Financial Transparency Terminology
The terms and definitions below provide a greater understanding of the financial transparency information.
- ANNUAL COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL REPORT (ACFR) - This report provides a quantitative look at the operating success, financial health, and compliance of the government report units. It includes a balance sheet, a statement of changes in financial position, a statement of revenues and expenses, and a comparison of budgeted to actual expenses and revenues. The City of Southlake maintains an accounting system adequate to provide all the data needed to allow for the timely preparation of financial statements for inclusion in the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) in conformity with GAAP and used by both internal and external customers. The financial statements are prepared by the accounting staff and independently audited on an annual basis by a CPA firm. The financial information is used to monitor the expenditure of public funds and to ensure that the financial transactions of the City are conducted in accordance with statutory and contractual requirements and City policy.
- BUDGET - The annual budget serves as a tool to help decision-makers make informed choices about the provision of services and capital assets and to promote stakeholder participation in the process. This information is used to watch the expenditure of public funds and to ensure that the financial transactions of the City are conducted in accordance with statutory and contractual requirements and City policy.
- CHECK REGISTER - A check register is a listing of all payments incurred during a month by the City. The check register includes the payment date, payment amount, payee, type of expenditure, and business unit. To be transparent and promote accountability to our citizens about what the city is spending, the City of Southlake posts the current year’s monthly check registers and summary check registers for the past five fiscal years which show payments for goods and services provided to the City of Southlake. The registers include check/reference number, payment date, payment amount, and account description, excludes any information that might reveal protected privacy information.
- COMPTROLLER - The Comptroller is the chief steward of the state's finances, acting as the tax collector, chief accountant, chief revenue estimator, and chief treasurer for all of state government, in addition to administering a number of other programs. As the State’s chief financial officer, the Comptroller’s office collects taxes and fees owed to the state. Most of the office’s duties and powers are enumerated in the Texas Tax Code and in Chapter 403 of the Texas Government Code. As guardians of the state’s fiscal affairs, agencies depend on the Comptroller’s office to pay their bills and issue paychecks to state employees. Legislators rely on the Comptroller’s office to chart the course of the Texas economy, produce annual financial reports, and estimate future state revenues. Local officials and businesses look to the agency for economic development guidance and data analysis. Taxpayers rely upon it for assistance and guidance regarding compliance with tax laws. And all Texas residents depend on the Comptroller’s office to safeguard their tax dollars and ensure they are handled wisely.
- FINANCIAL POLICY - The City of Southlake's financial policies set forth the basic framework for the fiscal management of the City. These policies were developed within the parameters established by applicable provisions of the Texas Local Government Code and the City of Southlake’s Charter. The policies are intended to assist the City Council and City staff in evaluating current activities and proposals for future programs.
- FINANCIAL REPORTS - View or download copies of the City’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports and Independent Auditors’ Reports on Federal and State Awards.
- GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS - Governmental funds are programs and services that benefit citizens and visitors, such as public safety, the library, parks and recreation, animal services, and capital maintenance and renewal initiatives. The costs of these services are primarily financed with property tax and sales tax revenues.
- INDEPENDENT AUDIT - At the close of each fiscal year, and at such times as it may be deemed necessary, the Council shall cause an independent audit to be made of all accounts of the City by a Certified Public Accountant. The Certified Public Accountant shall have no personal interest, directly or indirectly, in the financial affairs of the City or any of its officers. Upon completion of the audit, the audit shall be immediately posted on the City's website in its entirety, and copies of the audit placed on file in the City Secretary's office as a public record.
- INTERACTIVE DISBURSEMENTS DATABASE - This database supplies information on the City’s check and electronic disbursements, credit card payments, and payroll disbursements. Detailed information is provided about each payment, such as the vendor the payment was made, the amount of each payment, the department, and the name of the account to which the payment was charged.
- INVESTMENTS - The City of Southlake is committed to an ongoing improvement in the quality of life for its citizens through the attraction and retention of high-quality development that drives a dynamic and sustainable economic environment. Southlake will, on a case-by-case basis, consider providing inducement packages as a stimulus for economic development activity, including business attraction, relocation, and retention.
- LOCAL HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX REPORTING - Senate Bill 1221 from the 2017 Texas legislative session requires local governments to annually report their hotel occupancy tax rates and revenue amounts, including the percentage of revenue allocated for specific uses from the preceding fiscal year.
- OPEN RECORDS - The Texas Public Information Act gives the public the right to request access to government information. The request must ask for records or information already in existence. The "Open Records" link directs you to the City Secretary's webpage, where you may complete and submit a request for records.
- OPENGOV - OpenGov is a government technology company that offers cloud software for public sector accounting, planning, budgeting, citizen services, and procurement. OpenGov Reporting & Transparency helps better communicate their financial and performance data by transforming raw data into intuitive charts, graphs, and spreadsheets thus improving the understanding among the public and staff alike.
- PAYROLL - SALARIES - Provides a database of current salaries for each position that is authorized in the City’s budget.
- POPULAR ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT (PAFR) - This report has summarized and simplified information from the City’s annual comprehensive financial report. It is designed to supply easily understandable information to the public and other interested parties without a background in public finance.
- PROPRIETARY FUNDS - A proprietary fund is used in governmental accounting to account for activities that involve business-like interactions, either within the government or outside of it. Proprietary funds rely on fees and charges for their support. These funds include the provision of water service and trash collection.
- REVENUE BONDS - The City has the power to borrow money for the purpose of constructing, purchasing, improving, extending, or repairing of public utilities, recreational facilities or any other self-liquidating municipal function not prohibited by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, and to issue revenue bonds to evidence the obligation created thereby. Such bonds are charged upon and payable from properties, or interest therein pledged, or the income therefrom, or both. The holders of the revenue bonds shall never have the right to demand payment thereof out of monies raised or to be raised by taxation. All such bonds shall be issued in conformity with the laws of the State of Texas.
- TAX - The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government the authority, and the states the right, to impose taxes on their residents. Local taxes fund government services including police and fire services, public works, libraries, road maintenance, and other programs and projects which benefit the community at large.