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The Finance Department has responsibility for safeguarding the assets of the City. This is accomplished in part by maintaining a comprehensive financial system that administers, records, and reports all financial transactions. The financial information must be current, accurate, and relative in order to provide for the needs and decisions of the City Council, City Manager, Department Managers, state and federal agencies and interested citizens.

The Finance Director and staff are also responsible for annual budget preparation, accounting and control, annual independent audit, purchasing, risk management, investments, debt management, and accounts payable.

The Citizen’s Guide to Owosso’s Finances provides summary financial information numerically and graphically for year over year comparison and to other municipalities.

The Dashboard is a simple view into key performance metrics of city services and finances indicating whether the City is improving, staying about the same, or declining.

Annual Budget Preparation

The initial step in the process that leads to Annual Financial Report is the preparation of the annual budget. Budgets are adopted on a basis consistent with generally accepted accounting principles, State statutes and the City Charter.

In accordance with Charter requirements, on or before the first Monday in April, the proposed budget is presented to the City Council by the City Manager for review. The City Council holds a public hearing on the proposed budget, generally at the first Council meeting in May. The Council can also meet in budget workshop(s) to review the budget in more detail. The budget is generally adopted at the second Council meeting in May.

Annual Financial Report

The city of Owosso prepares an Annual Financial Report (AFR) for each fiscal year ended June 30th. State law requires that local governments publish a complete set of financial statements presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards within six months of the close of each fiscal year. The AFR is prepared in accordance with regulations and standards set forth by the City Charter, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and its Committee on Governmental Accounting and Auditing, and the Michigan Committee on Governmental Accounting and Auditing Standards.

The City also files annually with the State Department of Treasury, a Local Unit Fiscal Report, referred to as the F-65 report. This report may be accessed by following this link:


The City Council adopted by ordinance the procedures for the purchase and sale of personal property. Through centralized purchasing the ordinance provides for the dollar limit within which purchases may be made without the necessity of competitive bidding and Council approval. No purchase may be made without sufficient unencumbered appropriation.

The City is a member of the joint purchasing program with the state of Michigan and numerous national purchasing alliances. The ordinance also provides for a local preference for businesses paying taxes in the City or county of Shiawassee.


The Finance Director is responsible for the investment of funds on hand pursuant to Public Act 20 of 1943, as amended, City Ordinance and the Investment Policy in support of the ordinance. Investments of the Employee’s Retirement System, Downtown Development Authority, Corridor Improvement Authority and Historical Commission are performed by the respective boards.

Risk Management

The City is exposed to various risks of loss related to property, torts, errors and omissions and employee on the job injuries (workers’ compensation). The City is a member of the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, a risk sharing pool for claims relating to property loss, general and auto liability and a member of the Michigan Municipal League risk pool for workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation. Both of these pools operate under the statutory authority of Public Act 35 of 1951, as amended.

Debt Management

A municipal security is issued under State statutes and approval from the State Department of Treasury. The only exceptions to State approval are contracts or leases for the purchase or real or personal property, mortgages secured by real property or intergovernmental contracts where another unit pledges their revenues of full faith and credit to secure payment. The City is allowed to issue securities without prior State approval by filing annually a Qualifying Statement attesting that we are in compliance with sixteen requirements.

Accounts Payable

The Finance Director is responsible by Charter to examine all accounts and claims against the City and, respecting those which are eligible for payment, designate the budgetary funds from which they will be paid. The Accounts Payable clerk administers the daily functions ensuring all claims have an authorized requisition or purchase order from a Department Manager in adherence to the Purchasing Ordinance, rules, regulations and policies in support. Purchases of personal property greater than $2,000 must first have the approval of the City Manager and amounts of $10,000 or more approval of the City Council. Real property must first have approval of City Council. All expenditures must have a valid public purpose. There are numerous state statutes, court cases and attorney general opinions that are followed relative to the legal consideration of what is a public purpose.