May 16, 2014 | Spotlight

Local Officials Learn Sound Financial Management Practices through Certificate Program

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Local officials from throughout Georgia achieved Local Finance Officer Certification in the first quarter of 2014 for strengthening their management knowledge through a financial management training program offered by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Twenty finance officers attained certification by taking courses in payroll administration, governmental accounting principles, internal controls, and more. Three earned Level II certificates, and 17 attained Level I status.

Level I certification requires finance officers to participate in 108 hours of instruction covering the intricacies of government budgeting, purchasing, accounting, and other public finance topics. 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.

Local finance officers now can take all seven Level I courses online, making this Georgia's only online program focusing on local government finance.

The Institute of Government's local financial management training program provides city and county 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 1,200 local finance officers and others have graduated with certificates and almost 3,000 have received training.

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

Graduates, January-March 2014

Level I Certified Finance Officer

Donna Ballard, Rockdale County Government
Melody Barnes, City of Fairburn
Wendy Bond, City of Winterville
Zontavious Ford, City of Port Wentworth
Ryan Luckett, City of Roswell
Tracy Miles, City of Albany
Annie Mitchell, City of Flovilla
Deborah Mooney, Jackson County Board of Commissioners
Melanie Owen, Barrow County Board of Commissioners
Denyse Perez, Gwinnett County Water Resources
Melissa Ridley, City of Bloomingdale
Margaret Shelley, City of Vienna
April Walker, Solid Waste Management Authority
Bonnie Warne, City of Dawsonville
Wendy Weathers, City of Fairburn
John Wiggins, City of East Point
Nikki Wilson, City of Forest Park

Level II

Narender Bhardwaj, City of Macon
Cindy Light, City of Peachtree City
Whit Long, Meriwether County Board of Commissioners