The Use of Inter-Fund Transfers to Manage the ‘‘Bottom Line’’ in the Municipal Context
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Type of Work15 pages
Citation of Original PublicationFelix, R (2015). The Use of Inter-Fund Transfers to Manage the “Bottom Line” in the Municipal Context. Journal of Governmental & Nonprofit Accounting, 4(1), 17-31.
This study examines whether municipalities use inter-fund transfers to manage the general fund. Since the general fund is a municipality’s largest fund, its financial position often reflects that of the whole municipality. Results indicate that transfers are used to manage the general fund toward zero. In particular, the tendency to use transfers to manage the general fund does not differ between general funds that had a positive and negative pre-managed change in fund balance, suggesting the incentive to report neither surplus nor deficit exists. Results also reveal that the practice of using transfers to manage the general fund toward zero is more substantial in municipalities with greater external oversight from citizens, creditors, state and federal granting agencies, and employees, as well as in municipalities with a strong-mayor form of government.