City Clerk Bonnie Warne has a new feather to put into her proverbial hat.
The City of Dawsonville, specifically thanks to Warne's financial work, is the recipient of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States.
"Bonnie has worked really hard this past year getting this Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) set up for us," said Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan. "For us to receive that award through the efforts that she has put forth is just tremendous."
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.
"I had sent [the CAFR] on Dec. 2 to the Governmental Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and heard nothing back until the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting was mailed to me in April," Warne said. "I was ecstatic when it came in.
"All of the time and effort to put it together was worth it."
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association that serves approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, Ill., and Washington, D.C.
The submitted CAFR is judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR, according to GFOA.
"This was the city's first CAFR, not just our financial statement," Warne said. "There were a lot of figures, documents and departments that had to be researched to obtain the 10 year history of information required in a CAFR."
The award also recognizes transparency in government financial reporting.
"I try to ensure the taxpayers money is being used appropriately," Warne said. "Transparency in our documentation encourages us to adhere to this."
Grogan said that this transparency is something that Warne has always strived for in her record keeping.
"Bonnie keeps excellent records for the city," he said. "It makes the city more transparent - which we've always been, but even more so, now."