Lauren Bierly, Accountant/Auditor for Montgomery County, receives the 2020 MDGFOA Lloyd Jones Scholarship Award

Lauren did not take the normal route to become an accountant. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Juniata College and a Masters of Science in Geology from Purdue University. After working in the geology field, Lauren then obtained a Masters in Accountancy from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She then obtained her CPA. From 2012 until November 2019, Lauren worked as a staff and senior accountant for Lydon Fetterolf Corydon P.A. where she completed financial statement audits for non-profit organizations; completed accounting services including payroll, monthly financial statements and weekly cash disbursements for various entities and prepared tax returns for individual, corporations, partnerships and exempt organizations.

Lauren joined the County in November 2019 and is assigned to the Cash Management Team where she is responsible for the_daily
reconciliation of the accounts payable disbursement accounts, payroll disbursement accounts, and the purchasing card single use account.
Though bank reconciliations are sometimes perceived as “easy”, it is difficult at the County as_we have a multitude of payment methods
(ACH, wire, checks, SUA, etc.) and transactions. On average, the total number and amount of monthly transactions are: 220 transactions
for $90.5 million in payroll transaction; 4,510 transactions for $1.06 billion in AP disbursement transactions and 370 transactions for $2.4 million

in SUA transactions. Lauren reconciles these accounts daily but provides a monthly reconciliation to the bank statement and _for formal
approval on a monthly basis.

In addition to the daily cash reconciliations, Lauren has been tasked with completing biweekly payroll and retirement liability account

reconciliations. These reconciliations compares the payroll module to the accounts payable module and the general ledger to ensure all
transactions have been properly reflected. Further, she researches and resolves reconciling items on a timely basis. Lauren is_also assigned
the payroll costing, payment costing and labor distribution process on a biweekly basis for the_active payroll and the retiree payroll. This
requires a detail understanding of the Oracle system, the payroll process, and how transactions and payroll costs are allocated to projects
and grants within the general ledger. In the short time that she has been with the County, Lauren has been able to master al_l of these tasks and has cross-trained with her co-worker to learn how to reconcile all deposit bank accounts on a daily basis.

Lauren has been a great asset to the County in the short time that she has been with the County. She has quickly learned her assigned
tasks, asked very detailed and_thought out questions and has _suggested recommendations for_areas of improvement to enhance processes
and internal controls. Finally, Lauren was a great asset at the_end of the CAFR process in reviewing the draft CAFR’s, providing comments,
and ensuring that the CAFR met the requirements of the GFOA Checklist.

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