For the 19th straight year, the city of Dalton’s Finance Department is being honored for excellence in their management and accounting of the city’s books. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada announced that Dalton has once again been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the city’s comprehensive annual financial report covering the 2020 fiscal year.
"It’s an accomplishment. It’s a lot of hard work to put together the CAFR for our whole finance team and our auditors, too,” said Cindy Jackson, the city’s chief financial officer. “You know, not every city does it, several cities don’t do it. So it’s an accomplishment.”
The CAFR is more than just a budget document. The comprehensive report contains more than ten years of historical trending data on the city’s finances as well as statistics and other data. The document includes a forward that details the city’s accomplishments over the past year as well as an overview of the city itself. The document also includes a discussion and analysis of the city’s financial management over the covered year including budget amendments and other information. The reports are submitted to the state of Georgia where they can be reviewed on the state auditor’s website. The city’s last 14 CAFRs are also available for review on the city website at daltonga.gov.
After the completion of each year’s report and submission to the state, the CAFR is also submitted to the GFOA for review. A GFOA statement announcing the award notes that the city’s CAFR was reviewed by an impartial panel for adherence to the “high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive ‘spirit of full disclosure’ to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.” The press release states that “the 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.”
The award and the CAFR itself show that the city’s leaders and finance staff are working to be good stewards of taxpayer money.
"It has a lot of budget information, and you can see a lot of the trends on tax collections, tax rates, sales tax information, and information down to the number of service calls for the police and fire departments,” Ms. Jackson said. “It’s got a lot of good information so you can find out about your community.”