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August 4, 2014

CATAWBA COUNTY FINANCE OFFICE WINS 32ND STRAIGHT AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

Catawba County Finance Director Rodney Miller (second from right) and Internal Auditor Kenneth Maynor (far right) received the GFOA from the Catawba County Board of CommissionersThe work of a local government finance department is extremely detailed and must be precise. Once a budget is approved each year, a finance department must keep track of all expenditures and revenues to insure public funds are accounted for appropriately. A measure of the success of a finance department can be found in how its work compares to that of its peers.

The Catawba County Finance Department continues to achieve one of the nation's highest standards by this measure, as a winner of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013. Catawba County has now won the award for 32 consecutive years.

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting is presented to governmental units that the GFOA says "prepare and publish an easily readable, understandable comprehensive annual financial report covering all funds and financial transactions during the fiscal year."

Fewer than 250 government entities in the GFOA have received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 32 or more consecutive years. This places Catawba County in the top 10% of governments that have submitted Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports to the GFOA for consideration.

"This Certificate of Achievement 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," said Stephen J. Gauthier, Director of the Technical Services Center of the GFOA. “Catawba County's report has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive ‘spirit of full disclosure’ to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.”

The County’s Finance Department also received the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award from the GFOA, for its “Annual Financial Highlights” for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013.

“A panel of independent reviewers has completed its review of your Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR),” Gauthier said. “We are pleased to notify you that your PAFR for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013, has substantially met the requirements of the PAFR program. In the absence of authoritative standards governing the presentation, these requirements were based on an evaluation of creativity, presentation, understandability, and reader appeal. The report received a weighted average score of 75.00 percent or above from three of the four highest individual reviews.”

"We continue to receive these awards because of the tremendous support of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners, the dedication of our staff and their desire to achieve this recognition," said Catawba County’s Finance Director, Rodney Miller. "Our staff continues to be committed to producing a comprehensive annual financial report that is easy to understand by the average reader and paints a clear picture of the financial activities of Catawba County. In addition, our staff has shown great initiative by preparing a summary of financial activity that is a model for other local governments to emulate. Both of these endeavors help the County achieve and maintain an attractive bond rating, since these nationally recognized financial reports are well received by bond rating agencies.”

The Government Finance Officers Association is a non-profit professional association serving over 17,000 government finance professionals throughout North America.