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Is Your New Year’s Resolution A Budgeting Revolution?

Is Your New Year Resolution A Budgeting Revolution

The desire to “lose weight,” “increase energy,” and “stay fit” dominate the resolution conversation in January as the new year is seen as an opportunity for growth and improvement. And guess what? These goals can also apply to public agencies that are looking to “tone up” their budgeting processes!

If manual processes have you feeling bloated, basement-level energy has you slogging through the budget because it’s, “the way it’s always been done,” and you crave building a stronger relationship with your community, THIS IS YOUR YEAR.

While we can’t help you tip the scales at home, modernizing with ClearGov is a fast, easy, and affordable way to get a leaner budgeting process from start to finish.

“Lose Weight” = Save Time & Resources

In the realm of budgeting, “losing weight” equates to trimming unnecessary time and resources spent on outdated or inefficient processes.

Start by analyzing and overhauling how you collect, score, and prioritize budgeting requests from departments. Identify opportunities to replace manual, time-consuming tasks with automated systems that streamline your process.

For example, consider the impact of automating the collection of budget requests. Instead of a manual, spreadsheet-based process, department heads submit their requests through an online system. The system automatically checks for completeness, flags potential issues, and even provides preliminary scoring based on predefined criteria.

This not only speeds up the initial collection but sets the stage for improved accuracy and fairness in how projects are prioritized. It means less time sifting through paperwork and more time focusing on strategic decisions. Data collection becomes faster, analysis more neutral, and decision-making more informed.

“Increase Energy” = Better Collaboration

To “increase energy” during the budgeting process, focus on collaboration both within your government and with your constituents. Internally, break down silos between departments to ensure resources are being used efficiently. Externally, boost civic engagement by making the budgeting process more transparent and inviting community input on things like capital projects.

Meet your constituents where they are by offering a mix of in-person and digital tools to solicit feedback and provide continuous communication. For example, when getting your community involved with capital planning, ClearGov’s online dashboards can display budget proposals, progress on projects, pictures, maps, and funding sources all in an easy-to-understand format. This transparency not only builds trust but also encourages more informed and constructive feedback from the community.

Think of collaboration as a group exercise class for your government. It’s about working together, learning from each other, and building a stronger, more cohesive team!

“Stay Fit” = Regular Check-Ups

Regular “check-ups” are vital to maintain health and fitness. Similarly, it’s important to regularly review budgeting processes and policies to ensure they are still serving your community effectively.

It’s easy to get into a rut of doing workarounds and more tedious, manual tasks because it’s what you’re familiar with. But breaking out of your comfort zone and applying technologies that will streamline the budgeting process can jumpstart your motivation and enthusiasm to budget better.

Just like a fitness and meal tracking app keeps your health on course, ClearGov can revolutionize your budgeting process so that you can focus on your community’s long-term financial health and vision.

ClearGov’s suite of Budget Cycle Management tools can help you tone up your budgeting process in many, many other ways! We’d love to show you a quick demo of just how much weight you could shed from your daily workload.

January 5, 2024

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.