For the ninth time in the last 10 years, the Finance and Municipal Services Division of Breckenridge is celebrating an award-winning government report.
Breckenridge received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its 2012 comprehensive annual financial report.
Accounting manager Laura Kennedy said the entire department was proud to once again receive this honor. The GFOA’s purpose is to identify and develop financial policies and best practices.
“They always change things up, so we have to get ready for new rules and requirements,” Kennedy said.
In the letter sent to Kennedy announcing the award, Stephen Gauthier, GFOA director of technical services, wrote about the distinguished accomplishment.
“This is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” he said.
Kennedy said this achievement is something the town always strives for, because it means they are following the accounting rules and the finances are reliable.
“We put a lot of time and effort into these things, from the department level up to council and the mayor,” she said. “The award represents many months of hard work and collaboration.”
The town must structure the finance report according to the GFOA rules to be considered. Kennedy said any award-winning government is usually laid out about the same.
“The financial report has a specific set of instructions that we all have to meet, so they can evaluate the municipalities on a level playing field,” she said.
For example, the town’s Affordable Housing fund and others like it were evaluated to see if the correct amounts were going into the fund, and that it was used for the right purpose. Brian Waldes, financial services manager, said the GFOA is very particular about requirements. For instance, one comment on the report read: “The term ‘expenditure’ should not be used in connection with the government-wide statements.”
“We’ll get that one right for 2013,” he said.
Finances are due to the state by the end of June, Kennedy said. The annual financial report is a long, involved process she said, since it can take several months to close the books.
“We’ll get started on next year soon, and just look to keep meeting the requirements,” she said.