Budget Process – Trend Analysis

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The Budget ProcessThe Budget Division produces concrete current fiscal year quarterly analysis, which includes revenue and expenditure data from the City’s Adopted Budget as well as current and previous Fiscal Year Actuals. The collection of this data allows for the Council Members and City Departments to:

  • Detect anomalies, and potential new trends – as a result of current year actual expenditure activities and revenue collections – that could have a fiscal impact on the City’s Adopted Budget and financial forecasts.
  • Compare historical revenue and expenditure data to current year City operations and financial condition.
  • Support and help shape strategic objectives for City departments.
  • Provide a financial tool to the City Council and the Finance and Governance Committee to help guide discussions.
  • Provide business analysis to assess the financial and performance viability of proposed new city programs, initiatives, or processes

Quarterly budget reporting is required by City ordinance pursuant to Section 2-1956.

Quarterly Budget Reports

The City Manager, with the assistance of the Finance Department, will prepare a quarterly budget report analyzing actual and anticipated revenues and expenditures for the first three quarters of every fiscal year. These reports will be presented to the City Council Finance and Governance Committee.

The Budget Office measures itself on the accuracy of its quarterly projections with targets to project within three percent of actual results.  The graphic illustrates difference in 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter and 3rd Quarter expenditures and revenues to Fiscal Year 2015-16 Actuals.  The Budget Office exceeded these targets in all three quarters of the most recent fiscal year.

Percentage Difference of Quarterly Projections to FY 2018-19 Actuals

Category
1st Qtr (%)
2nd Qtr (%) 
3rd Qtr (%)
 
Percent of financial transaction requests reviewed and responded to  within two business days  99.24%
98..46% 98.15%  
General Fund expenditure quarterly budget projections will be within three percent of actual values
0.45%
0.60%
0.77%  
 General Fund revenue quarterly budget projections will be within three percent of actual values 4.97%   4.30% 3.83%   

Trend Analysis is focused not just on what has already happened, but more importantly on how that information can be used to inform future decisions. The Financial Trends Monitoring System (FTMS) is another tool implemented by the Finance Department to monitor the City’s financial condition. The sound financial condition of the City depends on its ability to balance the demands for service with available financial resources.  Effective monitoring can also provide additional information for the annual budget process, give City Council a wider context for decision-making and establish a starting point for setting financial policies. The Budget Divison identifies patterns in the City’s expenses and revenues, and creates projections regarding what financial circumstances the City will encounter in the near term. These projections not only help departments to stay within each budget each year, but also help to understand that the overall performance of City services can be affected by changing resource levels.