Walworth County Finance Director Jessica Conley is pleased to announce that Walworth County is the recipient of the prestigious Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the year ending December 31, 2021. This is the 20th consecutive year the County has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. To be considered, municipalities must be reevaluated each year.
“I appreciate the support and assistance of County departments and the County Board, as well as the County finance staff who strive to understand and implement the required changes in the spirit of transparency and full disclosure,” says Jessica Conley.
The report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements. When Walworth County received its first award for the 2002 financial statements, there were 42 accounting standards required by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Over the last 20 years, an additional 59 GASB Statements have been released providing greater disclosure requirements over time.
Established in 1945, the Financial Reporting Certificate Program evaluates information presented in a municipality’s annual financial report. The program promotes transparency and full disclosure in government by recognizing exemplary financial reporting by state, provincial, and local governments, as well as public universities and colleges, throughout the United States and Canada. Guidelines established by the GFOA ensure that recipients satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective financial reporting, and encourage recipients to go beyond the minimum requirements of financial reporting. To qualify, recipients must be rated proficient or better in all categories. Overall, the review encompasses 19 major categories with hundreds of individual evaluation criteria.
“I often talk about the budget as the most important financial document of any government,” stated County Administrator Mark Luberda at the May 9 County Board meeting. “The budget is the plan. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is really the report card afterwards; it tells you how you’ve done and it shows your financial health and that you’re following good financial management practices. The fact that the Finance Department has received this award from the Government Finance Officers Association 20 years in a row shows our citizens that we have proper, strong financial management and practices.”