Penny L. Smith, CPA, CGFM
The Finance Department is responsible for the many City functions involving money, including: the receipt of funds such as taxes, license fees, service charges and other City revenues; payment of City expenses and employee payrolls; and investment of funds not yet needed.
The Finance Department engages in record keeping and reporting including a state-mandated audited annual financial report and monthly reports on City Operations designed to keep the City Council, City Manager, and Department Heads informed about the City's financial status.
The Finance Department additionally assists the Office of the City Manager with the development and publication of the City's budget.
Financial management services are provided by the Finance Department to the Water Works Board and the Industrial Development Board.
Finance provides administrative support to City departments in the process of inviting and awarding legally required bids for large City purchases.
StatisticsIn the last year, Finance processed….
- City — Vendor payments = 8,453
- Water — Vendor payments = 1,662
- Payroll checks and electronic payments
- City — 11,519
- Water — 772
- Utility bills — 226,793
- Business license applications and renewals—5,168
- Accounts receivable invoices — 1,526
- Invitations to bid/quote/propose — 48
- Monthly Interim Financial Statements
- City and Water Board
- Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
- City of Auburn
- Water Board Annual Financial Report
The Revenue Office has been working closely with the Alabama Department of Revenue to implement a system for business owners to file and pay certain taxes online. Taxpayers are now able to file and pay sales, use, rental and leasing, and lodging taxes using the State’s online filing website.
The Utility Billing Office has been working to implement the new Red Flags privacy rules that became effective on January 1. These new rules are designed to detect the warning signs of identity theft. In addition, the staff, in cooperation with staff from the Information Technology Department has begun the search for new utility billing software. This search should result in implementation of software that will greatly improve efficiency in the Water Revenue Office.
The Accounting and Financial Reporting function, in addition to the normal transaction processes and financial reports created during the year (monthly financials, CAFR, Water Board Annual Report and budgets), prepared and published the Quadrennial Revenue Review. The purpose of this review is to reexamine revenues of the General Fund and explore ways to diversify and solidify the revenue streams. Also the Financial Analyst, Purchasing Officer and the Accounts Payable staff have been implementing a new purchasing card program. The program is designed to simplify the purchasing process of small, routine items. After the completion of a successful pilot program, this service was implemented City-wide.
The Purchasing Officer, with assistance from the Information Technology Department designed and implemented an Online Bid Information System. This system allows businesses to register to receive bid packets and to view all open bids offered by the City of Auburn and The Water Works Board.
Financial Services Provided
- Partnered with Water Resource Management and Environmental Services Departments to prepare the Water, Sewer, and Solid Waste Collection Rate Studies.
- Partnered with the Office of the City Manager to prepare and publish the Fiscal 2011-2012 Biennial Budget and the Quadrennial Revenue Review.
- Implemented a purchasing card program for all departments.
- Implemented an online filing of certain taxes through the Alabama Department of Revenue.