Discussion Over a Financial Graph

Top Call to Action Icon - default
Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports
View the County audit
Top Call to Action Icon - default
Become a Vendor
Learn how to become a Cabarrus County vendor
Top Call to Action Icon - default
Purchasing and Contract Postings
View RFQs, RFPs and IFBs

The Finance Department is responsible for maintaining Cabarrus County's accounting and reporting system in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The department provides critical information for both financial and strategic planning at all levels of management. It records the receipt and disbursement of County funds, as set forth in the budget ordinance and NC General Statutes.

An integral part of the department's function involves managing cash to maximize investment income while still meeting the organization's cash flow needs. The department also manages capital assets, debt, grants and payroll.

FY22 Major Accomplishments

  • Cabarrus County Government earned the distinction of a triple-A rating by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service - two of three national bond rating agencies. This is the first time in history the County achieved triple-A status. Cabarrus also maintained its AA+ rating with S&P Global Ratings.
  • The Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the year ending June 30, 2021, was issued and Martin Starnes and Associates, a firm of licensed Certified Public Accountants, concluded that the County’s financial statements were presented fairly in all material respects with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • Received the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 36th consecutive year for the June 30, 2020, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
  • Completed issuance of $113 million in Limited Obligation Bonds and opened another two-year draw program to complete the construction of the courthouse and middle school. The new two-year draw program will also fund the new Emergency Management Headquarters, McAllister Elementary School, and multiple deferred maintenance projects for Cabarrus County Schools.
  • Continued updates to the new vendor authentication process with a third-party vendor to automate and revise the process.
  • Redesigned and reformatted the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) to create a report that is easy to read and understand.
  • Hired an outside audit firm to review internal controls and assist with creating, revising, and implementing policies and procedures.
  • Fully staffed to address the issues of internal controls and segregation of duties.

FY23 Major Challenges and Trends

The listed challenges and trends were identified May 2022
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) pronouncement implementation of Leases (GASB 87). The County is working with an accounting firm as well as implementing new software to manage the new standard.
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) pronouncement fiduciary activities implementation of Leases (GASB 84). The County will need to budget two additional special revenue funds to implement this GASB pronouncement. 
  • Increased dependence on technology. 
  • Challenge: So reliant on technology, it can be difficult when technology is down or when an upgrade compromises the integrity of the data. 
  • Challenge: Revising and implementing forms. 
  • Trend: Helps streamline processes to become more efficient.  
  • Working with schools and County departments to provide for capital needs in a timely manner. 
  • Maintaining segregation of duties and internal control to properly account for and secure County assets. 
  • COVID-19 - coordinating limited staff in office and working remotely.
  • Interest rates and maximizing investment opportunities.
  • Streamlining, transparency, internal controls, and oversight of Federal and State grants allocated due to the COVID-19 crisis.

General Obligation Bond Ratings

Chart showing Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Rating Agency showing our ratings over the last three years

A bond rating performs the isolated function of credit risk evaluation. There are three major rating agencies for municipal bonds: Moody's Investors Service, S&P Global (formerly Standard & Poor's) and Fitch Ratings. “AAA” - Issuers or issues rated AAA demonstrate the strongest creditworthiness relative to other US municipal or tax-exempt issuers or issues. “Aa” - Issuers or issues rated Aa demonstrate very strong creditworthiness relative to other US municipal or tax-exempt issuers or issues. Bonds in the Aa, A, and Baa are also assigned "1", "2" or "3" based on the strength of the issue within each category. Accordingly, "A1" would be the strongest group of A securities and "A3" would be the weakest A securities. S&P's ratings are similar except that all letters are capital letter and ratings within a rating category are assigned a "+" for the strongest credits within a group or "-" for the weakest credits within a group.