Mid-year numbers can be misleading

By Hank Stratford on February 24, 2014

Stratford Hank websiteAt the last Clayton City Council meeting we received a mid-year budget report. For those who think it is odd to get a mid-year report early in the calendar year may not be aware that Clayton uses a fiscal year that begins on July 1 and goes to June 30. That means in the middle of the summer we are talking about year-end issues.

As of the end of December (mid-year) our revenues were higher than they were the previous year and somewhat ahead of the budget. Whereas this is good news and hopefully a good indicator that we will finish the year with more revenue than budgeted, it can be misleading since our revenue doesn’t come in evenly throughout the year. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that revenue will come in on budget and possible a little above budget.

However, our expenses at mid-year are also more than the budget. In fact, at mid-year our expenses are over-budget more than our revenue, resulting in a mid-year deficit. In the first half of the year we had a few one-time expenses that were not anticipated for in the budget. Like our revenues our expenses don’t come in evenly through the year, so hopefully we will have fewer expenses in the second half of the year.

The mid-year deficit worries me but not quite to the point of losing sleep. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will end the fiscal year close to budget.

New Finance Manager Kevin Mizuno is doing a great job and he will be hawkish as we continue through the rest of the fiscal year.

Email your questions or comments to hstratford@ci.clayton.ca.us

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