Portland just released its biennial financial condition report, which is a great tool that auditors in our region use. Auditors for Portland, Metro, the State of Oregon, and Multnomah County all regularly issue financial condition reports. These reports follow the same method of looking at key financial indicators over a ten year period to spot trends. These trends may show the recovery from a problem, or could be a warning that a problem is creeping up, year by year.
They use graphics in creative ways to simply tell these stories. The reports are a great way to inform the public about the sources of a government’s money, and where that money is spent.
One notable recent change is the new approach being taken by the Multnomah County Auditor’s Office. They use an online site called Tableau to display their financial information, allowing viewers to customize what they choose to see. For example, a viewer can either see the spending over a ten-year period adjusted for inflation or in unadjusted dollars.
Here are links to the reports that each auditor issues.