Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter recently attended the state’s first-ever Certified County Financial Officer (CCFO) program and, subsequently, became the first county mayor in Tennessee to earn the designation.
Three other officials from Putnam County also achieved certification in the same class: Debby Francis, Putnam County Budget Director; Mark McReynolds, Putnam County Schools Finance Director; and Chelsea Qualls, executive assistant to Porter.
“As the chief executive and financial officer of our county, I wanted to take this opportunity to continue learning as much as possible about achieving high standards in government finance,” said Porter, who also earned his Certified Public Administrator certification in 2017. “Things constantly change, so staying on top of those changes is very important to me.”
The CCFO program was developed by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury and the University of Tennessee’s County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) to provide county financial officers the opportunity to enhance their skills in carrying out the fiscal responsibilities of their job. CTAS administers the educational program, including the testing requirements, and the Comptroller’s office is the official certification authority.
The program consists of 11 different areas of emphasis, such as county budgeting, governmental accounting, financial reporting, debt and cash management, purchasing, and payroll.
Participants must pass each section of the year-long class to achieve certification. Upon successfully completing the class, officials maintain certification by taking at least 16 hours of continuing education in accounting and finance each year.