May 19, 2017 | Spotlight

Government finance officers successfully complete Institute training

Government finance officers successfully complete Institute training

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Nearly two dozen local officials with city and county governments and public schools attained Local Finance Officer Certification in the first quarter of 2017 through the Institute of Government’s financial management training program.

Twenty-one finance officers gained certification in the first quarter by successfully completing courses such as payroll administration, governmental accounting principles and internal controls. Twelve earned Level I certificates and nine attained Level II status. The certification recognizes the officers’ commitment to professional development in local government finance, accounting, budgeting and more.

Level I certification requires finance officers to complete 108 hours of instruction about 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.

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 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 1,500 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, January-March 2017

Level I

Ashley Cason, City of Thomasville

Mechelle Champion, City of Dalton

Brenda Ellison, City of Glennville

Russell Knick, Gwinnett County Fire & Emergency Services

Connie Ponder, Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office

Michael Poole, Gwinnett County Government

Beverly Pullian, City of Royston

Taryn Roberson, Randolph County Board of Commissioners

Aly Rozier, Bleckley County Board of Education

Emma Sapp, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Ashley Taylor, City of Douglasville

Leslie Williams, City of Sandersville


Level II

Karen Austin, City of Fayetteville

Lisa Ballouk, Gwinnett County Government

Traci Bussey, Lincoln County Board of Commissioners

Elizabeth Covington, Dawson County Schools

Deirdre Diggs, Gwinnett County Government

Mike Fuller, City of Calhoun

Kristan Giunta, Gwinnett County Senior Services

Jonathan Hansard, Gwinnett County Government

Paula Renee', DeKalb County Board of Health