7.4 score: Solid financial footing for City of Yukon

'Performeter' model shows great improvement in financial health, performance

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Municipal accounting consultant Frank Crawford, of Crawford & Associates, presents the City of Yukon’s strong “Performeter” scores at the May 4th city council meeting inside the Centennial Building, 12 S 5th. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

The City of Yukon has scored 7.4 on a scale of 0-10 in a performance model that demonstrates financial health.

“That’s a really good score and it’s the highest score we’ve had in the eight years we’ve looked,” said Frank Crawford of Crawford & Associates, the City of Yukon’s municipal accounting consultant.

“To put it in perspective, the lowest score you had was in (fiscal year) 2015 – it was 4.8.”

Crawford summarized his findings during a “Performeter” presentation at the May 4th Yukon City Council meeting inside the Centennial Building, 12 S 5th.

“We’ve created this model called the Performeter, scoring on a scale of 0-10 the financial health and success or failure of a city,” Crawford told city officials. “We’ve been tracking it for about eight years now to see what that overall score does.”

A 10 score indicates excellent financial health and success while a 0 score means poor financial health and success.

A 5 score is considered satisfactory; anything below that reveals issues that need to be corrected.

When the City of Yukon’s Performeter score dropped below 5, Crawford said it marked the culmination of several “not great years” financial-health wise.

Yukon’s score has “stair-stepped its way back” in recent years “into reasonability” and improve financial health, the CPA added.

“Nationally, the highest score I’ve seen in 20 years has occurred once – and it was a 9.1,” he advised council members. “It was a municipality similar to yours in Georgia that uses this model.”

Crawford noted it is “pretty much impossible” to score either a 10 or a 0 on the Performeter.

“A 7.4 puts you in the ‘well-above-satisfactory’ range,” he told Yukon city leaders. “It’s probably in the upper one-third of Oklahoma governments that we measure. I’ve seen mostly scores in the lower- to mid-6s, or scores in the mid-7s, (but) very few in the lower 8s.”

Yukon’s overall 7.4 score is based on the city’s weighted financial health (6.1), performance (9.2) and sustainability (6.3) ratios on June 30, 2020.

Those individual marks have all improved since 2014-15, when Crawford said the City of Yukon was in the “most unhealthy financial position” it’s been in “in quite some time.”

“The only way that we were able to dig out of a position of unhealthy financial condition was that we stringed together years of good performance,” he said.

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POSITIVE AUDIT REPORT

Just before Crawford’s May 4th Performeter presentation, the council accepted a positive report on the City of Yukon’s fiscal year 2019-20 audit.

The lengthy audit, summarized in a presentation by city auditor Chris Hein of HBC CPAs and Advisors, offered a “clean opinion” showing all numbers were materially correct. There we no findings of internal control or compliance.

Just a few years ago, there were dozens of problems revealed in the City of Yukon’s audit.

“It’s nice to see everything cleaned and staying clean,” Crawford said.

The Performeter model was developed to make the city audit easier to understand.

“What we’ve historically done is created something that makes sense, where we can take that 90-plus pages or whatever it is every year and reduced it down to something that a non-accountant can understand,” Crawford explained.

The City of Yukon has had several years of 9-plus performance scores in the Performeter model.

“Sales taxes are coming in ahead of projections; they’re coming in greater than they have the year before,” Crawford said. “Our cash flows look great.

“We have a couple of concerned areas where our capital assets are depleting in their useful remaining lives a little bit. But, overall, we score really well on almost all (areas).”

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