Project #65615 - government Budget

And you need the CAFR 2012 of Newark in New Jersey to do the home work.




Due Wednesday, April 8 (to be handed in)

In this assignment you will examine the financial statements of an American city. The instructor will select the cities.  Each student will do a different city for this assignment. For the budget project later in the term students will work in teams/groups of two and will draw on information from this assignment, so keep this in mind when you sign up as one and only one person from each team/group must select one of the cities for the budget project.   We will have in-class signups on April 1 for both the budget project and the CAFR assignment. In this (the CAFR) assignment, however, each student needs to do their own work.

In this assignment the first task is to find the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for your community.  You may need to do some digging.  It is NOT the budget which does not reflect standard acceptable accounting practices and which is often based on dubious assumptions and principles. Most often it is found on the web pages for the finance department or equivalent department.  You should select the most resent CAFR which should be for 2012.  You should give a quick read of the front material/narratives.  Pay particular attention if they mention Statement 34 and what they have done to meet the requirements of the section. Also pay particular attention to the way they are interpreting the findings in the “Government-Wide” reports.

You will need to examine four reports in the CAFR.  From the Government-Wide perspective the Net Assets account and the Activities account.  And from the Fund perspective the Balance Sheet and the Revenue and Expenditure accounts. You may want to start with the Fund accounts as they are more intuitive and easier to interpret.  As you compile the information below, make copies of key pages, circling key data, making margin notes and cross referencing the data you are looking for. Attach these copies to your assignment.

Collect the information identified below. Then write a paragraph giving your general interpretation of the government’s fiscal condition and financial practices.  In class we will compare some of the data across communities.


Information to be collected:

Name of government/jurisdiction:

Fiscal year for the CAFR:

For the General Fund, one other fund and the total of all Governmental Funds:

                  Revenues—the top four sources (eg: taxes, fees, grants)

                                    The amounts for each of the top four sources and percent of total revenue

                                    The total amount of revenue

                  Expenditures—the top five expenditure categories

                                    The amount of expenditure for each and percent of total expenditure

                                    The total expenditure

                  What is the change in fund balances for each of the funds from the previous year?

                  What is debt service as a percent of total expenditures?

                  Try to identify capital spending as a percent of total expenditures.

                  What is the surplus or deficit as a percent of total spending?

                  What is the fund balance for each of the funds?

                  What percentage of expenditures are the fund balances?

From the government-wide perspective for both government activities and total:

                  What is the value of assets, liabilities and net assets?

                  What portion of assets is from non-financial sources?

                  What are the five largest categories of expenses and how do they differ from expenditures?

What is the change in net assets?

Try to identify the reasons changes in net assets differs from the change in fund balances

What do you consider the most important number(s) in the CAFR?

Identify any other information in the CAFR that you feel is important or you find interesting.

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 04/07/2015 11:30 pm
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