Betty Burrell, Director of Finance, Albemarle County
Your job title is Director of Finance. What, in your own words, would you say you do?
My job is multi-faceted, overseeing several different financial and accounting functions. Our team is responsible for processing payroll for Albemarle County’s local government and school employees; procuring the goods and services for those entities and several others; processing accounts payable, that is, paying the County’s bills, including our bonded debt payments; assessing and collecting local taxes (similar to other localities’ elected Treasurers and Commissioners of the Revenue), including real estate, personal property, and business taxes; managing our financial systems; providing risk management services; preparing revenue and economic forecasts and analysis; managing our cash, investments, and banking relationships; accounting; and, quarterly and annual financial report preparation.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part of my job is trying to find ways for our team to work more efficiently, wringing out as much value from our processes as we can.
The most difficult part of my job is trying to explain to some customers why we enforce the laws, rules, regulations, and policies that govern our operations, particularly when we collect delinquent taxes.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
Finance, in one way or another, touches every person in Albemarle County. We pay the school teachers, firefighters, and police officers. We assess and collect taxes and revenue from every property owner. We provide financial oversight that helps to ensure the lowest borrowing costs by maintaining the County’s Triple AAA credit rating, which saves taxpayers’ money for many years.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the County?
We successfully implemented a new revenue administration system. It was a project that required an enormous amount of effort, dedication, and patience by many people. I’m very proud of our team’s results. My role of Project Champion and “cheerleader” was minor in comparison to the devotion to excellence demonstrated on a daily basis by the project team members as well as IT and Finance employees.
What is a little-known fact about you?
One of the most thrilling experiences of my life was a skydiving adventure I took with some friends and co-workers in 2004. The tandem jump ended with a hilarious “face-plant” that resulted in no serious injury. It was an awesome, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime, experience. I highly recommend it!