City awarded for achievements in financial reporting

Published 6:00 pm Monday, June 13, 2016

For two decades, Washington has been a recipient of a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

The award, from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada, is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. The award is for fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30, 2014.

The long-running streak began under Carol Williams, a former chief financial officer for the city. Matt Rauschenbach, the current chief financial officer, continues the streak. Rauschenbach and Williams have credited the city’s finance staff for doing most of the work that has led to 19 consecutive awards.

“To receive the prestigious national award of certificate of achievement in financial reporting excellence the City has published an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) that satisfied both Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles and applicable legal requirements,” Rauschenbach wrote in an email. “The City has earned this award 20 consecutive years from 1996 through 2015. This award is achieved as a result of an excellent finance staff led by Assistant Finance Director, Tammy Swindell, conscientious Departmental staff, along with the Manager and City Council’s support.”

The CAFR program was initiated in 1945 to encourage and assist local and state governments to go beyond the minimum accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and recognized governments that succeed in meeting that goal. To be awarded a CAFR, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. Earning the award is not as simple as applying for it. CAFR recipients must meet specific, stringent standards established by the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada.

The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments, but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves, according to the GFAO website.

Washington is one of 86 municipalities in North Carolina to receive the award this year. The city is one of 329 municipalities with populations of less than 10,000 people to receive the award. There are 31,656 municipalities that could be eligible for a CAFR, meaning Washington is in the 1.04 percent of those 31,656 municipalities to receive awards this year.



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike