9/8/2014 1:45 PM
The 2015 Budget format was made available today. It pretty much is totally revised. There are familiar parts, but the format and flow are different. You will also discover that there is much more narrative then there has ever been. The narrative is in question/answer format with additional schedules required. It looks as though they are focusing on compliance issues. The real question is, what will their response will be to noncompliance and perjury issues. For example, I believe most fire districts have a web site address and I believe most will certify on Page C-5 that they are in compliance. I have visited a number of sites and many are far from compliant. Will they be denied tax dollars to fight fires because they are missing information on their web site? There are attorneys representing fire districts who will tell their Boards that DCA's budget approval is merely advisory and tax dollars cannot be denied to the districts. I think there will be quite a few budget preparers this year who are just going to be giving the "right" answers to get the budget processed. I doubt the State has the will or resources to verify information submitted.
Some examples of the changes in the 2015 Budget:
The first section is the "Certification" section numbered C-1 through C-8. This is the section with all the signatures and resolutions.
The next section is the "Narrative" section numbered N-1 through N-6. This is the section where the major additions are located. The new pages are questions and schedules involving compliance and conflict of interest issues. Be advised that three of the "N" pages come from the Excel workbook and need to be inserted in this section before submission to DCA.
The last section is the "Financial" section numbered F-1 through F-12. This is the Excel workbook, rearranged deleting the supplemental schedules we are accustomed to preparing. I did one set and it does not seem to "flow", but that could just be that it is new.
If you are having issues, call me or send me a text and I may be able to help you. I think the new thing for third party preparers will be that they will need to get more information from the Boards. Like never before, all five Board members will, out of necessity, be involved with the budget process.