One CFO to Handle Duties for City of Bryan And BTU

By: Mike George
By: Mike George

One week after the Bryan City Council voted to take hiring and firing power away from Bryan Texas Utilities General Manager and the BTU board, the city has decided to have one CFO handle duties for both the city and BTU.

The following is a news release sent out by the City of Bryan Tuesday afternoon:

To improve efficiency at both the City of Bryan and Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU), the Fiscal Services Departments of both will be managed by one Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Effective immediately, the new CFO for the two operations is Joe Hegwood who has served as the BTU CFO since 2006. As the CFO, Hegwood will report to the city manager as required by the City Charter. The decision to have one CFO came as a result of the following factors:

- One position is accountable for the entire organization’s financials, which should increase financial transparency for both areas;
- Combining the CFO functions results in a logical combination of resources as currently an opening for the City of Bryan’s Chief Financial Officer exists;
- The timing is appropriate as the City and BTU begin the Fiscal Year 2013 budget process;
- Communication and coordination between the two financial systems will be enhanced;
- Concerns about the sharing of financial reports and financial information should be eliminated;
- Efficiencies should improve through a reduction of duplicated efforts and services; and,
- A future goal for a single annual financial audit may be realized; however communication between the two audits should improve immediately.

Funds will continue to be kept separate, which has been a practice for many years to meet Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) criteria, general governmental accounting standards, and City Charter requirements. Additionally, the City Charter, which is voted on by citizens, states the City may not transfer an amount that exceeds seven percent of gross revenue from public utility systems for the use of rights-of-way. This Charter language has been
unchanged for years and, unless voted on by citizens, will remain this way; there are no plans to suggest a change.

The City Council has asked the city manager to review operational efficiencies. With assistance from leadership throughout the organization, efficiencies will be reviewed to determine best practices and logical service function alignments going forward.

As Hegwood transitions to the dual CFO position, Bob Shultz, who has served as the Interim CFO since November 2010, will return to his position full-time as the City Internal Auditor.
Interim City Manager Kean Register states, “I have known Joe for many years; his expertise and knowledge will benefit both financial areas. As we make this change, financial accountability and transparency will be top priorities. I also am grateful to Bob who has served as the Interim CFO and has assisted in putting the City in an even better financial position.”

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