January 13, 2014
In recent days, the City of Memphis finally published their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) on line. In between watching the NFL playoff games and Tiger basketball, I have been reading this important document. It will never outsell “Gone With The Wind” or the Bible in popularity but to me it makes fascinating reading. It is like reading a diary as the Administration tries to put the best face on things but the public auditors (Banks, Finley White and Co) have to publish the facts as presented to them by the administration while at the same time going over the books for verification of what they are told.
One of the most interesting and important statements is the following one found in the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis”. It reads as follows.
“Over time, increases or decreases in net assets may serve as a useful indicator of whether the financial position of the City is improving or deteriorating.”