By Tammy Gray
Navajo County’s finance team has been honored for the fourth year in a row by the Government Officers Finance Association (GFOA).
The county was awarded a certificate of achievement for excellence in reporting from the association. The acknowledgement recognizes the county’s efforts to present a complete and transparent financial report to the public. The award does not take into consideration how money was spent, but rather the amount of detail provided in the year-end report.
The finance association notes, “The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.”
Board members recognized members of the finance team for once again receiving the certificate during a meeting held on Aug. 26. The award was made for the 2013 fiscal year.
The complete financial report is 128 pages long and details expenses for the fiscal year, as well as assets, liabilities and revenue. It is made available online to the public at www.navajocounty.gov/finance.
Regarding the recognition, Finance Director James Menlove previously noted, “We’ve been working as hard as we can to be transparent about what we are doing with our finances and this award reflects that commitment. At any time of day, anyone can access our financial statements in real time, and will find them up-to-date and accurate. This is invaluable for the county, because when we need to sit down and conduct planning, we have current numbers immediately at our fingertips.”
Members of the board of supervisors noted that receiving the award for four years in a row was a big accomplishment for the county, considering that when Menlove took over the finance department about 10 years ago, the county was woefully behind in reports and audits.
Supervisor David Tenney had noted that the county was approximately five years behind schedule in completing required annual audits through the state. A team from the Arizona Auditor General’s office made several special trips to the county to try to complete the work. The county has since not only completed the audits, but received praise and an unqualified audit report from the office of the auditor general.