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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, marking the 22nd year in a row in which Carolina received this award. The certificate, presented by The Government Finance Officers Association of The United States and Canada, was established in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and show the spirit of transparency and full disclosure in their financial reports. It is considered the highest form of recognition given to governmental accounting and financial reporting.

“I am delighted that Carolina continues to achieve this prestigious mark of financial reporting,” said Aimee Turner, Executive Director of Enterprise Financial Accounting and University Controller, who led the project. “We set a high standard, which wouldn’t be possible without committed teamwork from several layers within the department of Finance, but also from the many units across the campus that supplied the information for the report. In addition, our creative and communications staff helped us place the financial story in the context of the overall vision of the university. I appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into this effort.”

The 2016 Annual Report detailed Carolina’s net position of $4.6 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, reflecting items such as investments, capital assets, liabilities, operating revenue, operating expenses, and other non-operating revenue and expenses. It also contained disclosures regarding investments, debt, revenues and expenses. This data-driven publication provided accurate and obtainable information within the context of the overall mission and goals of the university in an elegant and easy-to-read presentation.

As stated in the 2016 Annual Report, the University is responsible for controlling its budget and using the funds to fulfill its educational, research, and public service missions. It is also responsible for planning, developing and controlling budgets and expenditures within authorized allocations in accordance with the University, state and federal policy procedures. Chancellor Carol Folt underscored the challenges of the Carolina budget in her opening message for the 2016 Annual Report: “Our goal is to provide the most affordable education and best value for our students, align with the UNC system strategy plan, anticipate opportunities and challenges for financial sustainability, prepare for changes in higher education yet to come and provide a foundation for a comprehensive capital campaign.”

The Finance Division is largely responsible for the yearly report, but many University offices contribute to the final product.

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