A number of resources are available to municipalities to assist them in preparing their financial statements, and in understanding the audit process:
- Municipal Accounting Manual
This manual was prepared for administrators to help them better understand the purpose, presentation and disclosure requirements for financial statements. This is a valuable resource for administrators to use when preparing their municipality's financial statements ahead of the annual audit.
- Municipal Audit Guidelines
These guidelines were prepared to assist municipal councils, administrators and auditors in carrying out their respective roles and responsibilities related to the conduct of financial statement audits.
- Public Sector Accounting Standards in Effect for 2023: A Guide for Municipalities
This guide will help municipalities understand the requirements of PS 3280 asset retirement obligations, PS 3450 financial instruments, PS 2601 foreign currency translation, PS 3041 portfolio investments and PS 1201 financial statement presentation. These standards are in effect for municipalities beginning with the 2023 financial statements.
- 2023 Fact Sheet: Updates to Public Sector Accounting Standards
This is a high-level summary of the new public sector accounting standards effective for municipalities starting with the 2023 financial statements. This sheet also offers some guidance on what municipalities need to do to follow the new standards.
Municipalities other than cities
A council may require the approval of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB) to incur long term debt, which is any debt not payable within the current year, depending upon how the money is being borrowed, the term of the debt, and the municipality's current financial situation.
SMB approval is required to authorize any municipal borrowing where the borrowing:
- will cause the municipality to exceed its debt limit;
- is not repayable within three years (if the debt limit is not established); or
- is secured by the issue of municipal debentures.
The debt limit for a rural municipality, town, village or resort village can be determined in one of two ways. The Municipalities Act provides the municipality with the option to calculate their debt limit by using prior year own source revenues as the basis, or a municipality can now apply to the SMB to have their debt limit established. For purposes of reviewing borrowing applications, the SMB considers own source revenue to include those revenues which can be considered both controllable by the municipality and sustainable for long periods of time.
- municipal property taxes (excludes any amounts associated with trailer licence fees, penalties on tax arrears, special levies, and local improvement frontage levies)
- fees and charges (excludes any development charges, donations, land sale revenue, capital asset proceeds, road maintenance agreements, custom work, etc.)
The debt limit for all cities is established by the SMB and no approval is required for borrowings within the debt limit. If a city wishes to exceed their debt limit, approval by the SMB is required.
Municipal financial statement information provides audited information in a manner that is compliant with the rules set out by the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB).
The financial statement reflects how well the municipality carried out its financial plan and covers the calendar year.
The Cities Act and The Municipalities Act require each municipality to submit a copy of its annual audited financial statement and auditors report to Government Relations. Municipalities other than cities are required to submit this information by July 1, while the deadline for cities is September 1.
The financial statements are to be audited by a professional auditor. This is a person in good standing of a recognized accounting profession under The Accounting Profession Act, 2014.
Municipal financial statements must be prepared in accordance with PSAB standards. These are generally accepted accounting principles for public sector bodies, as recommended by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. In addition to the PSAB standards, we require additional data to be submitted.
This financial statement template has been developed in consultation with auditors, administrators and government. The financial information in these reports detail municipal assets, liabilities, revenues and expenditures, and is to be made available to the public.