Accounting firm asked to prepare suggestions on long-range spending
Ozaukee Press staffVillage of Fredonia officials have decided to get some expert advice in developing a long-range financial forecast by turning to the accounting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause.
The Milwaukee-based firm is also the village’s auditor.
In spring, Village President Don Dohrwardt noted that the village had accumulated a fund balance of more than $1.7 million through the end of 2015.
About $1 million of that amount has been committed to anticipated expenses, like financing the Fredonia Avenue reconstruction.
Following last year’s audit, village officials were told if they would like to tap some of that fund balance, they should look for one-time expenditures rather than committing to recurring costs.
Dohrwardt wondered whether the fund balance was an indication the village could do a better job of financial planning.
“I would like to see us put that money to work for the benefit of the taxpayers, and I think this would greatly help us do that,” he said of the contract with Baker Tilly.
The goal is to document the village’s spending priorities over the next five years.
The accounting firm explained it would go through a seven-step process in developing a financial forecast for general fund spending.
Those steps include collecting historical records of revenues, expenditures, debt service and cash reserves; gathering projections of such anticipated changes as population growth; obtaining five-year projections for capital needs; and preparing a full report for review.
“A financial forecast presents, to the best of the management’s knowledge and belief, the expected results of operations for the forecasted period of the village’s general fund,” the company said in its engagement letter.
However, the company warned that it is not authorized as a municipal financial adviser, and the information gathered will only be advisory.
Baker Tilly will charge the village between $4,000 and $7,000 for the financial forecast.
Trustee Jill Bertram questioned the wide range of the cost estimate, but Dohrwardt explained the amount charged would depend on how readily available the needed information is to the analysts.
Trustees then approved the contract with Baker Tilly at a cost not to exceed $7,000.