Monday, October 15, 2018

Achievement of the Year

It has been an incredible honor for me to represent Porter County and local government as a recipient of a 2018 national award from the Association of Government Accountants. Here is the local announcement about this honor:

Porter County Auditor Urbanik receives national award

Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik is one of the 2018 national award recipients honored by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).

The just-released fall issue of the "Journal of Financial Management" highlights 14 of the government financial managers and accountants who received one of AGA’s national awards this year. The awards include the 2018 “Achievement of the Year Award” presented to Urbanik for enhancements made in the County Auditor's Office that improved financial management.
With the fall issue of the Journal.
The AGA awards program said Urbanik emphasizes ethics, internal controls, and collaboration and cited her work updating the county’s financial program and the fund numbering system for greater clarity and transparency.

“It is an incredible honor for me to represent Porter County as a recipient of this award,” Urbanik said. “This award truly is a credit to the dedicated and professional staff of the County Auditor’s Office as well as to the County Commissioners and County Council for their collaboration with our office.”

The AGA is a member organization for government financial management professionals at the federal, state, and local levels. For a full list of the 2018 national award recipients, see Urbanik, a CPA, is also a Certified Government Financial Manager, a professional credential awarded by the AGA.
Receiving the award at the AGA's Professional Development Training.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer Project Success!

Summertime is one of the busiest times in County Auditor offices. With careful planning and a teamwork approach, I'm pleased to say that we enjoyed tremendous success with our various summer projects this year. 

Budget changes: With the support of the County Council, this year we changed the way that most budgets are submitted in Porter County government. Rather than the old paper and email format, this year departments submitted their budgets directly in our updated financial software. This seemingly simple step eliminated the need for a second round of manual data entry -- saving time and money and enhancing efficiency!

TIFs: For the third year in a row, our office prepared the annual TIF reports in-house. Not only has this saved county taxpayers approximately $60,000 so far, but also, this project has enriched our analysis of the TIF values. I am proud to say we were able to submit our TIF reports 10 days earlier than last year.

CNAVs: The August 1 deadline for certifying net assessed values is a very tough deadline to meet, due to the workload involved and relatively short period of time to do it.  Our team rose to the challenge! We certified the NAVs on August 1, one of 28 counties that met this deadline. The CNAVs help determine the tax rates that you will pay on your 2019 tax bills.

Below is the state's budget status map, as of August 3.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Meet & Greet

Below are some scenes from our May 10 "Meet & Greet." This was a delightful event that brought together new and long-time friends and supporters. My deepest thanks to all who participated. I am humbled and honored to have your support in this election!

With two wonderful campaign supporters!
Our dessert bar included these awesome cookies prepared by Arleen's Sweet Treats!

Our event brought together some of the many volunteers who helped build the Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehab Center about 10 years ago.  It was "wild" reunion for us volunteers!

Love these campaign volunteers!

We received an Indiana Gaming Commission permit to allow us to hold a raffle at our event. I was proud to highlight locally owned and women-owned businesses in our raffle.                         
The most sought-after raffle prize was this blueberry cheesecake by Arleen's Sweet Treats.
With supporters, including Sylvia Graham of the Porter County Council.
Our dessert bar.

 Our eating utensils were biodegradable, made from recycled materials, and/or recyclable. Please recycle...for a better world.
Speech time.
Incredible volunteers!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Meet & Greet: May 10

Join us for a Candidate Meet & Greet from 5 to 7 p.m. at Nana Clare's Kitchen in Valparaiso. Our event will include a taco and nacho bar, a dessert bar with Arleen's Sweet Treats, and a raffle. Our event will be as environmentally friendly as possible, with all plates, forks, and drink cups made from recycled materials and/or biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable!

To get there: From Ind. 49, turn west on C.R. 500 N (Burlington Beach Road), then turn south at the light. Nana Clare's is located on the west side of the road,  a bit south of Flint Lake Elementary School and across the road from the north Valparaiso Social Security office.

About the raffle: We have received Indiana Gaming Commission CG-EN permit to host a raffle. The raffle will include the following items from local and women-owned businesses -- perfect for Mother's Day!

  • Flowers
  • Wine basket with wine bottle bag by Jaclyn Gray Design 
  •  Peace, Love, Pints® T-shirts and gifts by BrewNymph
  • Arleen's Sweet Treats: Blueberry Cheesecake
  • Eileen the Bra Lady EBW gift certificate
  • Jaclyn Gray Design cosmetics wrist purse
  • Soap basket and candle basket from Scented Seasons
  • Cat Box with items from Purrfectplay
  • Dog Basket with toys and treats
  • Massage gift certificate

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dear friends,

It has been an incredible honor to serve as your Porter County Auditor these past three years. When I was first elected, I promised to work full-time, devoting my energies every day toward making our Auditor's Office the most efficient, effective, and respected office possible. I hope I have earned your trust, and I ask for your support as I seek re-election as the county's chief accountant and fiscal officer.

As the first CPA to serve as Porter County Auditor, I know that solid accounting practices and strong internal controls are essential for proper fiscal management. I'm proud to say that my team and I have made significant accomplishments that have saved taxpayers' money, enhanced accountability and transparency, and helped get county government back on track fiscally.

Among our accomplishments, we:

  • Saved more than $1 million during my first term by eliminating costly contracts and taking on more work in-house despite a traditionally lower staff size.
  • Have a proven track record of completing projects on a timely basis without compromising quality. In fact, our most recent tax settlement was the earliest December distribution in at least 10 years!
  • Returned more than $480,000 to the county general fund through our in-house homestead compliance efforts.
  • Brought Porter County into the 21st century with a major upgrade of our financial system and long-overdue, and continuing, payroll enhancements.
  • Improved controls in payroll and federal grants reporting -- improvements that led state auditors to remove negative audit findings that plagued Porter County for years.
  • Launched a disabled veterans research project aimed at identifying disabled veterans eligible for a property tax deduction.
  • Made public outreach a top priority through efforts such as our Coffee with the Clerks, our Saving Money art contest for kids, informational brochures and fliers, public workshops, and an active webpage and Facebook page.
Though we have achieved much, there is more to do. And that's why I am seeking re-election this year -- to continue and expand the vital progress we have made protecting your tax dollars.

Thank you for visiting this site and I hope you will return as the campaign gets underway.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support this year.

Vicki Urbanik, CPA, CGFM
Porter County Auditor