The diverse nature of governmental operations and the necessity of assuring legal compliance preclude recording and summarizing all governmental financial transactions and balances in a single accounting entity. Therefore, from an accounting and financial management viewpoint, a governmental unit is a combination of several distinctly different fiscal and accounting entities, each having a separate set of accounts and functioning independently of each other.

Each accounting entity is accounted for in a separate fund. A fund is defined as a fiscal accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and other financial resources together with all related liabilities and residual equities or balances, and changes therein, which are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with regulations, restrictions, or limitations.

Biennium Budgets

Biennium budgets are adopted for all funds with the exception of the Emergency 911 Fund which is adopted annually. Budgetary control is maintained at the department level. The objective of these budgetary controls is to ensure compliance with legal provisions embodied in the annual appropriated budget approved by the city's governing body. Budget to actual comparisons demonstrate how actual expenses/expenditures compare to both the original and final revised budgets.