The Finance Department is headed by the Finance Director, who is also the Town’s Chief Financial Officer and Town Accountant. The Town adopted special legislation, effective July 1, 2006, separating the Chief Financial Officer function from the Executive Director position, and the Finance Director is appointed by the Executive Director of General Government Services. The Finance Director and Executive Director work together to establish and maintain sound financial policies, controls, and the Town’s AAA credit rating. They work with the various Town boards and departments to create the annual budget, five-year capital plan, and town-wide financial plan.
The Town’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has achieved national recognition since its 2004 inception. The Town’s Retirement system has historically been well funded and investment return assumptions are conservative compared with other systems. The Town has made significant contributions toward funding the Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB - mandated by GASB 45) and it's funding progress compares very favorably with the rest of the Commonwealth.
Please refer to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's financial metrics for the 351 Cities and Towns. The data graphs Town Reserves, Pension and OPEB funding progress and provides comparative data for several other budgetary categories. https://www.mass.gov/municipal-databank-data-analytics
The finance team includes Accounting, Budgeting, and Treasurer/Collector. The Finance Director is the ex-officio member of the Town’s Retirement Board, and Retirement staff is located within Town Hall.
The Finance Director is the liaison to the Audit Committee, and Financial Services Department staff coordinate with and assist the Advisory Committee and any other committees requiring financial data. The Finance Director, Treasurer, and Executive Director comprise the team that structures debt and communicates with the bond rating agencies.
The Accounting function includes the weekly Town-wide Accounts Payable and Payroll processes, including processing all invoices and payrolls, and creating and submitting warrants for approval and reconciling and analyzing general ledger accounts.
Department staff train other town employees to use the MUNIS system. The department files quarterly payroll reports, creates W2s and 1099s, and files the annual Schedule A and free cash certification request.
The Department also assists with the annual audit and maintains fixed asset records. There are 25 general ledger funds, and annual expenditures, including the three enterprise funds, exceed $180,000,000.
The Budget function includes coordinating the annual budget process for the Town, preparing the budget book for the departments reporting to the Board of Selectmen, assisting all departments in budget preparation, and inputting final budgets into the MUNIS system.
Budget instructions, energy guidelines, and budget guidelines are communicated to the other departments. The department analyzes data and maintains statistics necessary to long range planning, and helps departments monitor spending against budget during the year.
The Department retains contracts, monitors contract spending and assists in the purchasing and RFP processes.