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(STILLWATER, OK) – The City of Stillwater has once again been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. The City has received this honor every year since 1981, based on the quality of its annual comprehensive financial report, and the Finance Department works hard to maintain their perfect record.
The current award is based on the annual comprehensive financial report for Fiscal Year 2022, which ended June 30, 2022.
Finance Director Christy Cluck attributes it to a history of outstanding finance professionals who have created a culture of excellence in the department.
“We have a phenomenal team that sets high standards for ourselves and remains disciplined on a daily basis to insure a high level of accurate and timely financial reporting,” Cluck said. “We take our role of public stewardship very seriously and are committed to being accountable to our citizens to show that their public dollars are used for their intended purposes.”
The Certificate of Achievement program was established by GFOA – a professional organization dedicated to advancing excellence in government finance for its more than 21,000 members – in 1945 to encourage state and local government organizations to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles when preparing their financial reports. It recognizes those that succeed in producing reports consistent with “the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.”
The award is based on how clearly the information is presented, not the numbers themselves. The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments, but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves, according to GFOA.
“Meeting these high standards year after year for more than four decades is a huge accomplishment and we appreciate the effort that goes into it,” Interim City Manager Brady Moore said. “It’s a reflection of our staff’s commitment to serving our residents to the best of their abilities and being good stewards of public funds.”
The entries are judged by an impartial panel consisting of GFOA staff and committee members from another state who have expertise and experience in government financial reporting. To meet the high standards of the program, an annual comprehensive financial report must contain certain elements and
must clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.
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.
“We hope that your example will encourage other government officials in their efforts to achieve and maintain an appropriate standard of excellence in financial reporting,” GFOA Technical Services Director Michele Mark Levine said.
(Stillwater Finance Department - Pictured, front row, left to right: Kristian Holloway, Alicia Evans, Michelle Wilhelm, Christy Cluck, Michelle Welch, Diana AldridgePictured, back row, left to right: John McClenny, Hayden Bonine, Jared Thulin, Eric Thompson, Tiffany Garton)