This is a series of posts that will take an in-depth look at the Town of Parry Sound (TOPS) budget and income statement. It is my belief that the best way to understand something is to dig into it and study it from the bottom up. This is what I’m hoping to do with the TOPS finances.

My approach used will be to examine the publicly available financial figures for the town and present them in a manner that makes it easier for me to see and understand what is what, where it comes from, and where it goes. I believe one of the best ways to understand and communicate this information is through the use of charts. Seeing long lines of figures presenting actual, budget and draft budget figures is an easy way to get discouraged. So I’ll try and make it easy to see the big picture, and the bigger opportunities, by rehashing the figures with charts.

I’ll start by looking at the actual revenue and expenditure figures for 2011. This will start with the top line figures. From there I’ll examine the numbers that underlie these figures. Revenue and expenditures will be considered separately.

Once I have a ‘handle’ on the 2011 actual figures I’ll take a look at the 2012 budget figures using much the same methodology.

I expect it will take a few months worth of posts to get through the 2011 and 2012 figures. But at that point all of us should be in a much better position to make informed recommendations concerning the 2013 budget. I’ll try and stay away from too much editorializing in this analysis. I’ll make separate posts on any issues that I feel are more editorial than analysis. I’ll tag these posts as TOPS Financial to make it easier to find them.

If you see any issues with my analysis or have suggestions please feel free to post a comment or email me directly.