Municipal Governance Training and Resources

Information related to the general governance of Massachusetts cities and towns.

Table of Contents

What's New in Municipal Law 2021

We are pleased to present our annual “What’s New” 2021 court decisions in a virtual format. The presentation consists of narrated videos discussing recent cases related to municipal finance and municipal law. You can view the videos individually or together as a group. 

What's New in Municipal Law 2021 (video)

"What's New" PowerPoint presentations (pdf)

What's New in Municipal Law 2021 Alphabetical Listing of ATB and Court Decisions (pdf)

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Transportation payments during the COVID pandemic, RSD stabilization funds, special education funds and the regional transportation reimbursement fund (pdf)

Municipal Governance in Massachusetts


Webinar: Role of the Treasurer – In this webinar, DLS staff provide an overview of the key duties of the treasurer, statutory requirements associated with the position, and how other members of the local financial management team must work together with the treasurer while carrying out their own functions and to ensure thorough management of municipal finances. You can also view the slides from the presentation here.

Onboarding and Offboarding Employees: Municipal Finance Laws (PDF)

The Role and Responsibilities of an Accountant/Auditor (PDF) 

The Role and Responsibilities of an Assessor (PDF) 

The Role and Responsibilities of the Collector (PDF) 

The Role and Responsibilities of the Treasurer (PDF) 

The Role of a Finance Director (PDF) 

The Role of the Finance Committee (Video)

What is "Home Rule?" (PDF) 

Municipal Finance Glossary (PDF)  This glossary is an alphabetical list of words, terms and phrases commonly used in municipal finance.

Legal Index for Municipal Officers (PDF) This index provides a legislative citation or other source for researching various municipal finance topics.

State Oversight of Local Taxation: DLS's Role

Financial Process Workflows

The sample workflows below demonstrate how the turnover, accounts payable, and payroll processes can be managed in your community. While the workflows include internal control and other best practices that should be incorporated in your individual processes, the workflows can be tailored to your specific community for staff references.

These charts emphasize that no municipal official can be successful without working hand in hand with other local staff. The success of the revenue turnover, accounts payable, payroll, and other financial management processes rely on the interconnectivity and communication between a community’s financial officers. This interconnectivity also reinforces institutional continuity during times when officers leave their position.


Turnovers are the transfer of departmental revenues to the treasurer. A turnover policy should identify the segregation of duties and include the requirement that each department use a prenumbered receipt book, a schedule of how often and when turnovers should take place, and that a standardized turnover cover sheet or data input be submitted with each turnover. The collector should also provide a turnover, even in a combined treasurer/collector office, to create a necessary paper trail for cash reconciliations and the annual audit.

Download the Revenue Turnover Workflow 


The accounts payable process manages the payment for the purchase of goods and services. An accounts payable policy should detail staff responsibilities, submission requirements, timing, and approval and authorization processes. Note that you can learn additional details about out each step presented in this workflow by hovering over the “i” icon located in each action.

Download the Accounts Payable Workflow

Date published: July 30, 2020
Last updated: May 14, 2021