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Cherry Bekaert LLPGovernment Services Group Report on the Results from our Government Benchmarking Study
Learning Objectives • At the end of this course, participants should be able to: • Understand current management trends for local government entities • Gain insight into the current areas of concern shared by government finance professionals • Gain an understanding of what finance professionals believe the future holds for government financial management
Presentation Objectives • Review data on respondents • Review responses in the following functional areas: • Work force and benefits • Financial reporting and GASB standards • Use of technology • Green initiatives • Long term borrowing • Infrastructure • External auditor and internal monitoring • ARRA funding • Budgeting
Respondent summary • Surveys were taken over the summer of 2011 • Good representation from counties, cities and school districts • Most respondents had oversight responsibilities of the accounting function • The size of the responding localities was pretty evenly distributed.
Workforce and BenefitsObjective: to gauge the ability of localities to properly staff and maintain their accounting function
Workforce and Benefits • Do you agree with the following statement: It is easier today to find qualified candidates for vacant financial and accounting positions compared to two years ago.
Workforce and Benefits • Has your staffing level for financial and accounting positions over the past two years increased, decreased or stayed the same?
Workforce and Benefits • Do you agree with the following statement: We have been able to adapt to the reduction in our workforce by finding ways to do things more efficiently.
Workforce and Benefits • Do you agree with the following statement: The reduction in our workforce has increased the risk of fraud in our entity.
Workforce and Benefits • In the next budget cycle, do you anticipate that the number of filled financial and accounting staff positions will:
Workforce and Benefits • Has the benefits package you offer to new employees decreased in value over the last two years?
Workforce and Benefits • Have other post-employment benefits (OPEB) been reduced following the adoption of GASB 45?
GASB Reporting ModelObjective: To measure opinion of the current financial reporting model and certificate programs
GASB Reporting Model • Do you agree with the following statement: New GASB standards issued over the last 5 years have improved overall financial reporting for my government.
GASB Reporting Model • Do you agree with the following statement: GASB 54 will improve understanding of the makeup of governmental fund balances.
GASB Reporting Model • Do you agree with the following statement: The current financial reporting model is too long and complicated. How does this answer reconcile with the previous question regarding new GASB standards?
GASB Reporting Model • Do you agree with the following statement: The current financial model is of value to elected officials and constituents. What would the pie chart look like if we had surveyed elected officials?
GASB Reporting Model • Do you agree with the following statement: Given the current uncertainty of state and federal funding, information regarding intergovernmental dependency should be included in the financial report.
Over 85% of localities responding post their CAFR to their web site. Why not 100%? 80% of respondents believe that participation in the GFOA or ASBO certificate program has a positive impact on the perception of financial accountability. Is this a fair conclusion? GASB Reporting Model GASB Reporting Model • Other survey results:
Use of Technology • When did you last upgrade your IT system?
Use of Technology • When do you plan to upgrade your IT system?
Use of Technology • Do you believe the increased use of technology will be necessary to keep cost under control?
Use of Technology • Which of the following social media websites does your entity use?
Green InitiativesObjective: To assess the extent to which green projects have been implemented and gauge whether green projects have had a positive impact on the locality
Green Initiatives • Do you currently have any green initiative projects?
Green Initiatives Green Initiatives • How long has your green initiative project been implemented?
Green Initiatives • Where have you implemented your green initiatives?
Only 15% of those localities who bid green projects felt that they received fewer bids as a result of going green. Over two thirds of respondents believe that the benefits outweigh the cost 90% believe that green project initiatives create goodwill with the public Green Initiatives • Other findings
Long Term BorrowingObjective: To assess current plans and prospects for selling bonds and the use of derivative instruments to manage costs
Long-Term Borrowing • Do you plan to incur debt in the next…?
Long term borrowing Long-Term Borrowing • What will you use your next financing for?
Long term borrowing Long-Term Borrowing • What is your outlook on bond ratings in the future based on the current state of the economy? What about Jefferson County Alabama?
Long-Term Borrowing • Do you use derivatives to hedge your interest rate?
For those localities that have derivative instruments, over 85% are currently reported as liabilities. Only 3% of respondents believe they will use derivatives to hedge interest rates in the future. Long-Term Borrowing • Other findings:
InfrastructureObjective: Obtain views on the condition of the localities infrastructure assets
Infrastructure • Do you feel that existing infrastructure assets are being adequately maintained?
Infrastructure • Would you consider your existing infrastructure outdated?
Infrastructure • Are you currently extending the lives on your existing infrastructure assets more than in the prior years?
External Audits and Internal MonitoringObjective: cover questions regarding external audit services as well as internal procedures relating to audit committees and fraud hotlines
External Auditing and Internal Monitoring • Which of the following statements best describes how well trained your external auditor’s staff are in regards to financial statement auditing, OMB Circular A-133, and financial reporting?
External Auditing and Internal Monitoring • Which of the following best describes the allotted time your internal audit department assists the external auditor?
External Auditing and Internal Monitoring • Which of the following best describes your views of any management letter comments that have been provided to you over the past three years?
External Auditing and Internal Monitoring • Our fraud hotline is an effective tool in preventing fraud and abuse.
External Auditing and Internal Monitoring • How valuable and effective is your Audit committee?