Daniel Lewis: Protect tribal financial sovereignty
"An independent financial advisor can strengthen a tribe’s ability to reach its long-term goals.

Given today’s economic and financial environment, yesterday’s borrowing decisions – whether from banks, bonds, or a tribe’s own reserves – are building pressure on tribes to resolve financial issues at a time when they are left with fewer options.

Nevertheless, equipped with the right information, thorough analysis and solid forecasting, a tribe can start making financial decisions that are thoughtful, clear and sustainable. The question is: How do we put our tribal financial house in order?

Today’s tribal finance department not only has to ensure that the accounting and auditing processes keep pace with new rules and regulations, it also has to regularly monitor whether the tribe can meet its short and long-term financial obligations and growth objectives.

In addition, the finance department must have the ability to perform increasingly sophisticated financial analysis and forecasting on existing enterprises and provide their opinion on whether and how new projects should be financed. Such financial analysis by itself is a significant and demanding responsibility that can have a tremendous impact – positive or negative – on a tribe’s financial health and the manner in which a tribe’s financial integrity is viewed by banks and bond investors."

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Daniel N. Lewis: Protecting tribal financial sovereignty (Indian Country Today 7/14)