ACERA Annual Report

Case Study

ACERA Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and Annual Report to Members



Alame­da Coun­ty Employ­ees’ Retire­ment Asso­ci­a­tion (ACERA), Oakland


ACERA is the pub­lic employ­ees’ retire­ment orga­ni­za­tion that man­ages and admin­is­ters a $6.6 bil­lion fund for retirees and cur­rent employ­ees of Alame­da Coun­ty. For 10 years, Tobi Designs devel­oped the con­cept, art direc­tion, design and pro­duc­tion of the 80+-page CAFR and the 16-page sum­ma­ry report to members.


Before com­ing to Tobi Designs, the CAFR suf­fered from chop­py edi­to­r­i­al that lacked smooth, read­able flow. The report’s design was dense and off-putting. While the lev­el of detail had to sat­is­fy Gov­ern­ment Finan­cial Account­ing Office require­ments, senior man­age­ment knew that most mem­bers did not both­er to read it. It was a tremen­dous waste of paper as the CAFR grew to over 120 pages over the years.


We kept the larg­er CAFR book for gov­ern­ment fil­ing pur­pos­es and also cre­at­ed a much more wide­ly dis­trib­uted 24-page sum­ma­ry report. We put a copy­writer to work mak­ing the report more read­able and approach­able, used pic­tures of actu­al asso­ci­a­tion mem­bers and used a page lay­out that cre­at­ed a bet­ter bal­ance between text and images.


We increased read­er­ship and acclaim from col­leagues at oth­er retire­ment sys­tems is common.

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