TAHLEQUAH, OK – For the 21st straight year, Cherokee Nation has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. The award was established in 1945 in order to encourage state and local governments to prepare annual financial reports with complete transparency. It is the highest honor given in governmental accounting and financial reporting.
“It continues to be an honor for Cherokee Nation to be recognized for the exceptional financial reporting carried out by our Financial Resources department,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This award is a welcomed reminder that the processes the Cherokee Nation goes through in order to ensure financial transparency and accountability are working. Our financial resources team has done a remarkable job in how they have managed the Cherokee Nation’s budgets amidst the added workload of the Nation’s COVID-19 Respond, Recover, and Rebuild relief programs as well as the American Rescue Plan funds. In such historic times, they have never wavered in their responsibilities and this award once again attests that our financial resources department is the best in the United States.”
To earn this award, the Cherokee Nation’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for the 2021 fiscal year was judged by an impartial panel, which determined the report demonstrated full disclosure and clearly communicated its financial story.
“Cherokee Nation has a Financial Resources team that goes above and beyond to make sure the funds the Cherokee Nation is entrusted with are spent appropriately,” said Janees Taylor, Cherokee Nation Treasurer. “We go to great lengths to properly account for and document all of our funding. In 2021, our budget was comprised of not only our regular funding but also the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and American Rescue Plan funds, increasing reporting requirements and significantly increasing transactions. I am proud of the work the Financial Resources team does every day. The Cherokee people deserve no less than this level of dedication.”
Cherokee Nation was also awarded the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award for the tribe’s condensed version of the annual comprehensive financial report put in an easy to read format for non-accountants.
The Government Finance Officers Association was founded in 1906 and represents more than 21,000 members that are federal, state and local finance officials. The association’s mission is to advance excellence in public finance.
The Cherokee Nation Constitution requires an annual audit of the financial statements by a Certified Public Accountant be completed and presented to the Council of the Cherokee Nation within six months following the end of each fiscal year. The Cherokee Nation has received clean, unmodified audit opinions every year for 21 years.
Since 2013, the Cherokee Nation has also undergone more than 100 federal agency audits, which have shown that the Cherokee Nation has a 99.999 percent success rate for properly spending and accounting for its federal funding.