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Posts by Mike Bailey

Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

November 8, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

Can trust building be a part of a local government's budget process? In this post Finance Consultant Mike Bailey argues that trust is a critical component to creating a high-functioning team that can then make the best possible decisions in how to serve their constituents. 

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Reported, Remote Sales Taxes Likely to Increase

Reported, Remote Sales Taxes Likely to Increase

October 22, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Revenues

Washington local governments should see an increase in reported, remote sales taxes thanks to a recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair. This post provides an overview of the case and its potential impact locally. 

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Introducing MRSC

Introducing MRSC's New Finance Consultant, Mike Bailey

October 3, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category:

After more than 38 years in the trenches as a public finance professional, Mike Bailey is joining MRSC as a Finance Consultant.   

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Having Great Budget Discussions

Having Great Budget Discussions

March 26, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

Budget discussions offer local governments the opportunity to identify concerns, priorities, and goals. It's also a great opportunity to get and provide updates on key issues, challenges, and accomplishments across the organization. Finance Advisor Mike Bailey offers suggestions on how to make your budget conversations work more efficiently.

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Which Financial Policies Work Best?

Which Financial Policies Work Best? 'It Depends.'

April 26, 2017 by Mike Bailey
Category: Financial Management , Fund Balance and Reserves

What is the right level of fund balance for local government? For many reasons, "It depends" is the best place to start when answering that question. 

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It’s Time to Sharpen those Budget Skills

It’s Time to Sharpen those Budget Skills

July 7, 2016 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

In a recent survey conducted by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), public officials identified budget topics as the number two area of interest.  (The top topic of choice was economic development.)  This aligns with our experience over the last 25 years as we’ve worked with elected and appointed officials across the state on improving our budget skills.  In this ar...

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It’s Not Too Early to Think about Laying the Foundation for Your Next Budget

It’s Not Too Early to Think about Laying the Foundation for Your Next Budget

February 9, 2016 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

I know, I know. Budget already? You just adopted your budget (or if you are like us and have a biennial budget, you just finished the mid-biennium review). But wait! If you want to have a great budget experience next fall (and who doesn’t), then it is not too early to think about how to lay the best founda...

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Building the Budget around the Community it Serves

Building the Budget around the Community it Serves

June 23, 2015 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

Redmond Finance Director Mike Bailey explains how Redmond shifted its budgeting process to better focus on citizen priorities.
 

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Open Data Portals for Washington Local Government Finance Data

Open Data Portals for Washington Local Government Finance Data

March 9, 2015 by Mike Bailey
Category: Public Participation , Finance Advisor

There is a lot of attention these days on the transparency of governmental spending.  That is as it should be.  As I’ve said before in this column, this is “other people’s money” and we in government have an important responsibility to spend it wisely.  The community that contributes these funds (both voluntarily through fees and involuntarily through taxe...

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Fall is in the Air – and Budget Workshops are Filling Your Agendas

September 11, 2014 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

You can tell that summer is winding down. The nights are longer – and cooler; Seahawk football has returned; and councils are about to start their workshops to review the preliminary budget. While the Seahawks are always an interesting subject, this article will focus on how to make the best use of your upcoming budget workshops and hopefully create the “best budget” for your organization.

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The Economy is Better - So Why is My Budget So Hard To Balance?

December 1, 2013 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

You may have seen some of the headlines recently: "Boeing: Record 777X order placed in Dubai"; "Many small business owners are saying they're ready to hire"; "S&P 500 trades above all-time high"; "Construction spending up 45% over last year"; "Retail sales grow again". But if you've looked at your budget forecasts, they don't...

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Award Program for Small Entities

April 1, 2013 by Mike Bailey
Category: Finance Advisor , Financial Reporting

In this column I wanted to pass along news that I'm hoping will be an opportunity for many of our smaller governments here in Washington State to get outside recognition for their financial reporting work. The Government Finance Officers Association has had a financial reporting recognition program in place for decades and many of our larger governments have been able to benefit from it. While I...

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A Bright Light for Those of Us Who Want to Improve Public Service

September 1, 2012 by Mike Bailey
Category: Management , Finance Advisor

That is how I think of the State Auditor Office's newest offering - the Local Government Performance Center (LGPC). Described as "a resource center for local governments that need to solve problems, reduce costs, and improve the value of their services to citizens," the LGPC will offer a variety of resources and...

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Year-End is a good time to get a financial "checkup"

March 1, 2012 by Mike Bailey
Category: Finance Advisor , Investments

The end of the year approaches.  I know because my budget is in the capable hands of our city council.  Another way I know is that we have started our annual year-end "checkup." In this article, we will share some ideas about  how you can use the "slower time" around the holidays to review some important financial vital signs.

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Who Makes the City and County Accounting Rules We Must Follow?

March 1, 2012 by Mike Bailey
Category: Finance Advisor

RCW 43.09.200 says the Washington State Auditor shall prescribe a uniform system of accounting and reporting for all local governments. This is not totally unique in the country as a few other states have a statewide office establishing the accounting rules. What is completely unique is that the State Auditor then conducts the audits of all these local governments.

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Financial Statements - GAAP or Cash Basis? You Decide

March 1, 2012 by Mike Bailey
Category: Finance Advisor

One of the more interesting questions I’ve been asked by an elected official recently was whether GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) was better for their city than the non-GAAP alternative offered by the Washington State Auditor's Office.

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