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Reader’s Guide

Key Financial Documents

The budget document is the annual financial plan for City operations for the period covering one fiscal year. The

City of Raleigh’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. This plan describes the sources of revenues

and how the funds will be spent during the year. The annual operating budget, the Capital Improvement Program

(CIP) and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) are the key documents which describe the City’s

financial plans and financial status each year.

The annual budget shows the funding plan for how the City’s dollars are to be spent in the coming year. The CAFR

provides a review and assessment of the City’s year-end fiscal condition, including the status of fund balance in all

fund types.

Organizational Structure

The operations of the City are grouped into different funds, each with its own source of revenues. Within each fund

are one or more departments, with a department being an organizational unit that provides a major type of public

service, such as the Police Department or Public Utilities Department.

City departments are frequently comprised of one or more divisions (i.e., the Capital Improvement Management

Division of the Public Utilities Department). Divisions may be comprised of one or more programs, which are

smaller functional units responsible for performing specific activities (i.e., the Maintenance Program within the

Water Plant Division of the Public Utilities Department).

Account codes, also known as line items, provide the most detail within the budget. These are the most basic units

in the budget and make it possible to determine, for example, how much is spent on chemicals for the operation of

the water plant.

The City’s budget preparation involves detailed budget planning and review at the program line item level.

Interfund Transfers

Interfund transfers, also known as interfund appropriations, involve the budgeting of money from one fund to

another in order to support the functions to be carried out by the receiving fund. For example, the General Fund

transfers money to the Transit Fund to support transit services.

When reviewing the budget, it is more accurate to use a figure that excludes appropriations to other funds. This

prevents counting the transfer amounts twice - once in the sending fund and once in the receiving fund.

Most of the fund summary tables in the front of this document reflect both total appropriations as well as

appropriations net of (or excluding) transfers. The departmental summary pages in this budget document reflect

total appropriations only.

General Statute Requirements

In accordance with the North Carolina General Statutes, the City is required to budget and account for its funds on

the modified accrual basis of accounting. Under this method, revenues are recognized in the accounting period in

which they become available. Expenditures are recognized in the accounting period in which the goods and

services incurred (except for unmatured interest on general long-term debt, which is recognized when due). The

City’s accounting records for general governmental operations are reported on the modified accrual basis. The

City’s enterprise, internal service and pension trust operations are reported on the accrual basis.