Case Study: Barre, MA

“We signed with ClearGov in October and had a draft budget distributed to department heads by November 1st! ClearGov’s client success team got our financial data uploaded, mapped, and verified — and trained our team — all within two weeks.”
Andrew M. Golas – Town Administrator

Primary Objective:

Barre needed to streamline the annual budgeting process and make it easier for everyone involved to navigate.

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Andrew Golas had been in the market for budgeting software since he became town administrator of Barre back in 2017. Like the town where Golas worked before, Barre was using Excel to build their annual budget — and experiencing similar challenges.

“Spreadsheet-based budgeting has always been a headache — especially in my previous position as executive assistant for a larger town,” said Golas. “Typically, you manage three different budget scenarios at a time. Version control issues aside, all it takes is one bad calculation cell to mess everything up.”

Even in a small town like Barre, building the annual budget requires close collaboration between dozens of department heads, committee members, and selectmen. And, as any Excel user knows, the more hands in the spreadsheet the greater the margin of error. Deciphering who changed what when can be a nightmare too.

Golas said it’s been his goal to “get everyone singing off the same sheet of music” since day one. Of course, Barre is a small town with a modest budget so whatever alternative he presented to his finance committee would have to be affordable, quick to implement, and super easy to use.


In mid October, the finance committee agreed to purchase ClearGov Budgets with one firm caveat: they needed to be up and running fast. Barre starts building their annual budget in November, so there was no time for complicated implementations or steep learning curves.

After a short kickoff call with ClearGov’s client success (CS) team, Golas produced the handful of reports needed to get started and emailed them to ClearGov. Three days later, CS had already uploaded all of Barre’s financial data to the platform and recreated their chart of accounts. Golas and his team quickly reviewed the data, requested minor adjustments, and scheduled training. By November 1st they were ready to roll.

Golas said that making the deadline was easy, especially since ClearGov did all the heavy lifting. In fact, he and the finance committee were so impressed with both the implementation and the product, they purchased ClearGov’s transparency tool too.

Barre is currently displaying 5 years of financials on their ClearGov transparency site. Once the FY2021 budget is approved, they can use the one-click publishing option to instantly display their adopted budget too.

“We’re especially excited to get information out to residents about upcoming projects,” Golas explained. “Our new transparency profile, powered by ClearGov, will help us communicate both fiscal impact and benefits.”

“ClearGov did all the heavy lifting. They’ve been great to partner with and the platform delivers everything we were looking for in a budgeting tool. In fact, once we saw the value in ClearGov Budgets, we decided to implement ClearGov’s transparency tool too.”
Andrew M. Golas – Town Administrator