City’s Finances in Good Shape
April 23, 2014
The City of Courtenay’s finances received top marks during its latest audit.
The independent external auditors MNP LLP provided a positive report on the City’s 2013 financial statements at a recent Council meeting. According to the auditors, the City is in sound financial health.
Among the auditor’s conclusions:
- The financial sustainability of the City is healthy. Existing financial obligations and service commitments can be maintained.
- The City has positive financial flexibility, which refers to the financial ability to take on debt as needed. Debt payments have decreased over the previous year.
- The City is not overly financially vulnerable. The majority of City revenues are not dependent on transfers from either federal or provincial governments.
Tillie Manthey, the City’s director of finance and deputy chief administrative officer, said that at first glance, the City’s financial statements may be hard to interpret. “The annual audited financial statements are ‘consolidated’, which means that all the City’s various funds and operations are rolled up into one end-of-year statement which details the City’s financial position,” advised Manthey.
“As well, they are in a format that is specific to government, and may look a little different than traditional financial statements.”
Manthey points to the value of the City’s investment in capital assets as an example. Capital assets are included in the overall reported “accumulated surplus and reserves”. At first glance, it appears the City has over $128 million in surplus and reserves. In reality, $105 million of this number reflects the value of the public financial investment in all of roads, bridges, parks, buildings, and other assets owned by the City.
Manthey is pleased with the results of the audit. “Compiling information for our annual audits involves participation and cooperation from a number of staff and departments,” noted Manthey. “It’s great to get that stamp of approval from an independent agency to show that we’re meeting our requirements as a local government.”
To view the financial statements, to go www.courtenay.ca Also on the City website is a link to the Citizen Budget survey, providing the public with an opportunity to provide feedback on expenses for various City operations.