Society for Case Research / Global Jesuit Case Series Summer Workshop

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Karen M. Foust, Tulane University Christine P. Smith, Tulane University Michael H. Hogg, Tulane University

Deciphering Governmental Financial Reports (B)

Larry, a resident of Jefferson County, Alabama, was bemoaning the minimum charges on his latest water bill. As of April of 2015, the base service charge before the first drop of water entered the house was $39.30. A large portion of this was due to the County's attempts to update the sewer system to meet current standards after being sanctioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency back in the mid 1990's. Larry wondered why no one foresaw the devastating financial woes of the County which led to its bankruptcy in 2011, and discussed his frustration with his sister, who decided to investigate the financial reports of the County herself, concentrating on three areas of concern identified by Larry -- the roads, the sewer system, and indigent care.