Business Plan: Finance

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1 Business Plan: Finance How does this service contribute to the results identified in the City of London Strategic Plan? A Strong Economy A Vibrant and Diverse Community A Green and Growing City A Sustainable Infrastructure A Caring Community The Finance Service area is responsible for providing sound financial leadership, planning, advice and reporting to Council, the Corporation and the Community. Financial business support is provided to all services across the Corporation who in turn support all of the results. The strong financial position of the City provides continued and sustainable funding for existing services and has allowed flexibility to take advantage of opportunities to further support the results. Name the main activities done to provide this service: Name The Activities Done To Provide This Service 1. Planning business support, systems issues, analytical analysis, audit, financial oversight 2. Reporting financial statements, service reviews, statutory reporting and compliance, Council reports, performance measurement, benchmarking, maintaining account structures. 3. Transactional Processing Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, account review, debt and cash management, cost accounting 4. Budgeting and Business Plans operating and capital; development, monitoring How Much Did We Do? (optional) Is The City Mandated To Provide This Service? Can The Level Of Service Be Changed? 1

2 What is the current state of this service? Transaction volumes continue to increase, putting pressure on existing resources to cope and adapt to additional workload while maintaining tight financial controls. While the requirements of PSAB 3150 (including Tangible Capital Asset Reporting) have been met, ongoing process re-engineering, system design and reporting enhancements are necessary to streamline the process holistically. Unquestionably, this will require resources from across the Finance Service Area as well as others. Financial Services continually supports the Corporation s increased acceptance of credit card transactions which promotes the Service London mission, whereby the City delivers value through integrated customer centered service. The Provincial Offences (POA) Collection unit recently completed the implementation of new collections software. This software, used by almost 40 of the 60 court sites in Ontario, provides staff with enhanced tools for collection of defaulted fines. Increased streamlining in the collection processes, results in overdue accounts being reviewed sooner and moved on to collection agencies, if the fine remains unpaid. The Tangible Capital Asset and Asset Management groups have been working towards budget best practices that would include data collection and distinct project identification for enhanced project management. The two services are developing improved business practices to monitor and accommodate required reporting (TCA) and asset management. In 2014, the Corporate Asset Management Team presented the City of London s first State of the Infrastructure Report and its first Corporate Asset Management Plan. The Business Administration area continues to explore efficiencies in the centralization of budget development and monitoring, business plans, service reviews and key financial support to all services. Collaboration between service areas is resulting in improved processes. The Financial Planning and Policy section is streamlining the development of the strategic budget document was the first year of this new document and allowed for better community engagement and Council decision making. Financial Planning continues to assist service areas across the Corporation to develop best budget practices by ensuring financial policies and procedures are followed and consistent with corporate guidelines and directives. Financial Planning and Policy administers and manages: the city reserve funds and reserves to ensure appropriate balances are maintained in order to support the City s needs, debt portfolio to ensure debt is utilized in a strategic manner for key City projects (timing of debt issuances, debt levels as a % of operating revenue), as well as manages the cash/investment portfolio on behalf of the Corporation. 2

3 What has been done to manage the budget? The service has been actively managing its budget by implementing management lead initiatives aimed at creating efficiencies, avoiding costs and generating revenue. These include the following: Efficiencies / Costs Avoided Previous 3 Years As an internal service, the Accounts Payable staff work with various service areas to ensure that vendor invoices are processed in an efficient, accurate, timely manner. As a result, discounts offered by vendors are achieved which result in a savings to the Corporation. If the discount period is not met, this would result with a higher expense to the Corporation. Continued automation in the Tangible Capital Asset and Asset Management services has dramatically improved processing time and reporting. Increasing the use of Electronic Fund Transfer as a payment method has significantly reduced internal operating costs to the Corporation. A quicker more efficient payment method has reduced our potential of avoiding interest and penalties, saving on the cost of cheque stock as well as personnel time and reducing bank reconciliation efforts. In addition to the implementation of new collections software, the POA Collections unit has implemented an automated dialing campaign. A person with a delinquent account receives an automated phone call asking them to pay their defaulted fine and give them a choice to pay immediately or speak to a customer service representative. This has resulted in a savings to the Corporation through a decrease in use of postage and office supplies and results in the fines being directed to the appropriate collection process on a faster basis. Revenue Generation / User Fee Increases Previous 3 Years Our Accounts Receivable area is excellent at tracking payments owing to the Corporation and pursuing outstanding interest when accounts are not paid on time. As more customers pay their account on time, the overdue interest will decrease which means that the Corporation is receiving the inflows of cash on a timely basis. This helps the Corporation as a whole manage its financial resources. Interest revenue is projected to be up by $10,000 in 2014 due to the great work of staff. 3

4 What is the future direction of this service? What future initiatives can be contained within the maintain existing service level budget? 2015 Budget TCA Business Process Improvements - Implement systems and process changes within the budget, accounting, accounts payable and purchasing areas to reduce administrative costs and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of compiling the information required for TCA. Public Sector Accounting Standards require the implementation of PS 3260, Contaminated Sites for the 2015 fiscal year end. This section requires the City to assess and determine if any liability exists at December 31, 2015 for contaminated sites. Work is already underway to organize a cross section of experts across the Corporation to work together on this mandate. Corporate accounting is taking a leading role in this initiative and will also liaise with the external auditors on this issue. Finance continues to support and promote system development and integration as well as review business processes to improve efficiencies in all areas which increase section capacity and lower overall costs to the Corporation. The 2012 JD Edwards system upgrade continues to provide the opportunity for Financial Systems staff to focus on augmentations and advances to business practices. The upgraded system has provided a springboard for a number of automation efficiencies. It provides the capability of system integration which will also provide improvements to current business practices that strengthen communication, engagement and enhanced project management. The Tangible Capital Asset section continues to develop improved capital works data collection processes to enhance corporate reporting requirements while at the same time providing efficiencies for project management and capital monitoring. In partnership with the Courts Administration area, Financial Services staff is developing new payment options for customers. This includes over the phone payments by credit card as well as pre-authorized deposits from bank accounts and credit cards. With the goal of being At Your Service, we want to make it as easy as possible for Londoners to make payments. Employee reimbursement through Electronic Funds Transfer - In 2013, as part of the JD Edwards upgrade, a system enhancement was implemented to allow the Corporation to reimburse employees for travel or other out of pocket expenses through Electronic Funds Transfer to their payroll bank account. In the fall of 2014, this process was implemented by request of the Councillor s office for our Councillor s and the Mayor. This process was well received by the Elected Officials and has reduced a significant amount of administration costs in the Councillor s office as well as in Accounts Payable. As part of the 2015 budget year; Accounts Payable will work with various resources throughout the Corporation to implement this process for all City of London employees. 4

5 Business Administration will continue to work with services to ensure financial practices are being adhered to, provide financial advice and liaison on all financial related matters. Refinement of the budget development and monitoring process will continue. Financial Planning and Policy will continue to develop financial policies and practice to ensure best practices are put in place and communicated to service areas across the Corporation. Best budget practices such as the development and approval of a 4 year Operating Budget at the start of a new Council term will be explored in greater detail to ensure cost and service delivery certainty for core municipal services. Furthermore, the section will continue its efforts in integrating and reporting of key performance measures into the budget development and monitoring report cycles and in providing sound financial advice to all service areas Forecast Major JD Edwards (ERP) System Upgrade - Financial Services will be providing staff and leadership on a major JDE Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System Upgrade. The JDE system includes Payroll, Budget, Accounts Payable, Work Orders, Fixed Assets, Purchasing, Inventory, Address Book, Accounts Receivable and General Ledger. An ERP provides for data input, storage, retrieval and analysis features to meet corporate business needs. PSAB 3450, 2601 and As part of the Financial Statements, Financial Services will implement revised accounting for Financial Instruments, Foreign Currency Translation and Liability for Contaminated Sites in accordance with the Public Sector sections 3450, 2601 and 3260 which are new over various years for year ends. Bank Reconciliation Automation - More payment options; requires bank reconciliation automation. Plans are underway to develop more automated methods to account for the various payment options. This will save staff time and decrease processing time. Financial Planning and Policy will continue to implement reviews of key financial policies such as reserve fund, revenue, debt, assessment growth, surplus in order to ensure the financial framework the municipality operates by is current and consistent with best budget practices. 5

6 Key Performance Indicators How Much? Description of measure Accounts Payable Transaction Lines Processed 131, , , , , , Number of Accounts Payable Cheques Issued 27,013 26,500 26,000 25,500 25,000 24, Number of Electronic Fund Transfers 6,486 6,600 6,800 7,000 7,200 7,400 Processed 4. Number of Accounts Receivable Invoices 15,920 16,000 16,200 16,400 16,600 16,800 Issued 5. Number of Active Capital Projects Number of Active Capital Project Financing Reports 7. Number of Active Securities on Development and Subdivision Agreements 8. Number of Social Assistant Payments 206, , , , , , Number of Lawyer s Letters Processed How Well? Description of measure Cost of Accounts Payable Function per $4.10 $4.10 $4.20 $4.20 $4.30 $4.30 Transaction Line 11. Cost of Accounts Receivable Function per $22.06 $22.50 $23.00 $23.50 $24.00 $24.50 Invoice 12. % of Accounts Receivable Billings over 90 days 32.79% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 13. Internal Management Operating Expense Ratio Investment Portfolio.02%.01%.02%.02%.02%.02% Is Anyone Better Off? Description of measure % of Accts Payable Invoices Paid within 30 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% days 15. Dollars in supplier discounts taken through A/P $143,984 $145,000 $146,000 $147,000 $148,000 $149, Moody s Credit Rating Aaa Aaa Aaa Aaa Aaa Aaa 17. Total Federal/Provincial Subsidy Collected ($000 s) 135, , , , , ,974 6

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