AI-3903       9.            
City Council Agenda
Meeting Date: 09/03/2013  
Subject: Management Analyst Team Report on Financial Tools & Reporting
Presenter: Melanie Harding
Department: City Manager's Office

Information
Recommended Action
Staff will present a summary of the Management Analyst Team findings on financial tools and reports.  No action is required. 
Background
The Management Analyst Team was formed by City Manager Bill McDonald with the consent of the Council.  The purpose of the team is to investigate City operations and performance.  This particular Management Analyst Team was brought together with a broad directive: City Manager McDonald asked that the team look into the software tools being used; the strengths/barriers associated with them; the inputs, processes, and practices associated with financial operations and data collection; and report creation and the availability of data. 
Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
Through a series of detailed questions, the team drilled down on several areas of operations to identify strengths, needs for additional tools/resources, and opportunities to increase efficiencies as well as improve the accessibility of financial data.  As part of the analysis process, the team interviewed staff from every department that work with financial aspects of operations.  In addition, the team interviewed seven staff from the Finance Department on their specific areas of expertise and the tools they use in their work.

This is the first presentation to the City Council on this topic.
Summary of Proposal
In the analysis process, several strengths emerged within the department including a proactive drive toward process improvement.  Each of the Finance Department staff we interviewed conveyed a strong technical expertise in their area of operations.  They communicated that they were highly invested in their work and interested in producing high-quality outcomes.  Many of the employees have a great deal of historical knowledge, and overall the Finance Department staff expressed a strong desire to meet the needs of their customers (usually other city departments) in their work. 
 
As we conducted interviews, some challenges surfaced as well.  Users of the existing IFAS financial software in other departments largely felt under-trained in how to use the software and/or report capabilities.  Many departments used different procedures for the same process, such as bank deposits of collected payments/fees.  Other departments reported a past practice of limited communications/cooperation from the Finance Department as a perceived barrier.  The limits of software and reporting functions were also a topic of interest to many interviewees.

The complete findings are outlined in the attached report for City Council review. 
Alternatives/Options
The report findings are largely administrative in nature.  Some of the potential actions (such as software upgrades) have a budget impact and will be discussed during the upcoming budget meetings in October. Staff will move forward to implement process improvements and will update the council on as plans are made to improve organizational training.

Attachments
MAT Report on Financial Tools & Reporting