Why City Finance Matters
Jan 27, 2016 08:38AM ● Published by Bryan Scott
By Hope Zitting | Hope@mycityjournals.com
South Valley - Riverton City is unique in the makeup of attendees at each city council meeting. In addition to elected officials, applicants and residents, the directors and managers of city departments attend and provide information to the items discussed at each meeting.
Lisa Dudley is one such individual who attends the Tuesday night meetings. Dudley is the administrative services director and finance director for the city. With a staff of five, her department is responsible for accounting and financial reporting, budgeting, strategic planning, internal auditing, grant reporting, bonds, transparency reporting and human resources, among other things.
“Riverton residents are well-served with the professional staff members in the city’s finance department. This highly-skilled and highly-dedicated group carefully manages the accuracy and security of city funds. They operate with integrity. And because of their individual expertise and combined efforts to work as a synergistic and efficient team, our city is now well known for its exemplary standards of service and financial reporting,” Mayor Bill Applegarth said.
Nearly all of the decisions made in the finance department affect residents, according to Dudley. The finance department ensures the public that their funds are accounted for correctly. Recently the department was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) respectively.
The city also has a bond rating of AA from Standard and Poor’s for its Water Revenue Bonds and a AA and AA- for its Franchise and Sales Tax Revenue Bonds from Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s, respectively.
“I am proud of this team and their willingness to continually accept new challenges. Together, we have always shared this thought. No one or no financial report will ever be 100 percent accurate; however, our goal is to continually improve. The CAFR and PAFR awards symbolize the collective efforts for continual improvement. Accounting standards are ever-changing. The finance department must keep current on new regulations and standards in order to continue to produce annual reports that earn the GFOA’s highest honor,” Dudley said.
Over the next few months the finance department will be heavily involved in the preparation of the city’s strategic plan and budget for the upcoming budget year. In addition, the department will keep up with regular monthly duties such as account reconciliations and audit preparation for the current fiscal year.