April 10, 2017 | Spotlight

Government finance officers earn certification through Institute training

Government finance officers earn certification through Institute training

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Finance officers with government agencies from across Georgia were recognized recently for attaining Local Finance Officer Certification in the fourth quarter of 2016 through a financial management training program offered by the Institute of Government.

The certification recognizes 17 local government finance officers’ commitment to continuing education in governmental finance, accounting, budgeting, and more. Officers with city governments, county governments, police and fire agencies and school districts earned certification. Twelve officers earned Level I certificates, and five attained Level II status.

Level I certification requires finance officers to successfully complete 108 hours of instruction covering topics such as government budgeting, purchasing, accounting, and other public finance issues. Level II Certified Financial Officers receive an additional 84 hours of instruction in intermediate governmental accounting and budgeting principles, internal controls, and revenue administration as well as public finance electives.

Finance officers now can take all seven Level I courses online, making this Georgia’s only online program focusing on local government finance. The entire Level II curriculum is expected to be available online this year.

The Institute’s local financial management training program provides local government officials with the information and tools they need to establish sound accounting practices and strong financial foundations in their governments. Since the program's inception in 1972, more than 1,500 local finance officers and others have graduated with certificates and almost 3,700 have received training.

The Institute also works with state financial officers through the state financial management program.


Graduates, October–December 2016

Level I Certified Finance Officer

Brandon Braddy, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners

Lauren Gamel, Gwinnett County Fire & Emergency Services

Eric Griffin, Athens-Clarke County Government

Cynthia Howard, Atlanta Public Schools

Matthew Justus, Athens-Clarke County Government

Jan Smith, City of Adairsville

Wanda Stewart, Screven County Board of Commissioners

Hadassa Villafana, City of Port Wentworth

DeNise Walker, City of Johns Creek

Joseph Weatherford, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Audrey Wilkerson, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Robin Wilson, City of Atlanta


Level II Certified Finance Officer

Sara Berube, Gwinnett County Fire & Emergency Services

Melinda Crook, City of Blakely

Eric Harris, Gwinnett County Government

Deborah Mooney, Jackson County Board of Commissioners

Crystal Young, Gwinnett County Police