Finance Department Operations
Operating & Capital Budgeting
The Finance Department supports the Town Administrator in developing the annual operating and capital budgets as required by the town charter. The budget is a resource allocation policy document. The department supports annual budget preparation by means of salary and benefit calculations, compilation, and printing of the budget for public presentation and adoption by the Town Council. The department also ensures that state reporting requirements are followed. The town’s budget and periodic financial reports are always available to the public. The finance director administers the Unreserved General Fund Balance Ordinance. He also oversees the Policy for the Disposal of Surplus or Obsolete Property.
Cash Management & Investments
Cash management and investments are inter-related. Cash flow is managed so that excess cash is invested in strict compliance with federal and state investment laws and the town’s Investment Policy.
The finance director is responsible for debt management which includes short term notes and long term bonds. The Finance Department is responsible for the Debt Management Policy. The Finance Department coordinates the preparation of the official statement for each bond issuance. With the assistance of bond counsel and bank representatives, this document is offered to investors who purchase the tax exempt bonds. The town’s current bond rating is AA2 according to a Moody's Investors Service report.
Tax levy assessment, tax receivable billing, and collection are functions of the Tax Assessor / Collector who provides daily and monthly reconciliation of tax collections, tax vouchers, and adjustments to the Finance Department. The Finance Department maintains the control ledger of tax receivables for accounting and financial reporting. The finance director incorporates the tax levy assessment into the budgetary process and insures that the state reporting requirements are satisfied. The tax assessor coordinates the annual delinquent property tax sale. The finance director processes redemption of tax sale property.
The finance director serves as the designated Purchasing Agent. Federal and state procurement regulations require competitive bidding in most situations. Following the town’s Purchasing Ordinance and Purchasing Policy Procedures, the Finance Department prepares the specifications and issues Requests for Proposals or Invitations for Bid for the acquisition of high value products, equipment, and professional services for all town departments. The Town Council approves bid award or proposal acceptance. The town participates in a shared web site to advertise bids and provide electronic downloads of bid documents.
Governmental Accounting, Auditing & Financial Reporting
The general ledger accounting system is designed to capture financial information in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. An independent certified public accountant completes the annual audit of the town’s financial statements. Audited financial statements are available for public review.
Grants & Special Agency Funds
The finance director serves as the agent for all fiduciary funds which are used to account for resources held for the benefit of parties outside the government.
The town manages risk by participating in a risk-sharing “pool” of municipal and school entities incorporated as the Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust. The “TRUST” provides workers’ compensation and property / liability insurance coverage, claims administration, and loss prevention services for governmental entities in Rhode Island. The Finance Department works with the TRUST to administer claims. The finance / personnel director is responsible for administering the town’s Vehicle Usage Policy.
Pension & Benefits
The finance director is responsible for administration of the Pension Trust account and plan management activities. The finance director is also responsible for efficient and effective administration of the employee benefit programs.
The finance director also serves as the town’s welfare official. Residents who require financial assistance should contact the finance director.