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School system continues tradition of excellent financial reporting
E-Finance award pic
From left, Director of Financial Services Jamie Ulrich stands with her staff, Accountant Sherri Autry, Payroll/Benefits Administrator Diane Allison and Gail Lowman, accounts payable receivable, pose with the Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting. The system has won the award both years it has been available. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

The Dawson County School System has once again been honored by the state for its financial reporting.

A state auditing team presented the board of education's finance department with the Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting.

This is the second year that the state has offered the award and the second year the system has won it.

"I'm extremely pleased. We work very hard to make sure everything is where it needs to be. We make sure that everything starts at the front and is accounted for properly," said Jamie Ulrich, director of financial services. "My staff really makes my job easier. There are always minimal adjustments I have to make on our reports to the state."

The board of education's finance department is made up of: Ulrich; Gail Lowman, accounts payable receivable; Sherri Autry, accountant; and Dianne Allison, payroll/benefits administrator.

The board officially received the award on March 19, but it wasn't until its Aug. 4 work session that the system was recognized personally by the state.

"This award was established to recognize excellence in financial reporting and controls," said Genevieve Silvia, audit supervisor at Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts. "It encourages governmental organizations to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and recognizes individual organizations that are successful in achieving this goal."

The award was created in 2014 and is presented to organizations that submit quality financial statements and supporting documentation in a timely manner.

To receive this award, the organization's annual financial report must also be free of any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses, comply with all Transparency in Government requirements, and be given an unmodified audit opinion.

"We are stewards of the tax payer's money," Ulrich said. "We try to watch over that and get that information to the board so they can do with it what is best for the system."