Rocky Top awarded Excellence in Finance

Facing considerable challenges concerning municipal audits and city finances, the city of Rocky Top’s staff decided the best way to tackle these issues was head-on and with hard work and determination.

In recognition of the concerted efforts made by city officials to improve its financial standing and address past issues with audits, the Tennessee Municipal League is pleased to present Rocky Top with an award for Excellence in Finance.

In the past five years, officials with the city of Rocky Top have taken their municipal audits from repeat findings showing “a lack of financial oversight” to an audit with no findings in 2020. Additionally, the city filed both its fiscal year 2019 and 2020 audits on time with the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, a marked improvement from previous years in which the office reported audits were filed an average of 123 days late. The Comptroller’s Office also reported that Rocky Top has reduced the time it takes to submit its annual budget from 109 days down to only 27 days.

City officials worked hard to bring Rocky Top’s bookkeeping practices up to par, correcting accounting inconsistences and issues. For the first time, the city of Rocky Top is also pursuing the Government Finance Officer Association’s prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award, an honor that only about 30 cities and counties in Tennessee receive.

The city of Rocky Top is also in compliance with the state’s CMFO Act, with one current CMFO employed by the city and another CMFO in training.
Beyond municipal audits, the city of Rocky Top has also reduced its debt and since 2017 has seen its cash-on-hand position improve from 15% to 28% of annual revenues. City staff have worked hard and diligently to improve the city’s financial situation in all areas.