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The basics of financial management for small-community utilities

The term financial management simply means effectively managing your utility’s financial functions. The financial functions of your utility include accounting, your policies and procedures, record-keeping and reporting systems, planning and forecasting practices, budgeting procedures, and financial-oversight responsibilities. The goal of good financial management is to ensure that your utility is operated as a financially sustainable enterprise. When your utility is financially sustainable, you are selling water and/or wastewater-disposal services to your customers at a fair rate that consistently generates enough revenue to meet all of your short- and long-term expenses. At the very least, your utility should be financially self-supporting. But successful systems do more than just break even. They establish user rates sufficient enough to meet the system’s future needs, such as emergency outages, equipment replacement and repair, and facility improvements. [authors abstract]

TitleThe basics of financial management for small-community utilities
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsCommunity Resource Group, CRG
Pagination38 p.; 8 tab.
Date Published2011-01-01
PublisherRural Community Assistance Partnership Inc., RCAP
Place PublishedWashington, DC, USA
Keywordsfinancial management, small communities, small community supply systems, sustainable development
Abstract

The term financial management simply means effectively managing your utility’s financial functions. The financial functions of your utility include accounting, your policies and procedures, record-keeping and reporting systems, planning and forecasting practices, budgeting procedures, and financial-oversight responsibilities. The goal of good financial management is to ensure that your utility is operated as a financially sustainable enterprise. When your utility is financially sustainable, you are selling water and/or wastewater-disposal services to your customers at a fair rate that consistently generates enough revenue to meet all of your short- and long-term expenses. At the very least, your utility should be financially self-supporting. But successful systems do more than just break even. They establish user rates sufficient enough to meet the system’s future needs, such as emergency outages, equipment replacement and repair, and facility improvements. [authors abstract]

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