Category: Research Resources

One Working Capital Management Strategic Tool: Interfund Transfers

By Michelle Lofton and Mikhail Ivonchyk

Working capital management is a managerial strategy that monitors and uses current assets (e.g., cash, accounts receivable, and inventory) and current liabilities (e.g., accounts payable and notes payable) to ensure smooth operations. The purpose is to maintain cash flows for liquidity to meet short-term operating expenses and obligations. This integral part of sound financial management uses a variety of strategic tools to manage cash flows. These can include the use of unrestricted cash, savings, interfund borrowing, interfund transfers, delaying payments, receivables, a line of credit, direct lending arraignments, and short-term debt. Yet, little academic research on governments has evaluated the process for selecting different tools, the policies governments have in place to implement them, and the consequences of using one tool over another.

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Social Impact Bonds: A Magic Tool for Financing Innovation?

Have you heard about social impact bonds (SIBs) yet?  If not there are a lot of resources and discussion out there regarding this magical fix of financial woes of government.  While many have viewed these as too good of an opportunity to pass up (for example, see here and here), others have been slightly more skeptical.

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A New Collection Available from an Old Resource

In this post, I wanted to share that the School of Government’s Knapp Library has a new collection for North Carolina’s assessment community. This is a short post because I anticipate most of the reading will occur as you explore the links in this post. In January, IAAO announced the availability of their new collection of informational books on assessment, Apendium.

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Do cities and counties circumvent state policy? One potential mechanism.

Cities and counties are constructs of their respective states. Counties are almost always created by state constitutional decree. Cities are municipal corporations created by state legislative action. Regardless of the method of creation, states exercise significant control over what cities and counties can and cannot do. From the taxes levied to debt issuances to services that can or cannot be provided, the state determines the role of local governments within its borders. States have been pre-empting local policies at an increasing rate. The National League of Cities has documented a number of these actions. Popular targets are restrictions locally imposed minimum wages (24 states), paid leave (18 states), and public provision of broadband internet (17 states). Of these three, North Carolina is included in all. There are many other areas where states have been pre-empting local actions. This top-down view suggests that local governments have little ability to chart their own course. However, this isn’t quite right. There are many ways that cities and counties push back against state policy. In the news now, Sanctuary Cities in Texas are pushing back against new laws restricting their actions. This is a highly visible example; however, cities and counties often have other options that are less visible.

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North Carolina’s County and Municipal Fiscal Analysis Tool: Research Review

Have you ever used the County and Municipal Fiscal Analysis tool that is housed on Treasurer’s website?  It allows municipalities and counties in the state to see how they are doing with regard to financial condition and compare their performance to peers.  It has recently become the focus of new research coming from colleagues at the University of South Dakota and Indiana University.  Ed Gerrish and Luke Spreen presented their research on our benchmarking tool earlier this month at the Public Management Research Conference and it is forthcoming at the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.  In this Research Review I am going to discuss their research and pull a few findings that are especially notable for those of you that work in budgeting and finance.

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Crowdsourcing for Local Governments: Research Review

Research Review is a place for me to bring you academic research that I think might be of interest or relevant to you all.  It is not necessarily the Cliff notes of the paper, but it will present some key findings or insights from the paper.

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Welcome!

Benjamin Frankin, (1706-1790) , North American printer, publisher, writer, scientist, inventor and statesman. Source: Wkipedia

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

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