Part 1: Best Practices for Achieving a High-Functioning Finance Department for Government Agencies

There are a multitude of responsibilities in the role of city administrator/city manager. Being the leader of any size government requires a lot of diligence and attention to detail, especially when it comes to managing the finance department. As the city administrator, can you confirm you have a high-functioning finance department that follows all governmental regulations? This is more than following best practices, it is crucial to maintaining the valuable information that lives within your finance team. In a 3-part series of blog posts, I will explore what requirements are necessary for achieving a high-performing finance department, starting with key information that city administrators should share with their finance team.

Following governmental accounting regulations according to Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the source generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), is part of the day-to-day requirements of a state and local government’s finance department. Juggling these requirements is no simple task, but it’s made easier with a well-developed policy and procedures guide. Not sure if you have a procedure/process guide in place? I have listed several best practices to keep in mind when beginning to document your policies and procedures. Look at the checklist and consider which items are currently being handled by your finance department as well as potential gaps that could leave you open to risk.

  • Accurately record and manage all financial transactions incurred by the government – income and expenditures.
  • Cash controls is a must and is key in best practices.
  • Maintain good backups of electronic files and documents in secure, safe storage.
  • Stay current with governmental accounting regulations – read and attend webinars to stay informed.
  • Regularly review budget to actual financial reports.
  • Accounting software is important – is it the best tool available for your finance team? Does it meet the needs of the local government? Is it time for an RFP for a new ERP?

Starting with these basic but important items can help you set your finance department in the right direction when it comes to managing governmental and GASB regulations. Can you check “yes” to each of the items above? If not, it’s time to develop a plan.

If you aren’t sure where to start, BerganKDV is here to help. Contact us here or sign up for this webinar that will explore how the finance field is continuously reshaped, and how top governmental organizations should be managing their finance teams in an ever-changing environment.

CATEGORIES: Accounting Services | Government
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