City Earns Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for 27th Year

November 4, 2020

The City of Portsmouth has received two awards for exceptional financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the publication of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). The GFOA is a professional organization of public officials united to enhance and promote the professional management of governmental financial resources by identifying, developing and advancing fiscal strategies, policies and practices for the public benefit.

GFOA awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the City’s year ended June 30, 2019 CAFR. This marks the City’s 27th time receiving this award. The CAFR is an audited comprehensive financial statement that details the financial health of the City. In making the award, GFOA noted, “The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. Its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.”

GFOA also recognized the City for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting for the City’s year ended June 30, 2019 PAFR. This is the third time Portsmouth has received this award. The PAFR is a summarized report prepared specifically to help the average citizen better understand the City’s audited financial statements. The GFOA particularly noted the Finance Department’s narrative style in helping the community navigate the City’s financial and organizational operations.

The City’s CAFR and PAFR are prepared following the end of each fiscal year under the guidance of Finance Director Judie Belanger.

“It is always an honor to receive the CAFR award,” said Belanger. “However, I am especially pleased to receive the PAFR award for the third year in a row. This was an exciting report to create. We were able to take a very complex financial document and present it in a way that is both informative and easy to understand, while painting the picture of how the finances affect the City’s operations. The PAFR is, indeed, very popular and we continue to make it even more accessible with links on the website, each year.”

“I congratulate Finance Director Belanger and the Finance Department for these awards and thank them for their diligent and rigorous efforts on behalf of the City and our residents to manage Portsmouth’s finances and to make the financial reporting transparent and accessible,” said City Manager Karen Conard. “The GFOA reviews financial reporting from municipalities nationwide, so their recognition is valuable, not only in the abstract but as a measure of the reputation the City has for careful financial management. I am honored to be part of that proven process.”

The PAFR, CAFR and annual budget documents can be found on the Finance Department’s web page.