City of New Hope

“...the AEM staff we have worked with have helped expand the city council’s and staff’s understanding of the financial workings of the city. They have also made good recommendations on budget issues, helped simplify some complex issues and, as an outside consultant, offered a fresh look at how the city operates financially.”

“Since mid-December 2008, when the New Hope finance manager position was vacated, the firm of Abdo, Eick & Meyers has assisted the city council, city manager, department heads and other staff with the financial functions of the city. AEM helped prepare information to get both the 2007 and 2008 audits completed and are in the process of preparing financial information for the 2009 audit (audits are completed by MMKR). Our representatives from AEM have provided history and details on a variety of city funds, helping to educate both the council and staff.

AEM has provided recommendations on investment decisions and completed an updated investment policy for the city. Besides preparing the routine monthly department budget reports, AEM also has prepared quarterly budget and investment reports which are provided to the city council to keep them apprised of the city’s financial position.

In 2009, AEM assisted with the implementation of a totally revised budget format to make the document more clear to the council and public, including the addition of performance measures and goals. AEM has worked closely with the finance department staff and city department heads, has studied and streamlined many of the functions in the finance area so operations are more efficient, and has assisted with the implementation of new methods to address areas noted for improvement in the annual audits.

Our experience working with AEM staff, Steve McDonald and Kristi Brutlag, has been very positive. They have consistently maintained a calm, professional, and positive attitude. They understand our staff and work within our existing resources. The communication and responsiveness of Steve and Kristi has been excellent. I realize that they have many other clients to deal with, but are usually very prompt on responding to requests for information. I also know that I can discuss any issues with them directly and honestly.

The only other comments I would offer is that the AEM staff we have worked with have helped expand the city council’s and staff’s understanding of the financial workings of the city. They have also made good recommendations on budget issues, helped simplify some complex issues and, as an outside consultant, offered a fresh look at how the city operates financially.”

- Kirk McDonald, City Manager