Chiquita Barkley, the Butts County controller, recently earned local finance officer certification through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s financial management training program.

Barkley, who works for the Butts County Board of Commissioners, was recognized with Level I certification for pursuing education in governmental finance, accounting, budgeting and other areas.

Level I certification requires finance officers to participate in 108 hours of instruction about the intricacies of government budgeting, purchasing, accounting and other public finance topics. Level II certified financial officers receive an additional 84 hours of instruction in intermediate governmental accounting and budgeting principles, internal controls and revenue administration, as well as public finance electives.

Forty-one local officials from around the state earned their Level I or Level II local finance officer certification in the second quarter through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

“These community leaders strengthened the skills they need to maintain sound accounting practices and build strong financial foundations for their governments,” said Tracy Arner, the institute’s financial management training program manager.

Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than 1,400 local finance officers and others have graduated with certificates and more than 3,200 have received training. The Carl Vinson Institute also works with state financial officers through the state financial management program.

“Earning certification shows that these finance officials are committed to continually improving their skills and makes them better equipped to help their local government operate more effectively,” said Carl Vinson Institute Director Laura Meadows.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a public service unit of the University of Georgia that conducts training, technical assistance and research to help state and local government operations.