We are pleased to welcome Catherine O'Brien to Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) who joined in March 2016 as Accounting Manager. Catherine is responsible for planning, organizing and directing the accounting activities of the VRA. She also manages the Agency Risk Management and Internal Control Standards (ARMICS) assessment for the Authority and ensures adequate controls are implemented.
O'Brien has over 25 years of experience in the private and public sectors. Prior to joining VRA, she was the Lead Quality Assurance Analyst at the Department of Accounts (DOA). She served as project lead for the rewrite of the Commonwealth's Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual for Cardinal, the Commonwealth's new accounting system. She ran quality assurance reviews (audits) at state agencies and conducted special engagements wherein DOA served as a consultant for agencies that were having trouble with financial operations or had a lack of internal controls. She revised the Commonwealth's ARMICS standards to comply with COSO's updated Internal Control Framework and developed a checklist to assist agencies with meeting ARMICS requirements. She also conducted training for agencies on improving their internal control processes.
O'Brien served as the Internal Control Coordinator for the Virginia Department of the Treasury and managed the ARMICS assessments and assisted with all agency-level policies. Prior to joining the Virginia State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Insurance as a financial analyst and regulator, O'Brien worked in the insurance field. She was a licensed Life & Health Agent, Property & Casualty Agent and a licensed Title Agent (real estate underwriter).
O'Brien holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from James Madison University, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting from the Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter. O'Brien is a life-long horsewoman and has ridden since the age of eight. She is a nationally published author on the subject of horses and finance. She also loves training and competing in licensed dog shows across Virginia and surrounding states with her Anatolian Shepherds.