City of Sacramento – Department of Utilities

Financial Modeling for Sacramento Utilities

Does your Agency want to be able to run funding scenarios during meetings with real time results and charts, and project out for future years (e.g., 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, etc.)? If the answer is yes, prepare your decision makers to make educated financial decisions by attending this presentation and learn how the City of Sacramento, Department of Utilities (DOU) has modernized long-range financial planning with the Synario Software system. Learn how to utilize Synario for utility rate modeling to develop funding strategies for large capital projects that include a mix of utility rates, bonds, and grants.

Viewers will see a demonstration of the Synario Rate Model software system, including base cash flow summaries, key metrics, alternative scenarios, and initiatives. The base cash flow summaries reflect the beginning fund balances, revenues, expenditures, debt services, capital investments, and ending fund balances. The key metrics are targets configured into the system, updated in real-time as alternative scenarios, and initiatives are toggled for what-if scenarios. These tools are valuable resources for decision-makers about long-range financial planning initiatives.

PRESENTERS: Dean Fujimoto – Long-Range Financial Planning Manager, Brian Martin – Long-Range Financial Planning Manager, Tyler Stratton – Capital Finance & Grants Manager


Session Overview:

Why Synario?

  • 1:45: Excel Version control challenges
  • 3:00 Excel inflexible and static analysis
  • 3:32 Easy rate modeling and decision-making
  • 4:01 Easy data input

Synario Successes

  • 4:42 – Rate modeling software procurement & seamless implementation
  • 6:13 — Successes- Error-free financial modeling


  • 6:58 – Overview
  • 8:40 – Cashflow summary report
  • 14:50 – Capital Initiatives Builder and Scenario Manager
  • 16:30 –  Cash Funding Capitals Improvement Projects (CIPs)
  • 17:42– Debt financing CIPs
  • 20:53 – Rate increase based on debt funding

Polls + Q&A

  • 23:51 – Main revenue drivers
  • 24:01 – Managing capital assets
  • 24:23 – Tracking estimating and projecting revenues/expenditures in Excel
  • 24:50 – Excel model management challenges
  • 25:20 – Using Excel to track, estimate, and project revenues
  • 26:00 – Extensive Excel models
  • 27:28 Modeling collaboration and multiple users
  • 28:55 –  Financial modeling software procurement process
  • 30:00 – Rebuilding excel models that you didn't create
  • 32:21 – Does your Synario model feed other systems?
  • 33:37 – What's Next for the City and DOU?
  • 34:36 –  Leadership's response to Synario—Did they trust it?
  • 37:06 – Has Synario affected your financial stability?
  • 39:00 – Things to consider when searching for a financial modeling solution.
  • 40:36 – Wrap-up/ Contact Synario