Institute recognizes Outstanding CPAs in Government


Marcia Buchanan, of Washington, received the Institute’s Outstanding CPA in Government Career Contribution Award. The award—which replaces the previous Outstanding CPA in Government Award—recognizes the significant contributions to the efficiency, effectiveness, or innovative service delivery of the government entities for which she has worked.

Buchanan recently retired as assistant director of government auditing standards on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) Financial Management and Assurance Team. She was responsible for maintaining, interpreting, and promoting Government Auditing Standards, commonly known as the “Yellow Book,” and served as a staff aide to the Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards. During her almost 40 years with the GAO, she gained extensive experience on issues such as financial audits, performance audits, audit quality, and single audits.

Also Jennifer Coleman, of New Orleans; Pamela Leary, of Juneau, Alaska; and Alfredo Riverol, of Miami, received the inaugural Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Awards.

The awards recognize CPAs working in federal, state, and local government who have contributed significantly to the increased efficiency and effectiveness of government organizations and to the growth and enhancement of the CPA. These awards focus on current or recent (within the last three to five years) accomplishments.

Coleman, who received the federal award, is the lead accountant/CPA at the U.S. Department of Energy. With 29 years of government services experience, she has held accounting roles in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the IRS, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more than 13 years, she has been facilitating college accounting classes and government training seminars to work with the accounting community and to keep up with government and accounting trends.

Leary, who received the state award, is the comptroller for the state of Alaska’s Department of Revenue, Treasury Division, and the deputy treasurer of the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank. She began her career as an auditor with Price Waterhouse and became a partner in the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, advising clients in various disciplines including securities litigation and bankruptcy.

Riverol, who received the local award, is CFO for the city of South Miami. During his three-year tenure with the city, Riverol has worked with the IRS and SEC to resolve preexisting issues on the city’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The latest CAFR had zero findings for the first time in the city’s recent history.

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