Tony Zerrilla (left), the director of financial services for Botetourt County, was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. Gary Larrowe (right), the county administrator, provided a few words about the certificate during the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Photo by Aila Boyd

By Aila Boyd

During the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday it was announced that the county and Tony Zerrilla, the county’s director of financial services, recently received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. This year marks the 13th consecutive year that the county has received the award.

“Finances impact every aspect of operations, and we want to make sure that our citizens have the best tools available to understand the county’s financial position,” said Zerrilla. “This award is a team effort and recognizes our efforts for transparent government.”

Zerrilla stressed that the work that is done by his department is a team effort and that it can’t be done by just one person. All of the other county departments are to thank as well because of their accuracy, he said.

Throughout the years, Zerrilla said, the page count for the county’s financial report has significantly grown. When the county received its first award, the report was 91 pages. Now, it’s 200 pages in length. “It’s not fluff,” he said. “If you look at it you can appreciate for all work that goes into it.”

Gary Larrowe, the county administrator, said that he admires the hard work that Zerrilla does and the long hours that he works. “We really appreciate the work that Tony does and the way that he does it,” he said.

Chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors said to Zerrilla, “We certainly appreciate all that you do.”

“The county’s financial services director and staff along with county administration, the treasurer’s office and School Board staff have always been committed to providing timely and accurate financial information and this award affirms and recognizes their efforts,” said Corbin Stone of Robinson Farmer Cox Associates, the county’s auditor. “Simply put, this award is well deserved.”

The award was based on the county’s 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which was judged by an impartial panel. It was noted as demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” in order to effectively communicate its financial story.

It was noted that the certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program was established by the Government Finance Officers Association in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves.