Fund Accounting and Financial Reporting

Are you interested in financial information for the City? If you have not checked out our “Financial Documents” page on the website, please do! We encourage citizens to see for themselves what information is available. In addition to required information we post many monthly and quarterly reports with details about how your tax dollars are spent, how much money we have in the bank, and how much is owed for large capital projects. Please contact me if you have questions. As a result of requests received from citizens for additional information, we continue to add more reports such as the line item detail of the budget and capital spending detail by funding source.

Fund Accounting.  The City uses fund accounting as required by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). We present financial information for each fund in the annual report, budgets and internal reports. The Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) “Blue Book,” Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting (GAAFR), provides the following explanation of funds:

“A fund is defined as a fiscal and accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and other financial resources, together with all related liabilities and residual equities or balances, and changes therein, with are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with special regulations, restrictions, or limitations…. Governmental units should establish and maintain those funds required by law and sound financial administration. Only the minimum number of funds consistent with legal and operating requirements should be established, however, since unnecessary funds result in inflexibility, undue complexity, and inefficient financial administration.”

For over twenty years, Salida has used two government funds – general fund and conservation trust fund. We also have business-type (or “enterprise”) funds treated as three different funds for budgeting and financial reporting. Government funds rely primarily on tax revenue to provide public services, while business-type funds charge fees to users of specific services, typically with a goal to be self-sustaining. We evaluated the option of setting up a separate capital fund during the 2013 accounting software conversion. Based on an assessment of financial reporting and accounting processes, we determined the existing fund structure was best suited for the City.

Internal Reports.  Much more detail is available in internal reports where the format is not dictated by GASB. Some are presented monthly or quarterly during council meetings and all are available in the “Document Library” on the City’s website under “Financial Documents.” This includes the following sections:

  • Audited Annual Financial Reports
  • Adopted Budgets
  • Interim Financial Reports
  • Monthly Sales Tax & General Fund Highlights Report – In addition to the total amount of sales tax collected, this report shows the allocation of the city sales tax for different purposes, collections by industry groups, a comparison to budget, year-to-date total revenue and spending, cash balances and financing obligations in the general fund.
  • Capital Investments – Capital spending identified by revenue source and a comparison to the annual budget can be found here. It should be noted that capital spending in budget reports differs from the audited financial statements due to a $500 materiality threshold in the Salida Municipal Code 4-30-50(a) versus the $5,000 materiality threshold in the 2004 policy adopted by council.
  • Special Presentations and Other Information – Over 20 different reports and presentations that staff or elected officials believe the public may find useful are available here.
  • Required Reports
    • Bills Paid
    • Balance of Money Held, Received and Paid
    • Statement of Revenues
    • Contracts Awarded
  • Key Policies & Procedures – Links to policies and procedures establishing components of the City’s overall internal control framework are provided.
    • Fraud Detection and Prevention
    • Open Records
    • Chart of Accounts (useful for understanding detailed financial reports)
    • Purchasing Authority
    • Capitalization Policy
    • Employee Pay Plan

Annual Report.  This report is audited by an independent accountant, and the format is prescribed by GASB. At the beginning of this report, the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” section serves as an introduction to the basic financial statements, which consist of three components: 1) government-wide financial statements, 2) fund financial statements, and 3) the notes to financial statements. The report also includes supplementary information intended to furnish additional detail to support the basic financial statements themselves.

At the last work session, staff presented a pro forma financial statement showing a separate Capital Improvement Fund. The government-wide financial statements would remain exactly the same. In the fund financial statements, some of the activity in the column for the general fund would be shown in a separate column.