New Clerk Academy Key West, Florida
Objectives • Identify the Role of the Clerk • Required statutory responsibilities • Not required responsibilities • Independent function • Ensure that the Clerk, Board and County Administrator are on the same page
What is Your Role? • Comptroller? • Finance Director? • CFO?
Comptroller • Record keeper • Compliance officer • Ensures compliance (budgets, policies, rules, laws, etc.) • Watchdog • Establishes internal controls • Insures all payments are for approved governmental purposes, properly approved and funded • Financial reporting (monthly, quarterly, annually) • Accounting process (fund, subfund, accounting treatment)
Comptroller (continued) • Treasury Functions • Local banking (selecting depository banks, number of accounts, electronic payment etc.) • Trust banking (selecting and monitoring agreements with trust banks for the disbursement of bond proceeds, bond payments, etc.) • Investment activities and reporting • Account reconciliation
Comptroller (continued) • Asset Custodian • Cash and investments • Physical assets (tracks fixed assets) • Relationship with Market • Ensuring that all required disclosures are made timely and accurately • Revenues • Receive, records and reports • Ensures that all revenues are collected
Comptroller (continued) • Budget • Ensures the budget is balanced and consistent with approved policies • Employees • Pay is accurate and timely • Benefits are consistent with state and federal laws • Economic Development • Reporting of changes in revenues
Finance Director • Generally responsible to management not to Board • Part of management team for fiscal planning of long-term operating and capital requirements • Market access • Recommends policies for debt management • Responsible for managing relationships with rating agencies and market participants
Finance Director (continued) • Recommends policies to management to help ensure fiscal health • Reserve policies • Debt policies (debt levels, sources of security, etc..) • Asset protection (recommends insurance levels, retention, self insurance,etc…) • Revenues • Responsible for trend analysis (why are revenues rising or falling) • Monitoring and recommending adjustments to rates to recover costs
Finance Director (continued) • Employees • Employee benefit levels • Monitors turnover • Competitiveness with other employers • Economic Development • Assist in monitoring growth trends • Recommending policies
Chief Financial Officer • Takes responsibility for the overall financial health of the entity • Reports generally to the Board/Management and may serve as a Board member • Responsible for the“Big picture” • Takes long-term perspective. Less interested in the day to day and more focused on preparing the entity for tomorrow.
Chief Financial Officer (continued) • Asset Management • Interested in the effective cost management of assets,return on assets and whether we acquire or dispose of assets? • Market Access • Interested in expanding potential market for entities debt • Responsible for investor relations • Monitors Secondary Market activity
Chief Financial Officer (continued) • Revenues • Ensuring diversification of revenues to ensure financial health of entity • Budgets • Capital maintenance replacement strategies • Debt Versus Paygo • Inter-generational equity considerations • Employees • Development of employees • Depth of key positions • Capital versus labor trade-offs
Chief Financial Officer (continued) • Partners with and supports the CEO • Is a spokesman for the entity in the community • Will recommend tax and rate increases and participate in selling them to the community when approved by the Board • Economic development • Participates in recruitment and marketing of the community to potential corporation • Studies impediments to growth and competitive weaknesses and recommends strategies to address
Independence vs. Collaboration • Clerk is an independent Constitutional Officer • Maintain your independence from the Board/County Administrator, but recognize you are part of the institution. • How do you maintain your “watchdog” responsibilities and also be a partner? • Compliment publicly and criticise privately
Key Points to Take Away • Know your role and responsibility • The role of the Clerk is in the Constitution and the Statutes • Each county is unique and has different resouces, traditions and operations • There needs to be an understanding and agreement with the Board as to your role • Because of the bifurcation of financial responsibilities, some financial functions may get lost and be left undone