TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — For the 20th straight year, Cherokee Nation has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association.

The Certificate of Achievement 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 is no surprise that the Cherokee Nation, which has long had a reputation for being good stewards of our finances, has received this award for two decades. It continues to be an honor for Cherokee Nation to be recognized for the exceptional financial reporting carried out by our financial resources department,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We are proud of their commitment to being good stewards of our finances, even more so during these past few years when they have faced the added workload caused by the Cherokee Nation’s COVID-19 Respond, Recover and Rebuild relief funding. They have never wavered in their responsibilities and this award once again confirms that they are among the best not just in Indian Country, but across the United States.”

To earn this award, the Cherokee Nation’s annual comprehensive financial report for the 2020 fiscal year was judged by an impartial panel, which determined the report demonstrated full disclosure and clearly communicated its financial story.

“Our financial resources team is absolutely remarkable in how they manage the historic Cherokee Nation budgets year after year. The processes and the scrutiny that the tribe’s financial reporting goes through is a challenge, but they are a critical process of being transparent and accountable to the Cherokee people,” said Cherokee Nation Treasurer Janees Taylor. “This award is a welcome reminder that the strenuous controls we rely on are working.”

The GFOA was founded in 1906 and represents more than 20,000 members that are federal, state and local finance officials. GFOA’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 more than 20 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.