As stewards of public funds its extremely important to uphold the highest standards of financial management for the city government. This great experiment of democracy is built on the trust invested in city employees to do their jobs honestly, fairly and with professional integrity, especially when it comes to tax money. That trust doesn’t just happen, it’s something that city employees have to earn every day as they do their jobs. Everything we do as a city comes back to financial management at some point so if we ever get that wrong, we’re in trouble. With that in mind, I am very pleased to report that the City of Kent received the highest recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 2007.
That makes 20 straight years that the City of Kent was awarded this high honor and Barb Rissland, City Finance and Budget Director, deserves a lot of credit for working so hard and pushing her staff (and all of the City) to never settle for anything less than excellent when it comes to managing our fiscal affairs.
In the course of the City’s budget presentation this year there was some discussion on the differences between the City Budget and the City’s Financial Reports that are required by the State Auditor. I can’t say that I’m surprised by the questions as the Auditor’s office has very specific ways that it requires the City to report financial information and those accounting methods are not entirely the same as the City Budget document. Which means it can be confusing to compare the figures listed in the two documents.
The City Finance Director can show how the Budget and the Financial Reports are indeed consistent but it’s not necessarily evident without a little help and pointers from our resident accounting expert. Not all of us were born speaking the language of accounting but among those that talk the talk, I’m very pleased that Barb and her staff continue to be recognized by their accounting peers for excellence in financial reporting.
In a region that extends all the way out to Youngstown there were only 9 cities/towns that received this national recognition. Keep up the great work!