*This report looks back at historical data and does not reflect the impacts of the global pandemic (COVID-19).

Objectives, Scope, & Methodology

The objective of this report is to evaluate the financial condition of Multnomah County using the Financial Trend Monitoring System developed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the indicators suggested by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

We express all indicators in constant dollars with the option to turn off the inflation adjustment. These adjustments for inflation convert dollar amounts to the equivalent of the purchasing power of money in fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 (or calendar year ending December 31, 2019 where applicable). The adjustments are based on the CPI-W West – Size A Index (second half to second half) Consumer Price Index.

Throughout this report, we have included the state payments to intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) service providers. In FY08, the state began paying community service providers directly, where in prior years these funds passed through the county. While the county no longer receives these funds directly, they are reported in the county’s financial statements. In FY19, this amounted to over $178.76 million paid directly to I/DD service providers.

To provide context to some of the financial and economic indicators, we have presented the last recession.  The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) determined that this recession had a peak in December 2007 and a trough in June 2009.  Per NBER: “Contractions (recessions) start at the peak of a business cycle and end at the trough…A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, [NBER] did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, [NBER] determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.”

For More Information

The prior reports cover FY93 through FY16 and are available on the County Auditor's web page. Earlier reports are available upon request.

The county's financial policy is adopted and published annually in its adopted budget. The county's financial statements and budget can be accessed at multco.us.

Additional economic information can be obtained through the State of Oregon for the State Employment Department or the Office of Economic Analysis.

For information about the county's property tax structure and limitations, see the Tax Supervising & Conservation Commission webpage and the County Assessor’s Office webpage.

For more information about economic recessions, see the National Bureau of Economic Research’s webpage.

Data Reliability

We used financial information for the period of January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019 from Workday, the County’s current enterprise resource planning system to accomplish our audit objectives.  We also used financial information for the time-period prior to January 1, 2019 from the prior enterprise resource planning system SAP.  Based on the annual reviews of Workday and SAP by the County’s external auditor, our office has determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report.

Statement of Compliance with Government Auditing Standards

We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Audit Staff

Annamarie McNiel, CPA, Principal Management Auditor