Council receives clean audit, town in good financial shape

By Rob Vogt Local Press Writer
The Town of Claresholm has received a positive report on its audited financial statements and is in good financial condition.
At its April 11 meeting, town council heard a presentation by Scott Banadyga of Gregory Harriman and Associates LLP who is the town’s auditor.
“We’ve assigned a clean audit report,” Banadyga said. “The statements are fairly and appropriately presented in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards.”
He then went through the statements, starting with the consolidated statement of financial position.
The total financial assets for 2021 were about $6.4 million, an increase of about $80,000 over 2020.
The liabilities for 2021 decreased by about $1.2 million from 2020.
Banadyga attributed that to the clearing of costs associated with the new town office and multi-use community building.
He also noted the town is in a debt position according to the statement, but only because that includes the town’s long-term debt.
The town would be in a surplus of about $4.2 million without that debt.
The consolidated statement of operations covers revenue and expenses for the year.
The total revenue increased from $7.9 million in 2020 to $8.3 million in 2021. The largest variation was $250,000 in user fees and sales of goods, due to changes in the water and sewer billing.
The total operating expenses for 2021 are $8.36 million, which is an $850,000 increase to the prior year. However, the budgeted and actual amounts are very close, so the increase was planned.
There is a shortfall of revenue over expenses “before other” of $21,934. The other section, totalling $2,074,429 includes government transfers for capital, which are grants received and spent on capital projects.
Consequently, this leaves an excess of revenue over expenses of $2,500,000.
The town also went from $2.4 million in net financial debt in 2020 to $1.2 million in 2021.
Finally, the town has $3.1 million in reserves with $2.8 million in capital, up from $2.4 million in 2020 with $2 million in capital.
The capital reserve is restricted for future use on capital projects that could include equipment, or infrastructure such as roads or sewer or water lines.
“Overall the town appears to be in good financial condition,” Banadyga said.
“You’re in a great spot and you’re making strides to be in a better one.”
Later in the meeting council accepted the audited financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2021 as presented.