”

The 170-page document is submitted, along with other information, to the GFOA and then reviewed, according to Rauschenbach. The panel at the GFOA then determine, if the financial documents will win the honor.

The submitted report includes debt schedules to show what debt is outstanding and the debt to asset ratio, and other city finances.

Rauschenbach said the award is just another certification to show the residents of Washington they take care of their taxes and don’t misspend.

The GFOA checks Washington’s financial documents to see if they had spent money that was not appropriated or bought items without purchase orders, Rauschenbach said.

“We have bids for projects, we have state statutes that determines, based on the size of the project, whether you go out for bid, whether it is an informal or formal bid process and advertise and follow all the protocol and procedures,” said Rauschenbach.

This achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting.

“It’s quite an accomplishment, 18 years running we have earned that award,” said Rauschenbach.

“It is due to the diligence of the staff that we have, and it’s not just the financial staff, but the administrative staff throughout the operating department,” said Rauschenbach. “They do an excellent job documenting and making sure we stay compliant with all the various things we have to comply with.”

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