The EAA conducts its financial business using the enterprise fund system. Enterprise funds are used to account for operations that are financed and operated in a manner similar to private business enterprises, primarily through user charges. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and budget are reported using the economic resources measurement focus and the full accrual basis of accounting. Under this method, revenues are recorded when earned and expenses are recorded when a liability is incurred, regardless of the timing of related cash flows.
The EAA is required to adopt an annual budget before the commencement of a new fiscal year, which begins on January 1st and ends on the following December 31st. The budget development schedule is generally a seven-month process from May through November and includes the following steps: goal setting, formulation of team budgets, review of proposed budget by General Manager, board review of proposed budget, public notice and public hearings, final board review and adoption, monthly budget review and amendments (as necessary). For the past 5 consecutive years, the EAA has been presented the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its annual budget. In order to receive this award, the published budget document must meet program criteria as a policy document, as an operations document, and as a communications device.
2018 Adopted Operating Budget
The 2018 Adopted Operating Budget supports two major programmatic areas: a General Fund of $17.6 million in projected expenses, supported by revenues generated through the assessment of a general aquifer management fee of $42 per acre-foot; and an Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP) Fund of $19 million in projected expenses, supported by revenues generated through the assessment of a $42 per acre-foot program aquifer management fee. Combined, this makes for a $36.6 million comprehensive adopted budget funded by a combined aquifer management fee of $84 per acre-foot, which is unchanged from the 2012 rate.
For the past 15 consecutive years, the GFOA has awarded the EAA with the Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting for its CAFR. The CAFR is developed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles using the full accrual basis of accounting. The GFOA awards the Certificate of Excellence to entities that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure in their CAFRs and achieve those goals.