Rather than pumping out a bunch of numbers which leave the average person scratching their head, Coldstream has proven its ability to make a little more sense out of the numbers.
For the third year in a row, the district has earned the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada (GFOA).
“I’m very proud of being able to get this award again,” said Trevor Seibel, Coldstream CAO, who started submitting annual reports in 2010.
The Canadian Award for Financial Reporting program was established to encourage municipal governments throughout Canada to publish high- quality financial reports and to provide peer recognition and technical guidance for officials preparing these reports.
Submissions are judged by impartial members of the GFOA’s Canadian Review Committee on their ability to meet the high standards of the program, and demonstrate a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate a municipality’s financial story.
“It’s basically trying to go beyond the norm in terms of reporting,” said Seibel. “We try to put out as much as we can in an easy, readable fashion because it can be quite complex.”
Reports should go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and demonstrate an effort to clearly communicate the municipal government’s financial picture, enhance an understanding of financial reporting by municipal governments, and address user needs.
“So people get their head wrapped around the variety of services we provide.”
Through the award submission, there is a 21-page checklist, which the district uses to annually improve its reporting.
“Each year we tweak it a little bit based on the feedback we get,” said Seibel.