Palm Coast - Certified Internal Auditor Helena Alves, who has served as the City of Palm Coast's Chief Accountant since last November, has been promoted to Director of Finance.

"Helena has served as Chief Accountant for nearly a year and has already proven herself to be a strong leader with exceptional skills in budgeting and financial reporting," said Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon. "She supports Palm Coast's conservative fiscal approach and commitment to financial excellence, and she embraces technology and transparency. I believe Helena will be a valuable addition to our executive team."

As Chief Accountant, Alves was second-in-command of the department, with primary responsibilities being management of the City's assets and investments and assistance with preparation of the City's annual budget and financial report. Former Director Christopher Quinn left Palm Coast for a position with the City of Gainesville.

As Director, she will oversee all aspects of the Finance Department, including treasury management, central accounting, business tax receipt, revenue management, payroll services, Utility billing, auditing, financial reporting, budgetary compliance monitoring, long-term financial planning and debt management. A great deal of financial information is available to the public on the department's website : www.palmcoastgov.com/government/finance.

"I believe my background in internal audit and governmental accounting will be valuable as we strive to streamline our financial reporting processes and maintain proper internal controls while leveraging technology," Alves said. "The Finance Department is regularly recognized for financial excellence, and we will continue that focus while constantly improving our processes and providing the information to help City leaders make the best financial decisions possible."

Alves earned the Certified Internal Auditor designation from The Institute of Internal Auditors in 2013. The CIA designation is a globally recognized certification for internal auditors and a standard by which accountants demonstrate their competency and professionalism in the internal auditor field.

Alves previously was employed for 12 years with the Flagler County Clerk of Court and Controller, where she was responsible for many of the County's financial reporting functions and Clerk's Finance Department audit functions. Before that she was an accountant at firms in Daytona Beach and New Jersey.

A native of the Azores island of St. Michael, an autonomous region of Portugal, Alves moved to New Jersey with her family in 1995. She earned her undergraduate degree and a Master of Business Administration fromGeorgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey.

She is a member of the Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA), and a member and secretary of the Volusia/Flagler Chapter of the FGFOA. A resident of Palm Coast for 14 years, she and her husband, Pedro Alves, have two children, Sean and Emma.

For more information, contact Communications & Marketing Manager Cindi Lane, at 386-986-3708 orclane@palmcoastgov.com.