Butts County Receives Prestigious GFOA Award of Excellence

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Rhonda Blissit, Chief Financial Officer

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has announced that Butts County has been awarded the prestigious “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting”. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and management.

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (COA) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles in the preparation of annual comprehensive financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. Butts County Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Blissit, CPA, who prepared and submitted all of the required criteria, was notified on December 15th of the decision by GFOA that the County had met all of the criteria for receiving the award, which is the first time for the County.

There is a considerable amount of research, compilation and related work beyond just the numbers that goes into the financial report. Information related to organizational structure, economic development, growth and much more is discussed in detail with the submitted report, which is then reviewed and judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program. This includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users to read the report.

The award clearly demonstrates the desire of the County to be fully transparent with its financial management strategies, reporting and operations. CFO Rhonda Blissit has worked tirelessly to monitor revenues and finances, implement stronger financial controls and build a financial team committed to these principals. These strategies are one of the main reasons that the County government is in such superb financial shape. Achieving this designation will ensure that the County has access to higher bond ratings, which in turn decreases the costs of bonding monies when needed.

The Government Finance Officers Association advances excellence in government finances by providing best practices, professional development, resources and practical research for more than 21,000 members and the communities they serve. Butts County is proud to be recognized by GFOA, and to in turn recognize Rhonda Blissit and her team for their excellent work.