FOLEY – A rare “triple crown” of major financial reporting awards has gone to the city of Foley for the third consecutive year.

The Government Finance Officers Association presented its Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting, known as the PAFR Award, to Foley. The award recognized Foley’s Popular Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2021.

Miranda Bell, Foley accounting supervisor, said the city’s PARF report breaks down complicated financial reports to allow residents to understand where city revenue comes from and how the money is spent.

“It essentially takes all of the information from our big, comprehensive annual financial report and condenses down to this 10 page, much more understandable, user-friendly report,” Bell said.

She said Foley is one of the few agencies in Alabama to receive all three awards from the GFOA.

“There’s three awards that the GFOA offers for financial reporting,” Bell said. “It’s for our audit. Then the popular annual report and then the budget. There’re only, I believe, five cities and counties in Alabama that receive all three and we have received the triple crown three years in a row. And we’ve applied for them again this year. So it’s a pretty big deal that we received them.”

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the awards show how well Foley city employees do the job of financial planning and reporting.

“I think that shows the quality of our staff and how everybody works so well together,” Hellmich said. “It’s very much appreciated, because it shows transparency and consistency. Having a report like this that breaks down those numbers is really a good piece of information to have.”

A statement from the GFOA said the PARF award represents a significant achievement by Foley. To be eligible for the award, a government agency must also submit its annual comprehensive financial report to GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program. 

Each eligible report is reviewed by judges who evaluate the report based on the reader appeal,understandability, distribution methods, creativity and other elements.

Foley has already received the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2021. This was the ninth consecutive year that Foley received the prestigious award. 

The GFOA also awarded a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to Foley for its fiscal year 2022 budget. Foley has received the award three previous years. 

The city has also submitted the fiscal year 2023 budget for consideration. 

At the start of the 2023 fiscal year, Foley’s governmental funds reflected a combined fund balance of more than $60.78 million. That was an increase of almost $23.5 million from the previous fiscal year. Revenues and expenditures increased in fiscal year 2022 as a result of increased grants, sales and use taxes, licenses and permits, as well as Hurricane Sally recovery, according to the PARF report.