• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Friday, June 11, 2021

County CFO Paul Fulton to retire in December

Paul Fulton, Jr. will be retiring as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Forsyth County at the end of the year, after 47 years of service.

Fulton’s retirement will be effective Dec. 31, and the county will be conducting a nationwide search for its next CFO. Fulton is the head of the county’s Finance Department, which manages the county’s revenues, payments, investments, payroll, fixed assets, debt, financial record keeping, risk management and internal and external audits.

“I have enjoyed the work and the people I have had the privilege to work with.” said Fulton. “I am grateful for the many opportunities afforded me during my career and for the many past and current Finance Department employees and their exemplary service and support.”

Under Fulton’s leadership, Forsyth County became the first county in North Carolina to receive a AAA credit rating from all three rating agencies in 1996. It has maintained that rating ever since.

The Finance Department’s independently audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the county has won a national Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting every year since 1984.

County Manager Dudley Watts said the recent hard work of Fulton and his staff will save the county, and its taxpayers, a lot of money for years to come.

“Under Paul’s leadership over the last year, the County has taken advantage of the historically low interest rates and greatly reduced the tax burden,” said Watts. “Paul has positioned the County extremely well and it will benefit all taxpayers for the next 20 years. ”

Fulton received the Outstanding North Carolina County Finance Officer Award from the NC Association of County Commissioners in 1999, the Outstanding Member in Government Award from the NC Association of Certified Public Accountants in 2008 and the CFO of the Year from Triad Business Journal in 2010.

Fulton is a South Carolina native who moved to Winston-Salem in 1961. He attended Elon College where he earned B.A. degrees in Accounting and Business Administration in 1971. He then worked as a controller for a small firm before joining Forsyth County in 1974 as an internal auditor.

He continued his education as he worked, graduating from UNC Chapel Hill School of Government County Administration Program in 1975. He received his M.B.A. with Concentration in Financial Management from UNC Greensboro in 1977.

Fulton became assistant finance director for Forsyth County in 1976 and became Chief Financial Officer in 1988.

Fulton has certifications as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Local Government Finance Officer, Certified Government Financial Manager from the Association of Government Accountants, Certified Public Finance Officer from the Government Finance Officers Association, and Chartered Global Management Accountant from the American Institute of CPAs.

Fulton is the NACo State Representative for the National Association of County Treasurers and Finance Officers, and a state representative for the Government Finance Officers Association. He is a past president of the NC Association of County Finance Officers in 1998, which, under his leadership, merged with the NC Government Finance Officers Association, which he also served as president of in 2010. He is also a past director of the Piedmont/Winston-Salem Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.

His other professional associations include American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, NC Association of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Government Accountants. He’s also served on NCACC committees, NC State Treasurer’s Public Finance Advisory Committee, and as a Governor’s appointee to the North Carolina State Bar Council and its Grievance Committee.

County Manager Watts stated, “I appreciate Paul’s willingness to work through the CFO transition and helping with two significant efforts – the American Recovery Plan compliance and the information system overhaul that is currently underway. Paul has dedicated his professional career to Forsyth County and we are better because of his service.”