Good Financial Planning puts Collingwood in a Sound Financial Position
At the regular meeting of Council held July 19, 2021, Council received the 2020 Audited Financial Statements, which indicates Collingwood is doing well financially.
Despite the challenges facing the municipality during 2020 primarily due to the pandemic, Collingwood received Provincial funding to offset expenses caused by COVID-19. The Town received $1,330,828 from the COVID Safe Restart Fund to assist in the recovery of lost revenues and increased costs, from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“Council and staff have been very responsive and proactive in addressing the COVID19 pandemic, including providing relief for businesses and residents who may be facing financial challenges. In total, the pandemic has resulted in an approximate $1.37 million shortfall in revenue and additional unbudgeted expense of just over $0.5 million,” says Treasurer Quinlan. “Council and staff recognized the urgent need to mitigate the impact of these losses and put mitigation measures in place including closure of facilities, redeployment of staff and the reduction of seasonal hiring.”
The Audit of the Financial Statements for the Town is conducted annually and is comprised of the consolidated statements of financial position, and the statement of operations, as well as the changes in net financial assets and cash flow for the year.
Basis for Opinion from Auditor Baker Tilley: “We conducted our audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor's Responsibilities for the Audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements section of our report. We are independent of the Municipality in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the consolidated financial statements in Canada, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.”
Overall, when reviewing all the Financial Indicators along with other relevant data, staff confirmed that the Town’s indicators have improved in the past few years, and it is in a sound financial position. Over the next several months, staff will be focused on developing a Long-Term Financial strategy including cash management, debt management and asset management planning to ensure continued sustainability for many years.
“Collingwood is in a very robust financial position and during the audited financial presentation Sue Bragg, our Auditor, pointed out a number of benchmarks that compare us to provincial average. We are far and away above the provincial benchmark when comparing cash and short-term investments as a percentage of our operating expenses and reserves,” says Mayor Saunderson. “These are encouraging signs for Collingwood and Council has passed responsible budgets over the past few years, we have a strong financial record.”
The 2020 Audited Financial Report and previous years’ Audited Financial Reports can be viewed at: https://www.collingwood.ca/financial-reports
About Baker Tilly
With member firms from coast to coast, the Baker Tilly Canada Cooperative is one of the country’s largest associations of chartered professional accounting firms. As an all-Canadian network, we have a longstanding reputation for value-added audit, tax and advisory solutions, due to the depth and breadth of our in-house skills, customized offerings and service excellence. Through our strong network infrastructure, shared expertise, resources and offices across the country, our independent member firms provide clients ranging in size from large, publicly traded companies to owner-managed and emerging businesses with a full complement of professional services across every major industry sector.
Sue Bragg, B.B.A., CPA, CA, has been a partner since January 1, 2001. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1995 after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Sue worked with the firm from 1989 to 1996 and spent the next three years in Kingston with a national firm. She returned to Gaviller & Company December 1, 1999, as a Manager. Sue has considerable experience providing accounting, auditing and tax services to a wide variety of businesses. Sue's particular strength is providing quality auditing services to assurance clients. This includes preparation of annual financial statements, corporate income tax returns and letters to management in order that policies and processes can be improved. She takes a special interest in all new accounting & auditing issues developed by CPA Ontario.
The Town of Collingwood is a progressive community located in the heart of a four-season recreation area on the southern shore of Georgian Bay. The area is well known for its many natural amenities and its rich heritage. Collingwood is a destination for tourism and many businesses, sporting and cultural events Collingwood acts as gateway to the South Georgian Bay region, with stunning landscapes that encourage an active lifestyle, and inspire the local arts and culture community. Downtown Collingwood might just surprise you with 30 plus restaurants, 60 plus boutique shops, spas for relaxing, live music for grooving…all in the only downtown core recognized in Canada’s Registrar of Historic Places! More recently, the harbourfront area is emerging as an extension to the downtown district. Plans for expanding the amenities and events in the harbourfront area promise to make this a much more prominent tourism destination.
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