City finances can be very confusing but we’re working to change that. There are two main financial documents that the City releases each year – the Budget and the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR). The Budget details out the spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The ACFR provides a set of financial statements looking at the past year and how the City performed relative to the Budget’s spending plan.
The Budget, for the most part, is easier to understand because it’s similar to the household budget you likely do on your own and in recent years, the Budget Department has made great strides in changing the format to be more understandable. The ACFR, however, can get quite complicated. It’s very long – around 300 pages - and is very heavy on accounting terminology. The target audience for it is credit rating agencies and investors. We are now creating the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), an easier-to-read report spotlighting key aspects of the ACFR. The target audience for the PAFR, is you!
You can find a copy of the inaugural PAFR digitally at CityOfChesapeake.net/PAFR or physically at any City facility. The PAFR will give you an idea of where City funding came from and what it went towards in the last fiscal year. It’s all part of our ongoing efforts towards transparency and community education when it comes to City finances.