The City of Arkadelphia is proud to announce City Treasurer Shacresha Wilson is the Arkansas Government Finance Officers Association’s (AGFOA) 2023 Finance Officer of the Year.
Wilson received the award at AGFOA’s annual conference earlier this month. Nominated by staff member Chama Williams, Wilson was awarded the honor due to her efforts to move the finance department and the City of Arkadelphia forward.
“I always set three major goals for the finance department every year,” Wilson said. “One to better the lives of our employees, one for the betterment of our residents and one for the administrative staff. It’s been a great way for me to make sure we’re on track and moving in the right direction.”
Wilson was appointed to City Treasurer in 2020. Over the past three years, she has implemented a direct deposit payment system for staff, made it possible for the city to accept debit/credit card payments from residents and vendors and successfully achieved three zero-finding legislative audits.
“Every year by law, each city is required to have an audit of some sort,” Wilson said. “My goal every year is to make sure our audit is pristine and the only way you can do that is to have zero findings. That means there are no errors in violation of policy, law or accounting. We’ve achieved that goal three consecutive times now.”
Wilson is currently working to transition the city to a new financial software. The Board of Directors approved a new accounting software package from Tyler Technologies earlier this year. Wilson’s goal is to fully transition the city to the new software by the second quarter of 2024.
“It’s just like a pair of shoes,” Wilson said. “When your feet grow, you have to change and get a new pair. If you don’t, you’re not going to be able to get as far as you could because your feet hurt. Tyler Technologies is that for us. It’s a new pair of shoes we can fit and grow with.”
Wilson went on to describe how impactful Tyler Technologies will be for the city. In addition to consolidating all of the software packages and systems currently in place, the new software will give all department heads access to their financial records in real-time.
“It sounds silly, but for our department heads, not having to take 30-45 minutes of their day to leave their office, drive over here, tell us what they need, wait for us to pull it up and drive back to contact the vendor or whoever they’re talking to – That’s going to save us so much time and make everyone more efficient,” Wilson said. “Now, when they come to Town Hall, we can focus solely on their projects and progress. It’s really exciting!”
While this award reflects all of the progress Wilson has made for the City of Arkadelphia’s finance department, Wilson says there is another achievement tied to the award many will not see.
“Being nominated by Chama meant the world,” Wilson said. “The president [of AGFOA] pulled me aside after the presentation to let me know she has never seen an employee nominate their boss before. It just reassured me I am doing my job from a management standpoint. It made the award that much more special.”
According to Wilson, her biggest goal is to be a good boss and to provide a healthy work environment for her employees. She describes her relationship with Williams as a partnership and says this award is just as much about her department as it is about herself.
“I know this award is about me, but it’s really about my department,” Wilson said. “Chama has so much knowledge about this city and passion for this city. She wears more hats than her title reflects. She is the face of the finance department for dozens of our employees. Her excellent work ethic and thoughtfulness allow me to excel in my role. I know without a doubt I would not have received this award without her.”
The City of Arkadelphia is looking to expand its finance department. To learn more about job opportunities with the City of Arkadelphia, click here.