September 14 2016
Town's Accounting Team Recognized for Financial Reporting Practices
By: Rich Hosford
Burlington’s financial team was recently recognized by a national organization for its efforts in creating greater transparency and readability in creating the comprehensive financial report.
During Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting Town Administrator John Petrin announced that the town’s accounting department, lead by Town Accountant and Assistant Town Administrator Paul Sagarino had been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), an organization that represents public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada.
The association' has more than 18,000 members at federal, state/provincial, and local finance officials deeply involved in planning, financing, and implementing thousands of governmental operations in each of their jurisdictions.
Petrin praised Sagarino and his team for both the award and for the changes made to the annual report.
“It’s a much enhanced format,” he said. “It has more information and it is put together in a different way for the people who see it.”
Petrin went on to say that Sagarino was at the top of his field.
“I’ve worked in many different places and certainly he is the best CFO I’ve worked with,” he said. “It is a pleasure to work with him.”
Members of the Board of Selectmen agreed.
“What Paul and his team and the treasurer did gives more insight into how the town operates,” Board Chairman Dan Grattan said. “It was a great job.”
According to its website, 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. 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.
Reports submitted to the CAFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee (SRC), which comprises individuals with expertise in public sector financial reporting and includes financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics, and other finance professionals.