The Director of Accounts and Budgets is a state-mandated position as legislated in Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) § 5-13-103. The Director is appointed by the County Mayor and subsequently ratified by the County legislative body. The Director of Accounts and Budgets is mandated by TCA §5-13-104 to establish and maintain a “system of fiscal procedure, control, and centralized accounting...to accurately reflect the assets, liabilities, income and expenditures of each fund of the County...” The Director of Accounts and Budgets also serves on many County committees and boards: Budget Committee (ex-officio secretary, TCA § 5-12-104), Personnel Advisory Committee (voting member), Bi- County Board Member (ex-officio), E-911 District Board (ex-officio), Montgomery County Rail Authority (ex officio), Conservation Board (ex officio), Clarksville-Montgomery County Insurance Trust (voting member), Montgomery County Human Resources Agency (board member), Building Advisory Committee (ex-officio), Committee on Investment (voting member), and Information Systems Committee (voting member) and Audit Committee.
- Montgomery County operates under the County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957 (TCA §5-13) and the County Budgeting Law of 1957(TCA §5-12).
- Montgomery County Government and Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools operate on a July 1 to June 30, fiscal year.
- Tennessee state law does not allow the school board the authority to issue its own debt; therefore, all other financing sources are legislated by the County Commission and included in the County's debt.
- The department of Accounts and Budgets provides financial management and financial operations for the Emergency Communication District (E911), Bi-County Landfill and Solid Waste Management, and the Montgomery County Rail Authority. Each of these services is maintained in a separate fund and is not supported by the annual tax levy and other revenue sources that support the County'sgovernmental activities.
- The department of Accounts and Budgets provides financial operations for The Clarksville-Montgomery County Regional Airport Authority and the Clarksville Montgomery County Library.
Without a doubt, the largest operation in Accounts and Budgets is Accounts Payable. Accounts Payable involves three staff members in varying degrees—pre-audit, entry and processing, and independent verification.
Accounts Payable doesn't stop after the check is cut. Accounts and Budgets, in conjunction with purchasing, maintains W-9 information where applicable for nearly 9,000 active vendors. Accounts and Budgets prides itself on accuracy and timeliness. The Accounts and Budgets employees assist the county officials, commissioners, employees and the general public with any questions related to the financial aspects of the county. The Accounts and Budgets staff strives to be good stewards of public funds.
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Accounts and Budgets is mandated by the Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) § 5-21-103 to account for the receipting of all revenues from County departments, County constitutional offices, schools, and all funds maintained by the County government.
Accounts and Budgets also works closely with the Industrial Development Board in processing annual billing for local Payment in lieu of Taxes (PILOTS) agreements. In fiscal year 2013, a total of 10 contracts were actively maintained for a total of $577,402 in real and personal property billing.
Montgomery County Government leases building space to several State and non-profit entities, and also enters into inter-local agreements with other local governments. Accounts and Budgets reconciles these contracts and agreements annually.
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Accounts and Budgets manages thirteen funds and account groups including, but not limited to; County General, Highway, Debt Service, Worker's Compensation, On-the-Job Injury, Unemployment, Bi County Solid Waste and the Clarksville Montgomery County Communications District. The Chart of Accounts includes 4,549 active accounts with a total of 7,298 accounts. Each month, thirteen funds are reconciled to the Trustee (cash accounts only).
Capital Assets: Accounts & Budgets reports for both governmental and proprietary (E911 & Bi-County) capital assets. Each asset is identified as one of ten major classes of assets: Land, Building & Improvements, Infrastructure, Furniture & Fixtures, Other Machinery & Equipment, Construction in Progress, Other Fixed Assets, and Intangible.
Payroll: Accounts and Budgets is also responsible for reconciling payroll liability accounts and payroll tax reporting. Each week the payroll taxes are reported to the Internal Revenue Service; each quarter the 941 Employer's Quarterly tax returns are filed; and annually W-2s are reconciled and reported for approximately 1,195 employees from seven funds. Accounts and Budgets is responsible for oversight of monthly reports filed with the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System. The payroll bank account that clears all county payroll checks is reconciled monthly in Accounts and Budgets.
ARRA: The federal government began issuing grants under the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). ARRA requires unprecedented accountability and transparency to obtain these types of grant funds. The act requires increased reporting standards, separation of ARRA funds from normal grants and the designation of a County Official as primarily responsible for the maintenance and reporting of ARRA funds. The Montgomery County Mayor appointed the Accounts and Budgets Director as that official.
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Accounts and Budgets manage the financial aspects of federal, local, and state grants received on behalf of Montgomery County. In addition, Accounts & Budgets is also responsible for the financial grant management for component units, such as the Rail Authority, Bi-County, and E-911. Extensive reviews of grant agreements are made through the department to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations, and to ensure funds are expended in accordance to the budget in the grant agreement. This makes the task of accurate record-keeping and reporting extremely important so that the full grant award is realized and does not become the liability of the local public funds.
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The Department of Accounts and Budgets is responsible for the maintenance of the Debt Service Fund. Montgomery County Debt is used to fund capital projects. The projects are primarily, but not limited to construction of County buildings and facilities, and major repairs and renovations of the county infrastructure. Careful management of the Debt Service Fund ensures that the County receives the most favorable interest rates on borrowings in order to minimize the county interest costs and debt service fees.
The County currently utilizes the following debt structures to fund its capital needs; bonds, capital outlay notes, QZAB bonds, and QSCB Bonds. Bonds are long term debt instruments that are generally paid off in fifteen to twenty years. Capital outlay notes are long term instruments generally paid off in the three to five year range. Qualified Zone Recovery Bonds and Qualified School Construction bonds are obtained through the State of Tennessee, and used to build and renovate School buildings. The debt is made up of general county debt and school related debt. Currently the debt is seventy-four percent School System and twenty-six percent general County Government debt. The County also restructures old debt to more favorable terms as more favorable terms become available.
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Capital Projects Funds
The Accounts and Budgets Department is responsible for maintaining the County's Capital Projects Fund. Currently the County has parks and recreation projects underway, in addition to several equipment and facility upgrades. Projects that are over $500,000 are mandated to have retainage accounts opened in the name of the County and the bid-awarded contractor. Retainage accounts are used to put a portion of funds due a contractor, usually ten percent, aside until the completion of the project to mitigate the county's loss should a contractor fail to complete a project. These accounts are maintained and verified monthly.
Accounts and Budgets assists with the budgeting for the five year capital improvement plans that are prepared by the various County Departments. This is critical to match the capital requests with the funding mechanisms available to the County so that the plans can be implemented on time.
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Other Funds and Responsibilities
Worker's Compensation Fund
The Workers' Compensation Fund is reconciled monthly in the Accounts and Budgets Department in order to insure proper disbursement to the appropriate county funds.
Unemployment Compensation Fund
Unemployment Compensation Fund is reconciled and checks are written monthly for any unemployment paid by the County and the School System to the State of Tennessee. The reconciliation is done for the purpose of applying the payments to the proper departments.
19th Judicial District Drug Task Force
19th Judicial District Drug Task Force is maintained for the purpose of administering drug control grant and property seized and forfeited as a result of drug related crimes. The Accounts and Budgets Department issues checks for the expenses and receives and records the revenue obtained by the District.
Drug Control Fund
The Drug Control Fund is a special revenue fund used to maintain drug related fines separately to offset the expense of drug enforcement related activities of the County. These funds are restricted legislatively for the purpose of drug control. The Accounts and Budgets Department reconciles the cash account monthly and issues checks to cover the expenses of the fund.
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The County's Consolidated Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is prepared by the Division of County Audit of the State of Tennessee. Accounts and Budgets is required to have individuals that are capable of assisting in the preparation of the CAFR. The Division of County Audit performs an Independent Audit of the records of the County on an annual basis. The Accounts and Budgets staff is required to maintain records that satisfy all Federal, State and Local laws. The component units for which Accounts and Budgets maintains records are also audited by Independent Auditors. The Accounts and Budgets Department also answers to other Federal and State departments for the proper administration of grants funds and Department of Homeland Security, the Administration of Justice, the Department of Environment and Conservation the Department of Corrections and other state and local governments. Should the county expend more than $500,000 in federal grants, they are required to submit a single audit under the provision of the Office of Management and Budget of the Federal government. This audit is done at the same time as the regular county audit.
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Component Units and Other Entities
Accounts and Budgets is responsible for the record keeping of several of the County’s Component Units. Bi-County Solid Waste Management, the Montgomery County Emergency Communications District, and the Montgomery County Rail Authority are government entities for which Accounts and Budgets has the responsibility of providing full accounting services. That responsibility includes interacting with the management and boards of these entities and providing relevant financial and budgetary information in order for those bodies to make decisions for the entity’s best interest.
The County has three entities that it fully funds, but does not have management authority. The Clarksville-Montgomery County Library, Industrial Development Board, and Tourism have their own management teams and boards, but are dependent on the county for operating funds. The Accounts and Budgets Department is responsible for ensuring that these entities receive any funds due to them in a timely manner. The Account and Budgets Department reviews the yearly Independent Auditor’s report for inclusion in the County CAFR.
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Montgomery County Government and its component units participate in an annual budget appropriation process. This process as required by state law includes publishing the proposed operating budget as well as conducting a public hearing. The budget appropriation resolution and tax levy resolution are then presented in a County Commission meeting for vote.
Accounts and Budgets works closely with the County Mayor to perform all duties prescribed by the County Budget Law of 1957, prepares budgets for ten funds, including 677 revenue accounts and 2,926 expenditure accounts. These funds account for ninety-six entities including not only County department and Constitutional offices, but also component units, special revenue funds of the County and local non-profits.
Throughout the year Accounts and Budgets works with each department by sending out monthly Year to Date Budget Reports and helps monitor their department's budget. Account and Budgets also makes the necessary budget amendment entries throughout the year, as well as a quarterly resolution that is passed by the County Commission.
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