A new bylaw passed three readings by Moose Jaw City Council on Monday to delay the city’s 2021 year-end financial statements. 

Bylaw No. 5674 – Financial Statement Preparation Extension Bylaw extends the due date of the audited financial statements for 2021 from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 this year. The delay has been caused because the city is transitioning into a new enterprise resource planning system. 

Coun. Dawn Luhning requested an update before the bylaw was passed to understand the issues city administration is facing. 

“It just seems like every time the City of Moose Jaw tries to change its financial systems, we run into all kinds of issues and so I just wondered if maybe we need some sort of an update as to how difficult this is or if it's going to be finished soon or what's going on and why,” Luhning said. 

Director of Financial Services Brian Acker said they knew heading into the transition to the new system that significant issues would be foreseen. 

“That is no minor task at all when you look at it. From the financial perspective, we're basically going from two systems that we have now to integrating into one overall system,” Acker explained. 

He added that integrating the two systems into one system is making year-end more difficult to put together. Acker said they are also working with new year-end software, so there is a learning curve, it is during summer and they have to work around summer holidays and finally, they have to work around the availability of the auditor. 

City Manager Jim Puffalt added that they are making progress as the online tax component has been completed and they will be rolling out e-billing and a virtual city hall soon. 

“While we are delayed and this is the first time our business cycle has been affected by the move to a new ERP, we're making good progress and we certainly don't expect that we'll need another extension or delay,” Puffalt said. 

Luhning raised concerns that the deadline of Nov. 30 would also conflict with the city’s budget deliberations. Acker replied that the city comptroller is looking after year-end, so he can focus on the budget process. 

“The majority of budget functions actually still fall under my own position, so that isn't impacted as much. We're actually underway with our budget preparation at this point, so we don't foresee any delays with budgets,” he said.