+ All Categories
Home > Documents > Donna Collins

Donna Collins

Date post: 31-Oct-2014
Upload: mricky
View: 577 times
Download: 1 times
Share this document with a friend
Embed Size (px)

If you can't read please download the document

  • 1. Popular Reporting for Small Governments Presented by Donna Collins Milestone Professional Services

2. What is a Popular Report?

  • Annual Financial Report designed to meet the needs of a broader audience than traditional financial reporting
    • Citizens
    • Other interested parties
  • Does not replace the CAFR
  • May be a separate report or part of a larger document with financial and non-financial information

3. What is a Popular Report?cont.

  • Does not have to be prepared on a GAAP basis
  • Designed to supplement traditional financial reporting
  • Recognized for excellence by the GFOA- Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting

4. Why prepare a PAFR?

  • Great opportunity to interpret your CAFR for your citizens and news media
  • Rules and requirements are very flexible
  • Most of the information is already available as a result of the audit process and can be prepared in conjunction with your annual financial report

5. Guidelines for Preparing a PAFR

  • Determine an appropriate perspective
  • Provide useful analysis, not merely disclosure
  • Be objective
  • Prepare a user friendly document
  • Develop a distribution plan

6. Determine an appropriate perspective

  • Identify your target audience
    • Know what information your citizens want what are the hot topics in your community
    • Dont try to please everyone
    • Sophistication of presentation depends on intended readers
      • Education, interests and involvement in local government

7. Determine an appropriate perspectivecont.

  • Define clear objectives for the report
    • Know the message you are trying to communicate
    • Focus on key financial data, accomplishments and initiatives that communicate this message
    • If there are issues within your community consider this forum to address them

8. Provide useful analysis

  • Focus on the key questions
  • Address whether publicized plans turned out as expected and whether any new projects were implemented
  • Address significant changes in key policies or programs
  • Remember that trend analysis should be focused on the impact on future tax rates, utility rates charged and levels of service

9. Be Objective

  • Popular Reports are subject to bias
    • Documents lack full disclosure
    • Provide true accountability - not just a public relations package
  • Balance is crucial to effective communication
    • Discuss favorable trends
    • Also acknowledge and address problems

10. Prepare a user friendly document

  • Keep it short
  • Use journalistic style of writing
  • Include pictures, graphs and charts
  • Vary the layout
  • Simplify the financial information presented
  • Ensure report topics flow and message is consistent throughout the document

11. Develop a distribution plan

  • Identify locations where the Popular Report can be placed or distributed
  • Make use of speaking engagements of elected officials to distribute the PAFR
  • Consider the impact of the news media
  • Place report on your website

12. What to include

  • Most common items
    • Letter from the mayor or county administrator
    • Analysis of general fund activity
    • Analysis of major utility activity
    • Summary of Statement of Net Assets and Statement of Activities

13. What to includecont.

  • Other great ideas
    • Capital Improvement Plans
    • Future Initiatives and their funding
    • Analysis of other items of interest such as large grants or donations

14. GFOA Award Program

  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting

15. Award Program - Eligibility Requirements

  • Must prepare CAFR
  • CAFR must have been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for most recent year submitted or ultimately be received for current year CAFR
  • Any questions regarding eligibility are determined by GFOA Technical Services Center

16. Award Program Report Requirements

  • PAFR must be received by GFOA within 6 months of the fiscal year end
  • Deadline is not formally extended on regular basis; however, one-time thirty day extension may be granted under certain circumstances.(Must be approved in advance and cannot be granted for succeeding years.)

17. Award Program Report Requirementscont.

  • Report must advise readers of the availability of the CAFR
  • Financial information should be derived from the actual GAAP data in the CAFR
  • Financial information should have same measurement focus as CAFR although presentation may be different

18. Award Program Report Requirementscont.

  • Popular Report may include only selected funds or component units but this must be disclosed
  • Some form of narrative or graphic analysis for items of significant interest or concern is required
  • May not reproduce Certificate from CAFR program within the popular report

19. Award Program Report Requirementscont.

  • Application must be completed
  • Fees apply

20. Awards Program Review Process

  • Each PAFR is evaluated by four judges
  • Judges may not evaluate Popular Reports for governments located in their state of residency
  • PAFR judges must certify their independence in both fact and appearance
  • CPA firms may not have members that review a PAFR for which they served as the auditor

21. Awards Program Review Processcont.

  • Each judge completes an evaluation form broken down into five categories that carry varying weights of importance towards the final grade
    • Reader appeal - 10%
    • Understandability - 25%
    • Distribution methods - 7.5%
    • Other (creativity, etc) - 7.5%
    • General quality and usefulness 50%

22. Reader Appeal

  • Report is short enough to maintain interest
  • Format is logical and easy to understand
  • Typography is easy to read and appealing to readers
  • Photographs, charts, graphics or other artwork enhance the reports appeal

23. Understandability

  • Avoids jargon and technical language
  • Appropriate graphics are used to enhance financial data presented
  • Narrative explains financial data and highlights significant items of interest
  • Report helps users to understand financial data in proper context
  • Potential for misinterpreting information is minimized

24. Distribution Methods

  • Number of reports distributed is appropriate for target audience
  • Mode of distribution is appropriate for target audience

25. Other

  • Report is notable achievement for government of this type and size
  • Report is innovative or creative in form or content
  • Report is useful to users of entitys services
  • Report makes the government more attractive to interested parties (e.g. new businesses)

26. Awards Program Review Processcont.

  • Remaining 50% is based on overall quality and usefulness of the report, taking into consideration the four previous categories
  • Each category is ranked on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being poor and 5 considered excellent
  • All responses of 1,2 or 3 require written comments from the judge

27. Awards Program Review Processcont.

  • TSC staff calculate the weighted average score from each reviewer.The lowest score is thrown out.The remaining scores must be 75% or higher for the report to be eligible for the award.

28. Awards Program Review Processcont.

  • If the average score falls between 70-74.99%, the report is subjected to review by TSC staff.This reviewers score replaces the lowest of the previous three scores and a new average is calculated.An average score of 75% makes the report eligible for the awards program.

29. Awards Program Review Processcont.

  • TSC staff compile all written comments offered by each of the four judges where a 3 or less was given and edit for consistency and adherence to PAFR program policies.These are provided to the report preparers as suggestions for improvement.

30. 2006 Award Winners

  • In 2006, of the Popular Reports that were submitted, 160 of these received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting
  • Included in this list were only 13 entities from Florida

31. 2006 Award Winnerscont.

  • Alachua County
  • City of Gainesville
  • City of Miami
  • City of Miami Springs
  • Hillsborough County
  • Manatee County
  • Polk County
  • Putnam County

32. 2006 Award Winnerscont

  • Highlands County
  • City of Maitland
  • Palm Beach County
  • Town of Palm Beach
  • Pinellas County

33. 2006 Award Winnerscont.

  • Picture your government on this list!

34. Questions?