GFOA Scholarship Spotlight

Ashley McGowen received the Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship in 2020.

Where are you currently studying?

I am enrolled part-time in Boise State University’s Masters in Science of Accounting program with an anticipated graduation date of April 2021.

Where do you currently work?

I currently work as the Accountant/Analyst II in the Finance department for the City of Grand Junction. Amongst other things, I perform a wide variety of professional accounting duties involved in the analysis, maintenance, and review of accounting records, including reconciliations and financial reporting for the City's, as well as the Grand Junction Joint Sewer System’s, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Each year, I also coordinate the citywide physical inventory and maintenance of capital asset records and assist with the yearly audit in preparation for the CAFR. Almost daily, I have the opportunity to provide technical assistance and training to other Finance department employees and others in various departments regarding implementation and continuation of processes and procedures, policy compliance, our ERP system, and internal controls. I love that each day in my role is different, and I never leave the office without having learned something new.

What are your future goals?

More than anything, I am seeking the knowledge, skills, and proficiency necessary to be an accomplished accountant and exceptional leader to those around me in any of my professional and personal ventures, regardless of my title or position within the City of Grand Junction. While my professional career goals do involve gaining a supervisory role in the Finance department at the City, I believe that the soft skills of leadership coupled with advanced knowledge and technical skill are more important than the title of management. My participation in the MSA program will allow me to combine what I have gained from my employment and educational opportunities to better equip me with the skills and confidence I seek to achieve my personal and professional goals.

How will GFOA's scholarship help you?

With GFOA’s Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship, I am provided more resources and support to achieve my goal of furthering my education, thus furthering my skills and experience as an accountant for the City. Through the MSA program that this scholarship is allowing me to be a part of, I hope to gain a better understanding of accounting at a higher level, add skills to my personal toolbox, and learn how to utilize those skills in leading a variety of individuals in a positive and productive manner. I am confident that the program will challenge and teach me the skills to become a better business professional and leader for the municipality that I am lucky to call home, the City of Grand Junction.