Financial recovery in sight for city government

Our client’s need

Following the departure of key finance professional, a Wisconsin city discovered internal documentation of financial processes as well as critical financial dates and deadlines were lacking or non-existent. In addition, the city was facing mounting financial troubles from years of overspending and other financial mismanagement issues. They needed help assessing their current situation, obtaining the documents necessary to understand the issues faced, and consultation in determining an action plan for immediate and long-term goals.

Baker Tilly solution

The Baker Tilly team was selected by the city to work with the new finance professional to facilitate and ease her transition because of our deep industry experience. In addition to advising on tax and payroll questions, we provided information to the city on items such as major transaction areas, capital asset records, debt repayment schedules, and special assessment records. Baker Tilly also helped the city contract on-site accounting services by providing appropriate historical information to ensure the transition went smoothly, and helped the new comptroller and contractor with year-end financial entries.

Baker Tilly met with all of the key stakeholders, including the comptroller, mayor, and bond advisor to identify all of the city’s financial concerns. We then worked with city staff to develop and implement a ten year recovery plan.

Results achieved

The city is on its way to financial recovery. Working with Baker Tilly, the city achieved a smooth transition for the comptroller and eliminated a significant staffing void. The efficient collaboration led to a carefully prepared audit with limited adjustments and within budget. Their financial achievements include:

  • The general fund has experienced a $1.4 million turnaround over the last three years and is now reporting a 21 percent reserve at the close of its last fiscal year.
  • The general fund plans to achieve its goal of a 25 percent reserve this year.
  • Other city funds continue to recover in accordance with the plan.