August 27, 2010 - The City of Knoxville has received the Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Fiscal Year ending on June 30, 2009.
The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) - a nonprofit professional organization serving more than 16,000 government financial professionals in the two countries.
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (or CAFR) is an inclusive report at the city's financial condition that includes a discussion of the financial results for the previous year and the city's budgetary performance.
This marks the 23rd consecutive year that the City of Knoxville has received the award.
"The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting," according to the GFOA, "and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management."
The award is given to government entities ranging from city, county and state governments to school systems, utilities, housing authorities, public employee retirement boards and airport authorities among others.
"This recognition has become an annual tradition for the city but it's never something we take for granted," said Mayor Bill Haslam. "We're very pleased to be recognized by the GFOA because it's important for us to clearly reflect how the city is using taxpayer resources."
The recipients have to demonstrate high standards in financial reporting including clearly communicating a government's financial picture to citizens and doing that in a spirit of full disclosure among other requirements. An impartial board selects the recipients of the award.
"It's important in the sense that it says we do a pretty good job of accurately portraying the financial status of the city," said Jim York, director of the city's Finance Department, "and we've met certain standards in doing that."
The goal of the award program is to promote high quality financial reporting and, according to the GFOA, governments of all sizes participate in it.
The City of Knoxville has also received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 22 consecutive years for its annual operating budgets. Only two other city governments in Tennessee have longer streaks for receiving the award.
The difference between the operating budget and the comprehensive annual financial reports is that the budget document outlines how the city plans to spend funds during the upcoming - while the CAFR details what it actually did.
Knoxville is one of only 16 governing bodies in Tennessee to receive both the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting during the past year.