OSU attracts tribal reps to finance, accounting training

BY STAFF REPORTS
12/13/2018 08:15 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation employees Loretta Keener, accounting/finance supervisor, and Kristen Mankiller, contract specialist, hold certificates after recently partaking in a pilot program at Oklahoma State University that assists Native American tribes with accounting and finance training. The 28-hour pilot program is an effort of the OSU Spears School of Business and the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium and the Native American Finance Officers Association. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
STILLWATER – Oklahoma State University recently kicked off a pilot program that will assist Native American tribes throughout the state with tribal accounting and finance training.

Cherokee Nation employees Loretta Keener, accounting/finance supervisor, and Kristen Mankiller, contract specialist, recently took part in the program.

“This introductory program is an excellent tool for any finance staff looking to expand tribal accounting knowledge,” Keener said. “It provides a variety of training that directly impact tribal government programs. I highly recommend this training to anyone beginning a tribal finance career or to anyone interested in tribal governmental accounting.”

The 28-hour pilot program attracted 20 participants representing 10 tribes or organizations, including the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Bank2, Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Delaware Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Osage Nation and Wichita & Affiliated Tribes.

“The certificate program was absolutely valuable. Employees and leaders who participate in the training will bring back beneficial governmental accounting information to their tribe,” Mankiller said. “It’s wonderful that Indian Country has this educational resource available for tribal finance and accounting.”

The program is an effort of the OSU Spears School of Business and the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium and the Native American Finance Officers Association and is sponsored by the OSU School of Accounting and the Department of Finance.

“The program was created to address financial education needs expressed by the 38 tribal nations who are members of the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium,” Victor Flores, president of the group, said. “The purpose of this program is to strengthen the financial acumen of tribal leaders and tribal employees, which in turn advances tribal nation economics and strengthens tribal finance. Members of the OKTFC worked with the OSU Spears School of Business and NAFOA to develop this program tailored to Oklahoma tribal nations and specific to the needs voiced by our membership.”

Program subjects addressed federal Indian law, tribal government accounting and finance, grant practices and compliance, internal controls and compliance, fraud protection, government accounting, auditing procedures and regulations, preparing for an audit, tribal financial statements, effective record keeping, tax guide, cost principles, federal general uniform administrative requirements, closing out grants, ethics, indirect cost calculation, schedule of expenditures of federal awards and preparing budgets.

“The topics included in the program are relevant and are designed to assist entry level finance and accounting personnel as well as those leaders interested in the area of tribal government who would like to learn more about accounting and finance for governmental tribal practices,” Rachel Domnick, OSU School of Accounting instructor and program facilitator, said.

Beyond the introductory program, participants can apply to be a graduate of the OSU Tribal Institute. To be a graduate of the OSU Tribal Institute participants will complete the Introductory Tribal Finance and Accounting Certificate Program (four days, 28 hours) and the Tribal Leadership Certificate Program (four days, 24 hours).

Also, an Intermediate Tribal Finance and Accounting Certificate Program will be announced soon. For more information, see www.cepd.okstate.edu or call 405-744-5208.

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