For the First Time Receives the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
Burlington, VT – Mayor Weinberger today announced that the City of Burlington has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. This is the first time in Burlington’s history the City has achieved such an award. St. Albans is the only other Vermont city to achieve this award (in 2016), and Burlington is being added to the list for calendar year 2017.
The CAFR confirms the City’s goal of fiscal responsibility to Burlington taxpayers and ratepayers. It showcases the City’s commitment to ensure professional stewardship of revenues and expenses, as well as the City’s focus on reliability, timeliness, transparency, and accuracy of its financial reporting.
“Being recognized by the GFOA is a significant accomplishment for the City of Burlington, and is a true testament to the talent and commitment of the accounting, finance, and the management team,” said City of Burlington Director of Financial Operations Rich Goodwin.
“The diligent work of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office team, as well as the commitment of staff throughout the City, led to this award and recognition,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “This is another indication of the growing strength of our City’s financial management, and an important marker for those evaluating the City’s credit rating.”
Receiving the CAFR can contribute to the City achieving a higher credit rating. Credit rating increases can result in the City borrowing at lower, more advantageous interest rates that help reduce taxpayer costs. The CAFR is also a signal for City underwriters and the buyers of Burlington bonds about the strength of investments in the City, helping to continue a strong market for City bonds.
It is also a common practice that Moody’s recognizes and lists CAFR awards on rating reports, as it demonstrates strong financial management and a commitment to meeting the standards set by the GFOA. The City’s Moody’s credit rating has steadily increased over the past five years, with the City achieving an A3 rating and positive outlook in Moody’s April 12, 2017 report.
GFOA and the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
The Government Finance Officers Association, which provides the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, is a major professional association servicing the needs of nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. The mission of GFOA is to promote excellence in state and local government reporting.
The CAFR is judged by an impartial panel that is charged with identifying entities that meet strict criteria set forth by the program, such as demonstrating a constructive “spirit of disclosure” by clearly communicating a city’s financial story and motivating potential users and user groups to read the CAFR. The national professional organization awards its annual Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to government organizations exceeding the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles in annual financial reports. The certificate also recognizes success in achieving transparency and disclosure in financial reporting.