In 2001, Crawford & Associates developed, copyrighted and trademarked a new service for governmental entities entitled The Performeter®, a unique financial analysis and rating tool for use in measuring a government's financial health and success. Since its introduction in 2001, The Performeter® has proven to be a very popular and valuable financial management tool for state and local governments.
National and International Recognition for The Performeter®
The Performeter® is featured in college government accounting text books. Click here to see textbook excerpts.
It was featured in the October 2003 edition of the American Institute of CPA’s newsletter, The CPA Letter.
The Performeter® has been used effectively the U.S. Department of Interior to monitor the finances of the various U.S insular governments and former trust territories.
In July, 2016, The Performeter® was also used as a source for a USA Today article on the the looming per capita debt load in Guam in comparison to the debt issues faced in Puerto Rico. Click here to see the USA Today article.
The Performeter® and How it Works
The Performeter® uses a variety of financial ratios and an analysis methodology to help assess a government's fiscal performance over a period of time, its ability to meet its obligations as they become due, and its ability to continue to serve its constituency at current service levels. The analysis also provides for ratio comparison to prior years and certain industry benchmarks.
The Performeter® was developed by Crawford & Associates in response to requests from government elected officials and other users of government financial information for a "plain English" evaluation of the government's financial health, how it has changed, and how it looks in the future. Many users of governmental financial statements find it difficult to make these assessments directly from the financial statements themselves. The Performeter® is not intended as a replacement of the annual financial statements, but a useful and understandable supplement to the statements. The financial ratios evaluated in the Performeter® can be summarized into three categories:
Financial Position - "point-in-time measures" of the government's financial status, solvency, and liquidity as of the date of its most recent annual financial statements
- Unrestricted Net Assets - How does overall economic condition look?
- Budgetary Fund Balance - How do rainy day funds look?
- Capital Asset Condition - How much estimated life is still left in capital assets?
- Pension/OPEB Funding - Will suffienct resources be available to pay retirees what was promised to them?
- Debt to Assets - Who really owns the government's assets?
- Current and Quick Ratios - Is there enough cash to pay employee and vendor obligations when due?
Financial Performance - "look-back measures" as to whether the government's financial position has been improving, deteriorating, or remaining steady
- Change in Net Assets - Did overall financial consition improve, decline or remain steady over the past year?
- Interperiod Equity - Who paid for current year services - current, past or future taxpayers and rate payers?
- Self-Sufficiency - Did current year business-type activities pay for themselves?
- Debt Service Coverage - Was the government able to pay its bond and debt investors on time?
Financial Capability - "look-forward measures" of the government's ability to obtain resources in the form of revenues or borrowings in order to finance the services its constituency requires
- Revenue Dispersion - How much of the government's revenue is within their direct control?
- Debt Service Load - How heavily is the budget loaded with payments to retire long-term debt?
- Bonded Debt Per Capita - What is the debt burden placed on the government's constituency?
- Legal Debt Limit - Will the government be able to incur more long-term bonded debt if needed?
- Taxes per Capita - Will the government's consituents be willing to raise taxes if needed?
The Performeter® is a copyrighted and trademarked service of Crawford & Associates, P.C.
An example Performeter® report is available for review from the Useful Tools page under the topic labeled Performeter.
Click here to access the Useful Tools Page.