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Top 4 Reasons Department Heads Love ClearGov

Top 4 Reasons Department Heads Love ClearGov

Asking department heads to adopt a new budgeting software can be hard. With so much on their plate, it’s understandable that they might be resistant to change and begrudge the steep learning curve that typically comes with new technology.

But we’ve found the exact opposite to be true with ClearGov.

We talk a lot about the finance manager’s role in the budgeting process. But the reality is that without input from department heads, the finance team would struggle to create an accurate budget on their own. Yet there’s no denying that manual processes with spreadsheets and email are tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone. While it’s easy to hold onto these processes, “Because it’s the way we’ve always done it,” everyone we ask wishes there was a better way.

So when we introduce ClearGov to department heads as an easy-to-use solution to budgeting that will actually save them time and eliminate errors, the response is always overwhelmingly optimistic (like, always).

Time and again, here are the four reasons department heads say they love ClearGov.

#1 Effortless Onboarding & Quick Adoption

Anytime processes change and new technology is adopted, there’s going to be some grumbling from employees who want to hold on to “the way it’s always been done.”

Not so with ClearGov. While we’ve heard from customers that some department heads were hesitant about the new tool, they quickly embraced it once they saw how easy it was to use — and how much it automated and streamlined the entire budgeting process.

It is our mission to make onboarding as effortless as possible (in fact, we have an award-winning onboarding process!). All your government has to do is export data from your accounting software and review our team’s mapping of the financial data. Training is quick and painless, and your ClearGov team is just a call or email away for help.

When department heads see how much easier it makes their jobs, they’re quick to adopt the software. They recognize and appreciate the time they save, the improved collaboration, and the insights that can’t be easily gleaned from paper and spreadsheets.

Our initial training consisted of an hour-long internal meeting with someone in finance. The system is very easy to use and intuitive, so we didn’t need anything else. I only use ClearGov for about two months of the year, so during our second budget cycle, I had just one question that my finance team was able to answer. The rest I remembered on my own.

Arash Moradkhani
Transportation Manager
Alpharetta, Georgia

#2 A Better Process To Submit Supporting Documentation

The ability to submit supporting documentation with each request is key for department heads. Traditionally, budget requests were sent via email, entered into a shared spreadsheet, or submitted on paper. There was no easy way to submit supporting documentation, like cost quotes, pictures, plans, transcripts from union negotiations, or community support (petitions, etc).

With ClearGov, department heads are able to upload attachments, enter text for clarification, link to videos, etc. Moreover, all of the supporting documentation stays with the request throughout the process. At any time, anyone reviewing the budget can click the request and see every piece of justification in one place — versus digging through emails, thumbing through filing cabinets to find paper plans, or going to another source for information. This keeps each reviewer’s focus on the request at hand.

One customer, Alabaster, Alabama, saw the benefits of cloud-based budgeting firsthand when its local library got a long-overdue bathroom renovation thanks to the detailed documentation the library director included in the capital request. She took full advantage of ClearGov and included pictures of the current condition of the bathrooms, renderings of what they could look like after renovations, and detailed cost information in the supporting documentation section of their request. Because of this, the project that was overlooked in previous years finally caught the eyes of council members when the request could be viewed – both visually and by the numbers – in one central location.

ClearGov has made budgeting a lot easier and more efficient. Before ClearGov, many questions came from the finance department, like ‘What is this project about?’ or ‘Can you email me exhibits, plans, PDFs or pictures?’ Now, I can submit an explanation and all supporting documentation along with my initial budget request, so we no longer have a lot of back-and-forth Q&A. I can effectively communicate the importance of the projects I’m submitting, which increases the likelihood of getting my projects funded. The budgeting process now takes less calendar time and effort.

Arash Moradkhani,
Transportation Manager
Alpharetta, Georgia

#3 Time Savings That Equates To Improved Productivity

A department head’s time is in high demand as they’re pulled in many directions throughout the day. It is an invaluable benefit to department heads to shave time off of the annual budgeting process.

Being able to submit requests electronically, attach supporting documentation, and eliminate all of the manual back-and-forth spreadsheets, emails, meetings, and phone calls adds up to hefty time savings.

In fact, one customer, El Campo, Texas, estimates that they reduced their annual budgeting process by over 70 hours! They streamlined the capital budgeting process so much that they were able to reallocate resources to focus on a long-term 5-year capital improvement plan.

ClearGov has been one of the easier-to-use applications compared to what I have used in the past. It is user-friendly, and there are a ton of icons that walk you through it. I am not a read-the-instructions person, so the fact that I could figure out how to use ClearGov without reading a manual meant that I had more time to focus on work. It was an easy transition.

Lynn Cormier
Director of Community and Recreation Services
Page, Arizona

#4 Centralized Information Facilitates Data-Driven Decisions

For local governments that historically had very manual budgeting processes, one of the biggest hurdles is having data in so many disparate, siloed locations. It makes it difficult to visualize how different parts of the budget impact one another and how changes affect the budget today, and several years down the road.

With ClearGov, all historical, current, and future data is housed in one, centralized cloud-based location. It is accessible in real-time to department heads and the finance department. Changes are made across the board, and auto-generated graphs and charts help department heads visualize how the changes impact other parts of their budget.

For one customer, Tega Cay, South Carolina, this ability to see in-depth past, current, and future project details and data graphically “paints a really helpful, precise picture,” according to City Manager, Charlie Funderburk. This allows the public works and parks & rec department heads to make more data-driven decisions about what projects that would best serve the community with the funds they have.

See how ClearGov can help you modernize your annual budgeting process and improve department head productivity. Watch a quick demo today!

July 24, 2023

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.