The Financial Services department is responsible for the creation and management of several financial statements – they are created and analysed year to year to ensure that accurate, precise figures are reported to reflect the true financial position of Norfolk County. These numbers are critical for future strategic planning, to maintain financial sustainability, and to inform taxpayers of the financial details of the programs and services that are provided to them.
Legislative Requirements and Reporting Standards
These statements also exist for purposes of transparency and accountability. The Municipal Government Act (MGA), in fact, requires that every municipality complete a detailed set of financial statements, of which a copy must be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing. Additionally, the yearly financial statements must be audited by an independent and certified third party auditor. All financial statements are created in accordance with standards set forth by the Public Sector Accounting Board, (commonly abbreviated as PSAB), as well as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (commonly referred to and pronounced as GAAP).
What are Financial Statements?
In essence, financial statements are created to provide information on Norfolk County’s financial position. The financial position of the County is measured by means of several different types of reports, including but not limited to:
The Statement of Financial Position (or Balance Sheet) reports on:
- Assets – things like cash, vehicles, and land. These are physical items that Norfolk County currently controls and/or owns.
- Liabilities – things like debt, payables, and borrowed funds. Essentially, a summary of what Norfolk County currently owes or is obligated to pay.
- Accumulated surplus (deficit) – the financial resources (assets) Norfolk has after subtracting all obligations and commitments (liabilities).
The Statement of Operations reports on:
- Revenues – sources of income/earnings flowing into Norfolk County from taxes, user fees, and other sources.
- Expenses – costs incurred across all departments. For example, vehicle maintenance, salaries, etc.
The Statement of Change in Net Financial Assets (Debt):
- This statement tracks the spending on capital assets (things like buildings, land, and equipment) and inventories.
- This statement also reports on any gain or loss when a capital asset is sold or disposed of by Norfolk County. You may see these headings in the statement:
- Acquisition of Tangible Capital Assets – this includes the total amount of funds spent by Norfolk County on acquiring or renovating/restoring capital assets (these are things like vehicles, buildings, and land – these are “tangible”)
- Gains/Losses on Sale of Capital Assets – when a capital asset owned by the County is sold or disposed of, any gains or losses on the sale are reported.
The Statement of Cash Flow
- This statement identifies the sources of cash, and how that cash was used.
- This statement compares the change in the total cash balance from year to year.
- There are four key elements the statement reports on:
- Operating Transactions –cash spent and received on a day to day basis relating to the main activities of Norfolk County
- Capital Transactions – purchases and sales of assets like land, buildings and equipment.
- Investing Transactions – any gains or losses on any kind of investment (Interest earned, GIC’s, etc)
- Financing Transactions – includes any funds relating to the issue or payment of Norfolk County’s bonds or other forms of long-term debt.
Yearly Audited Financial Statements
If you require any previous years financial statements, or require an accessible version of the information, please contact the Accounting Services division with your request.
Financial Services Department
Phone: 519-426-5870 ext. 1242