Success Story

blum Helps City Achieve Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting

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Insights  <  blum Helps City Achieve Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Challenge

A municipality that had recently experienced significant turnover in its financial department found itself in danger of missing an important filing deadline, jeopardizing its Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting as designated by the Government Finance Officers Association.

This municipality lost its accounting manager, payroll supervisor and one accountant during a span of about six months. Adding to its difficulties, the possibility of losing the Certificate of Excellence due to missed or repeated extensions of reporting deadlines could lower the town’s standing in financial circles and impede its ability to make appropriate budgeting decisions.

The Solution

The municipality quickly turned to blum, well known for its extensive government practice, seeking assistance in getting its financial reporting procedures in line.

blum found that morale in the financial department was damaged, and the community’s governing body was applying pressure to get the department back on track. As a result, the community hired an accounting manager with extensive specialized experience but little in municipal finance.

Both the community at large and nearly 1,700 municipal employees relied on the finance department for proper management of a budget totaling more than $190 million. In the midst of its personnel issues the town was also converting to a new financial reporting system.

blum responded immediately, assisting the new accounting manager on site to educate him on government accounting guidelines. blum targeted the client’s specific challenges and conducted educational sessions on industry best practices to reorganize the department.

blum also worked with the client to extract financial information from the previous year, and provided guidance on compiling information from their new software. The accounting manager was educated on municipal accounting requirements and how they apply in a practical way to critical items of information needed to complete the audit.

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The Benefits

blum opened lines of communication with the town Board of Directors. This included providing weekly reports to assure them that the deadlines would be met. BlumShapiro’s expertise in municipal finances helped the accounting manager to meet the audit deadline the first year, and by the second year he was months ahead in preparing for the audit.

blum’s teamwork and expertise in this area saved the town’s Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting, restored the Finance Director’s credibility, reduced some of the burden and stress on the finance department and was able to give the Board of Directors the information they needed to make proper budgeting decisions.

The accounting manager now produces and practices sound policies and procedures to benefit the town in future years with our guidance and recommendations available as needed.

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