Struggling with catastrophic debt and budget shortfalls, Memphis has hired a consulting firm to help the city determine a stronger financial plan.

According to The Commercial Appeal, the city will pay the firm Public Financial Management 300,000 to present a five-year financial plan and strategy for the city.

That strategy, city leaders hope, will help Memphis stick to the proposed plan. Following the plan has proven to be a problem in the past, as Memphis recently paid Deloitte $600,000 for an efficiency study the city never used.

The city council is hopeful that the project will save Memphis well over $300,000 and make the high price tag worth it.

It might. But critics have pointed out that because Public Financial Management is based in Philadelphia, the project already shows inefficient planning because of the many local consultants and even students able to assess the city’s finances. These critics argue that paying experts from the local community would keep more money in Memphis and offer a unique learning opportunity to the city’s business schools.

As bankruptcy attorneys in Memphis, we’ve seen many financial plans come and go, especially for individuals who want to get out of debt. Strategy for following the financial plan you set can indeed make all the difference. Hopefully Memphis can learn from its previous mistakes and establish a practical plan for solving the current crisis.