logo

Vinson Fellow to Explore Government Fund Balance Management Practices

February 8, 2017 | Students

By Jennifer Hardister

Jennifer Hardister

Vinson Fellow to Explore Government Fund Balance Management Practices

It is an honor to be working at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government as a Vinson Fellow this semester. With the guidance of Institute faculty, I plan to research government financial management and accounting.

This past summer, my interest in government was sparked when I was able to intern at the Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington D.C. During my time there, I realized that I could pursue a career that would allow me to leverage my business education from the University of Georgia while serving the public. Having been involved in undergraduate research throughout my time at UGA, being able to conduct government accounting research through the Vinson Fellows program is an ideal intersection of my interests and aspirations.

I will be working with Institute faculty members Tracy Arner with the Institute’s Financial Management Program and Wes Clarke, a finance and economics specialist.

With their guidance, I will be investigating the use of fund balances in the state of Georgia. Fund balances are equity in governmental funds, and their increase or decrease over time is determined by the line governments walk between their revenues (e.g. from taxes or utilities) and expenditures (i.e. funds use to provide public services). The discretion regarding the use of these balances varies, making them an interesting policy issue that I am excited to research this semester.

I am only a month into my time at Carl Vinson, and it already has been such a privilege and a pleasure learning from experts in government financial management.


Jennifer is a junior from Dunwoody, majoring in accounting and international business with a certificate in personal and organizational leadership. At the University of Georgia, she is executive director of ServeUGA and junior coordinator of the Terry Women’s Initiative. This past summer she interned with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and she hopes to work in public service in the future.