Implementation - Municipal Benchmarks

Implementation Procedures - Benchmarking

The following procedures were used by OPM and its Consultant to cross-walk each municipality's local accounts to the Municipal Uniform Chart of Accounts and to benchmark the resulting data.  The mapping and benchmarking occurred in several phases to capture more detailed information in later phases of the project.

  1. Obtain trial balance files from each municipality, including their local chart of accounts legends describing each account segment used;

  2. Parse each municipality’s local accounts into their segment components - e.g. fund, function, department, major object;

  3. Using the Mapping Tool, conduct the initial mapping of the local segments and accounts of each municipality to the UCOA at the fund/function/higher level department groupings/major object – salaries, overtime, fringe benefits, shared purchases of services for expenditures, fund/major object level for revenue and fund/major class for balance sheet accounts;

  4. Apply the local trial balance file of each municipality against the maps to move balances/amounts into the municipal data warehouse;

  5. Provide the initial maps with account values to municipalities for review and feedback;

  6. Make adjustments to the maps and account values as necessary based upon feedback from municipalities regarding their review of the mapped data.

  7. For those municipalities whose financial information cannot be mapped manually enter financial data into the Municipal Data Warehouse by working with municipalities to complete data entry forms;

  8. Load selected nonfinancial data into the Municipal Data Warehouse  as determined by OPM; and

  9. Upload to the Municipal Benchmarking Website and benchmark the municipal financial information and nonfinancial information that resides in the Municipal Data Warehouse.

 Once each municipality's map was created and embedded in the Mapping Tool, each municipality on a go forward basis was responsible for the Annual Reporting of their financial information in accordance with the Municipal UCOA using the Mapping Tool.  Municipalities who must report manually are required to complete data entry forms on an annual basis.

Fund Mapping

Implementation included mapping to the following funds: 

  • General Fund,

  • Special Revenue Funds,

  • Capital Projects Funds,

  • Debt Service Funds, and

  • Enterprise Funds.

For reporting purposes, Special Revenue funds were mapped to a single UCOA fund and Capital Projects funds were mapped to a single UCOA fund.

To the extent that they exist and are specifically identifiable, Enterprise Funds were mapped to one of the following specific uniform fund codes:

  • Water,

  • Wastewater,

  • Solid Waste,

  • Electric, and

  • Other Enterprise Funds.

Mapping of Revenues by Major Objects

Revenues were mapped by major object revenue categories.

The major revenue object categories are as follows:

  • Property Taxes

  • State Aid

  • Federal Aid

  • Other Intergovernmental

  • Licenses and Permits

  • Charges for Services

  • Fees and Special Assessments

  • Rents and Royalties

  • Investment Earnings

  • Other Revenues

  • Other Financing Sources

A breakdown of the types of revenues included in the above categories can be found in Exhibit 1 of the Data Sources and Definitions.

Mapping of Expenditures

** Function-Departmental Mapping **  Expenditures from the local chart of accounts were mapped to functional categories and then to high-level departments and certain individual departments within each function during the three phases of Mapping Implementation:  Below is a listing of the function categories.

  • General Government

  • Public Safety

  • Public Works

  • Health and Welfare

  • Culture and Recreation

  • Education

  • Debt Service

  • Capital Outlay

  • Other

  • Water

  • Wastewater

  • Solid Waste

  • Electric

  • Transfers

    See Exhibit 2 of Data Sources and Definitions for a breakdown of the high-level departmental groupings and certain individual departments within each functional category.

    ** Treatment of Certain Function Related Items for Mapping Purposes**

    No Function Codes Reported:

    When no Function codes are used by a municipality, the department codes associated with that function were used to determine the function. (For instance if the local chart of accounts do not use function codes to determine the public safety function but department codes such as police and fire are reported, the expenditures for such departments would determine the public safety function expenditure amount.)

    Employee Benefits:

  1. If employee benefits are recorded in several functions of the local chart of accounts it will mapped to the corresponding functions in the UCOA (see Expenditure Object code guidance below).

  2. If all employee benefits are in a single function (e.g., General Government) it will be mapped to the one corresponding function in the UCOA.

  3. If a municipality classifies employee benefits as the “Other” function it will be mapped to the corresponding “Other” function in the UCOA.

  4. If a municipality classifies employee benefits to the “Employee Benefits” function (which does not exist in the UCOA as employee benefits is not considered a function) it will be mapped to the “Other” function.

    Debt Service:

    Observation - Some municipalities are recording a function which relates to the underlying debt rather than categorizing it as a Debt Service function.

    Resolution - Debt Service is a function and should be used. If a town records debt payments to another function other than Debt Service it will be mapped to the debt service function.

Capital Outlay:

Observation - There are a number of ways that the Capital Outlay function is being used by towns. Some towns do not use it at all.

Resolution- Leave capital outlays where they have been classified by the town. Do not reclassify capital purchases to the Capital Outlay function.

Economic Development:

Economic Development will not be used as a function.  Items classified by a municipality to this function will be mapped to General Government.

** Major Object Mapping **  Expenditures for the major objects, “Salaries”, "Overtime", “Employee Benefits” and "Shared Purchased Services" were mapped from the local chart of accounts to the UCOA in the manner presented below.

Salaries:  All regular salary and wage expenditure objects were mapped to the major object “Salaries” in the Mapping Tool.  Examples are: regular employees, part time, seasonal, and other salaries.

Overtime:  All wage expenditures resulting from overtime were mapped to the major object "Overtime" in the Mapping Tool.

Employee Benefits:  All employee benefit object expenditures were mapped to the major object “Employee Benefits” in the Mapping Tool.  Examples are: group insurance, social security payments, retirement contributions, workers compensation, health insurance, disability insurance and other employee benefits.

Purchased Services:  Shared services expenditures such as Health District, State Trooper Payments, etc. were mapped to the major object "Purchased Services".  This object category is not meant to be used to identify expenditures from outsourced, non-shared services.