The certificate represents a significant accomplishment for the Bradley County Finance Department and Finance Director Lynn Burns. The head of GFOA, Stephen Gauthier, said Bradley County was presented the award following our annual audit and demonstrates a “spirit of full disclosure” by the Finance Department.
Each year Lynn and her staff prepare a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report which explains the Bradley County budget in detail. The Tennessee Comptroller’s office spends about four to five months in the finance director’s offices pouring over the county’s financial records. As in years past, the comptroller’s report pronounced Bradley County to be in good financial condition with no major findings. The independent auditor concluded, based upon the audit, that “there was a reasonable basis for rendering an unqualified opinion (or a ‘clean audit’) for the county’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011.” The audit also concluded the financial statements “are fairly presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.” The report confirms that Bradley County qualified as a low-risk auditee.
It is good to have independent confirmation from two different sources that Bradley County’s finances are in good shape. This is reflected in excellent bond ratings of Aa2 and AA- from Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s. Moody’s cited, among other things, the county's solid financial position with a history of conservative budgeting of revenues and expenses, sizable Debt Service Fund reserves, stable tax base and a manageable debt burden.
The independent audit involves examining evidence that supports the amounts and disclosures in the county’s financial statements. It assesses our accounting principles as well as the significant revenue estimates made by my office and the Finance Department, and evaluates the overall financial statement presentations. The auditor’s goal is to provide reasonable assurance that the financial statements of Bradley County are true and transparent.
As county mayor, I am very pleased with both the auditor’s report and the Certificate of Achievement. They confirm that Bradley County’s accounting and reporting standards are current and something to be proud of as we continue to correct deficiencies and tighten our controls.
I want to commend County Finance Director Lynn Burns and her staff for a job well done. The Certificate of Achievement is well deserved and Bradley County taxpayers should rest easy knowing that you have a staff of dedicated public servants looking after your money.
I am proud of the financial position Bradley County is in as we continue to weather the nation’s economic storm. We have tremendous resources, the right location, good schools and some of the world’s greatest people. By working together we will continue to lay out a road map for our community’s future.
A copy of the audit can be downloaded from the county’s website at www.bradleyco.net. Click on the “Departments” tab, then click on “Accounting.” You will see an “Audit” link on the left side of the screen. A copy of the county budget can also be viewed or downloaded by clicking the “Budget” link.
The audit is also available on the state’s website at http://www.comptroller1.state.tn.us/repository/CA/2011/Bradley.pdf.