Rethinking Budgeting

Should We Rethink Reserves?

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GFOA's best practice "Fund Balance Guidelines for the General Fund” is one of GFOA’s most often cited standards. However, GFOA’s consulting work with local governments has revealed that there are many opportunities for reserve optimization beyond the guidance provided in the best practice. This paper brings what we have learned together with university research to describe new opportunities for local governments to get the best value from their reserve strategies.

After reading this paper, check out our Risk Analysis page for a number of helpful resources.

  • Publication date: May 2023