APS – The Rest of the CFO Department Budget (Disappointment Continues) – Mr. Burbridge – time to get aggressive!

CFO Burbridge has responsibility for the following departments – Comptroller, Accounting, Accounts Payable, Financial Reporting, Grants Accounting, Treasury Services, Purchasing & Supply Services, Payroll, School Based Accounting, Budget, Fixed Assets & Capital Projects and Employee Benefits (7650). Let’s take a look to see how each department fared in the “decrease expenses by 10%” mandate.

Overall, the CFO’s total department FY13 Proposed Budget has decreased expenses by 5.6% as compared to the FY12 Amended Budget. However, the FY13 numbers are 4.6% higher than the FY12 Approved Budget. The big increases are in Salaries and Supplies & Materials. Also, the positions in the group have not changed since FY11 while the organization retrenches – its time to cut at least six or seven positions to match the rest of the organization. Again, Mr. Burbridge – it’s time to get aggressive on spending! Please lead the way.

Comptroller (7681) – this department is staffed by one person and the Salaries budget has remained flat since FY11. Hooray – someone in the organization can get along without an Administrative Assistant! The only question I have is what is the $230k being spent on for Professional Services?

Accounting (7638) – the staff has increased from 7 to 8 in FY13 with the addition of another Accountant in the $65-70k salary range. Given that the organization is retrenching, this does not make sense. Also, the Salaries have gone up in FY13, but the Employee Benefits have stayed the same as FY12. This is likely another piece of sloppy budgeting. After adjusting for the increase in Employee Benefits, it is likely that this department budget increased by 14%+. Was the “10% cut memo” misplaced?

Accounts Payable (7640) – it looks like we have a winner! The Accounts Payable gets the brunt of the FY13 budget decreases. The staffing has been reduced by four positions and expenses by $193k or 25.6%. Nicely done! Kudos are due to the A/P department for taking one for the team. However, while there is a substantial reduction in Salaries, there is no change in Employee Benefits – more sloppy budgeting?

School Based Accounting (7667) – Stop the celebration! It appears that the staff reduction in A/P was simply a switch from that department to this one plus more. The total positions have increased from 6 in FY12 to 13 in FY13! Average Salaries have dropped due to the addition of lower paid staff positions and the average Employee Benefits have dropped as well (the reduced average Employee Benefits looks like a budgeting error).

Financial Reporting (7718) – it looks like this department is finished – no staff allocated. Then why is there still $75k of expense in the FY13 budget? Kill it off completely so I don’t have to follow it anymore.

Grants Accounting (7683) – There is a lot of shifting around of titles, but the total positions in FY13 remains the same at five. However, they seemed to make do in FY11 with four positions – roll it back and eliminate the current 7% increase in expenses. And what are they spending $135k in Professional Services for?

Treasury Services (7668) – No change in staffing and it remains at three positions. Small group and the 10% needs to be made up somewhere else (thanks A/P).

Payroll (7666) – Staffing levels stayed the same as in FY12 and average Salaries came down a bit. Professional Services are declining by $86k and the combined effect is a 17.5% reduction for the department. Another winner! (Oh – I will refrain from too much celebration as there are Payroll people scattered in a number of other departments – let’s hold off until we see the total number of Payroll position in the entire organization.)

Budget (7635) – I am going to withhold assessing this group until the process is done. So far, there seems to be a lot of sloppy budgeting errors, but let’s hope they correct it quickly. I know that they have been under significant time pressure due to the late decisions on redistricting. Go Ramona – bring it home!

Fixed Assets & Capital Projects (7637) & Employee Benefits (7650) – Quite honestly, while I know what these departments should be accounting for, the budgets for each have been static for the last couple of budget cycles at $240k and $2 million, respectively. Maybe they are simply “slush fund” buffers – I just wish they would get rid of them and allocate the budget to the appropriate departments.

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