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The Director of Finance shall establish a general accounting system for the City government. He shall:
(a) Keep separate accounts of each item of appropriation made to any officer, department, board or commission of the City, to any other governmental officer or agency and to any other person, association or corporation. Each such account shall show the amount of the appropriation, the amounts paid therefrom, the unpaid obligations against it, and the unencumbered balance;
(b) Have complete supervision over the keeping of detailed accounting records by officers, departments, boards, commissions, agencies or others receiving appropriations from the City. After consultation with the City Controller, he shall devise, and from time to time improve, a uniform system of accounting for all officers, departments, boards and commissions of the City and other governmental agencies receiving appropriations, and shall require such system to be installed and maintained by all such officers, departments, boards, commissions and agencies. Such system shall avoid duplication of records and of bookkeeping to the greatest extent possible consistent with the provisions of this charter and the safeguarding of the City's finances;
(c) Supervise the accounting for all moneys received and receivable by the City from any source whatever. He shall require the accounting in the Department of Collections to be done by modern and economical methods, including the use of mechanical equipment, and with adequate safeguards to prevent irregularity or laxity in the recording both of moneys received and of moneys due;
(d) Reflect in the accounts in his office the amounts collected by the Department of Collections, as shown by the daily reports of the Department of Collections;
(e) Issue within one hundred and twenty days after the close of each fiscal year a statement as of the end of that year showing the balances in all funds of the City, the amounts of the City's known liabilities, and such other information as is necessary to furnish a true picture of the City's financial condition.
Sources: See Act of June 25, 1919, P.L. 581, Article XII, Section 3, as amended; the Administrative Code of 1929, Act of April 9, 1929, P.L. 177, Section 701, as amended.
Purposes: 1. A primary function of the Director of Finance is to establish, maintain and supervise an adequate and modern accounting system for the City. Under the 1919 Charter this was a function of the City Controller shared by various agencies of the executive branch. Experience under that Charter demonstrated the inadequacy of the system which it provided. To remedy this condition, the Director of Finance is placed in over-all charge of City accounting. He is to establish a general accounting system for the City. He is to maintain primary accounts showing the appropriation made to each officer and agency, how much of it has been spent, how much of it has been obligated but unpaid, and any unencumbered balance remaining. This will afford each officer and agency a day to day picture of the state of appropriations and City expenditures.
2. Detailed accounting records are to be maintained by the various officers and agencies receiving City appropriations, but the accounting system is to be devised by the Director of Finance for the purpose of assuring a uniform, accurate and efficient system for the entire City. Consultation in the establishment of such a system with the City Controller is required because the City Controller will have to audit the records maintained and they should reflect those items which the City Controller will have to look for. While there is a caution that the detailed accounting records shall in so far as possible avoid duplication with those maintained by the Director of Finance, the extent to which duplication is required will avoid any system whereby essential accounting records are maintained by only one agency.
3. The Director of Finance is charged with the duty of supervising the accounting for all moneys received and receivable by the City and this function is emphasized because the accounting for City receipts in the past has left much to be desired. Efficiency and accuracy of such accounting may be aided by the use of modern mechanical equipment and the Charter requires the use of such equipment. In addition, the Director of Finance is required to keep a day to day balance in his office based on reports of the Department of Collections. This will show the flow of receipts and, together with the Director's records of the flow of expenditures, will readily furnish information about the over-all financial position of the City.
4. The Director of Finance is required to prepare an annual financial statement which will, by showing balances in City funds, City liabilities, and other pertinent information, afford a true picture each year of the City's financial position.