District finance staff earns national awards for financial reporting, budget presentation

District finance staff earns national awards
Posted on 04/21/2017
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 21, 2017 

BEAUFORT – Finance staffers from the Beaufort County School District have earned a pair of national awards for excellence from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

The first award, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, recognized the school district’s 2016 annual financial report.  It was the 27th consecutive year that the school district had earned the national recognition.

GFOA said the award honors financial reports that demonstrate a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” and that clearly communicate a school district’s financial story and motivate citizens to read the annual report.  It said the award represents “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.”

The second recognition, the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, honors government budgets that succeed simultaneously as policy documents, financial plans, operations guides and communications devices.  Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four of those categories – along with the 14 criteria in each one – to receive the award.

Superintendent Jeff Moss credited members of the finance staff for their “superlative efforts,” including Chief Finance and Operations Officer Tonya Crosby; Director of Internal Controls Reggie Murphy; Director of Finance Lori Mock; and Budget Analyst Louis Ackerman.  Moss also congratulated Phyllis White, who retired in December as the district’s Chief Finance and Operations Officer.

“For the school district to win the financial reporting award in any one year would be a notable achievement, but to win it for 27 consecutive years is nothing short of amazing,” Moss said.  “Together with the national recognition for budget presentation, these two awards demonstrate that our parents and community members can be confident that their investments in their schools are being monitored effectively and efficiently.”

The school district’s bond ratings are Aa1 with Moody’s Investors Service and AA with Standard and Poor’s.   

Moss noted that over the past 17 years, the district has never had a negative financial finding in any of its annual independent audits.