9 Reasons To Implement A COMPLETE Budget Management Cycle Solution

The annual budgeting process is a critical part of any government’s responsibility to its community. But the reality is, it’s a tedious undertaking. Most governments traditionally use email, spreadsheets, and word documents to manage the process. It’s manual, time-consuming, and error-prone, and in a lot of cases there are different, siloed processes for the operational, capital, and personnel budgets. It can feel very disjointed and difficult to visualize how the whole budget fits together – especially for non-financial folks in the community trying to figure out how their tax dollars are spent.

That’s why having a fully-integrated budgeting solution that handles every aspect of your budgeting process makes such a big impact. When you use ClearGov’s complete suite of Budget Cycle Management solutions, you will improve collaboration, realize significant time savings, have greater data visualization, and foster civic engagement through transparency.

Best of all, it’s EASY to get started or add new products with ClearGov. As Rob Battaglia, Senior Account Executive at ClearGov puts it, “It comes down to the priority of your community. We offer a robust suite that works together, as well as individual modules that can be ordered a la carte. If you are a community that wants to overhaul everything, and you want to be in the cloud from day one, everything can be integrated. All we need is basic information out of your accounting system to get you started.”

Work With Someone You Already Know

Many clients start with a single product, usually Operational Budgeting or Digital Budget Book. They have a dedicated client success manager that is with them every step of the way, through onboarding, training, and use of the software. We get to know your organization in-depth to understand your data, methodology, and preferences. So when we’ve both already put the work in to get one product set up, adding more tools is easy!

The more we work in ClearGov, the easier it gets. After our initial onboarding and data mapping, adding subsequent products to our subscription was a quick and easy process. We first bought Transparency, and then subsequently added Digital Budget Book several months later. Now, about a year later, we are planning to upgrade to the full suite this spring so we can use Operational Budgeting, Capital Budgeting, and Personnel Budgeting for our next budget cycle. The ClearGov team has been amazing to work with.

Linda Watson,
City of Page, AZ

Save Time

Some local governments have saved hundreds of hours switching to ClearGov’s complete suite of budget tools. Imagine eliminating data entry, consolidation of spreadsheets, tedious reconciliation, and manually creating a several-hundred-page budget book. Imagine collaborating with department heads in real-time in one central location, versus weeks of back-and-forth emails. Imagine all supporting documentation, comments, and status updates in one place. This is the reality when you use a fully-integrated budget solution!  

Work Smarter, Not Harder

ClearGov’s products work seamlessly together. You’ll save time because data from one platform can automatically feed into another. For example, you can effortlessly connect your capital budget from Capital Budgeting to your Digital Budget Book, and you can automatically publish your Capital Budgeting projects to your Transparency Center to further tell your financial story. With an Operational Budgeting subscription, you can push real-time updates to your Digital Budget Book as soon as a new budget version is saved — absolutely no manual work or updates are needed!

Everything I do in Operational Budgeting has fed right over [to the Digital Budget Book] and I haven’t had to necessarily maintain a separate book or document to make that happen.

Brandon Neish,
City of Sweet Home, OR

Forget Frustrating Software Integrations

Unlike other government budgeting software companies, ClearGov doesn’t integrate with your accounting software. You simply download reports and send them to us, and we do the initial heavy lifting for you. This means adding new products is… you guessed it, easy! Simply send us new reports and we do the set up for you. No frustrating APIs or software integrations to learn, and most finance directors genuinely appreciate that ClearGov stays out of their ERP or accounting system.

Save Money

With our bundled discount, local governments realize huge cost savings when they add more products to their ClearGov suite. Also consider the opportunity costs when you’re able to save time and reallocate personnel and other resources to more productive tasks.

When you think about how your time is spent, and where you want it to be, that is where it comes down to for us. We made that decision that time, my staff’s time, my time, our department’s time, is valuable – it’s worth something.

Linda Watson,
City of Page, AZ

Operate Off A Single Source Of Information

With ClearGov, every part of the budget process is centralized in a single location, with all communication, supporting documents, historical data, and forecasting available at a glance. When siloed data and processes are eliminated, everyone works together more efficiently and the entire budget process is improved, from start to finish.

Build Resilient And Secure Processes

Collecting budget requests is one of the most frustrating parts of the process. Some governments use Google docs and other online forms, others use email, spreadsheets, and sometimes good old fashioned paper. With ClearGov, you can create custom request forms for each budget (i.e. personnel, operational, and capital) and deploy a consistent process across your entire organization. Because email and paper is eliminated and you grant access only to employees who need it, data is secure.

Make Data-Driven Decisions & Improve Alignment

When data is siloed across multiple locations and formats, it’s difficult to visualize and make informed decisions. ClearGov eliminates manual processes and the risk for errors, so data is accurate and shared in real-time for all stakeholders to view at a glance. This enables your organization to make better data-driven decisions and improve alignment between departments.

Build Community Trust & Engagement

The culmination of all your hard work during budget season is to share your plan with your community. You have a fiduciary responsibility to your citizens to spend their tax dollars responsibly, and many are genuinely curious to know what the plan is! Unfortunately, traditional budget books are hundreds of pages long – either printed, or buried on a city’s website as a PDF. They’re hard to navigate and even harder to understand. When you use ClearGov’s fully-integrated suite of budget management tools, every part of your budget rolls up into a beautiful, interactive, and engaging website that’s easy to navigate and easy for citizens to understand. When you improve the quality and quantity of data you are sharing with your community, you’re ultimately building trust and encouraging citizens to be more engaged with how you’re using funds to improve their quality of life.

Ready to add another ClearGov product or modernize your entire budget process with a fully-integrated solution? Watch a quick demo or contact us to learn more today!

From start to finish, ClearGov Budget Cycle Management is a suite that’s well thought out. They clearly did their homework and did a great job integrating all of the products. ClearGov software is worth more than what we’re paying for it!

Brandon Neish,
City of Sweet Home, OR
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August 3, 2022

Matt Benati

Matt Benati is Vice President of Marketing for ClearGov®, the leading provider of Budget Cycle Management software for local governments. Matt is passionate about helping organizations modernize their annual budgeting process by automating workflow, increasing collaboration, and improving transparency between governments and citizens.