Assessing Financial Condition
you must use and cite at least two of the following articles as optional reading:
Brown, K. (1993) The 10-point test of financial condition: Toward an easy to use assessment tool for smaller cities, Government Finance Review, 9(6): 21 – 26.
Chaney, B. Mead, D., and Schermann, K. (2002) Financial reporting model: What it means for analyzing government financial condition. The Journal of Government Financial Management, 51(1): 26 – 31.
Feng, M., Li, C., and McVay, S. 2009. “Internal Control and Management Guidance,” Journal of Accounting and Economics (48:2/3), pp. 190-209.
Hendrick, R. (2004) Assessing and measuring the fiscal health of local governments – Focus on Chicago suburban municipalities. Urban Affairs Review 40(1): 78 – 114.
Jimenez, Benedict. (2009). Fiscal Stress and the Allocation of Expenditure Responsibilities between State and Local Governments: An Exploratory Study. State and Local Government Review. 41(2). 81-94.
Rose, S. & Smith, D. (2012). “Budget Slack, Institutions, and Transparency.” Public Administration Review, 72 (2): 187-195
1. Select a city to analyze other than those you used for the CAFR and OS assignments.
2. Please provide a summary of the city’s profile (100-150 words)
3. Briefly discuss the form of government and the structure of the elected officials (100-150 words).
4. Discuss in summary fashion the factors affecting the local economic condition. Your conclusion response for this section should also include:
a. What are the strengths of this city based on the information provided?
b. What are the weaknesses of this city inferred from the information provided, or do you see anything else in the information that could be a concern for financial sustainability over the long-term that is not mentioned?
This section can or should be a primary focal point of the entire assessment report. It should range between 300 and 400 words. Some cities will not have a good informative section of this nature. In those cases, the student will need to search more of the document to find it.
5. What are some other basic city demographic data not necessarily included in the CAFR Introductory area (population by race, crime statistics, unemployment rate, education levels, etc.) Based solely on the hard data available, do you think the city makes a conscientious effort to achieve social and economic equity? You must use the following link to answer these questions to the extent possible. (200 – 300 words)
Just go to www.city-data.com/city and enter the state and then the city you want to find. This is an excellent website for professional or personal use.
6. What type of “opinion” has the city’s auditors issued . Click on the following link for guidance:
7. What is the city’s General Fund net position (you add 000’s if necessary) and what is the ratio of equity to total assets – divide total net position by total assets and display as a %.
8. Does the city’s General Fund display a relatively diverse revenue mix or is it too concentrated in one or a few main sources – any one category of 30% or more may be a concern– 50-100 words.
9. What department or category consumes the largest amount of General Fund appropriations (expenditures in the case of a CAFR)? Does this present any challenges or inequities in your opinion? (note: this may be a key area for addressing the adequacy of social equity efforts) (100-200 words).
10. Discuss in summary form, the auditor’s analysis of the city’s overall financial condition. This section must include but is not limited to:
a. The presence and condition of enterprise funds (business activities such as water, sewer, etc. – may not be applicable for all cities).
b. Bonded debt ratings
(100 to 200 words).
11. Incorporation of any other thoughts, analyses, etc, for the remainder of the CAFR and the demographic data obtained from city-data.com. (actual financial statements, key departments, funds, or large line items where actual expenditures exceeded budgeted appropriations) – 100 to 200 words.
12. Overall summary and conclusion – 100 – 200 words.
Note: The overall assignment estimated word length is 1150 to 1,900 words which equates to approximately 5 to 8 double spaced pages. This does not include the cover page, abstract, or reference list – or any attachments.
· As a Paper format
· Cover page, abstract, main body and references
· Page number in the right corner
· APA citation