Implement modern budgeting solutions that streamline the collection of capital requests across departments, improve the process of creating the budget, save time building the budget book, and help Beaumont win its first GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation award.
The City of Beaumont faced considerable challenges in their capital budgeting process, primarily due to their long-time use of manual, Excel-based systems. Like other local governments, the city realized that these manual processes made gathering, compiling, and prioritizing requests from department heads tedious and inefficient. Naturally, these manual processes also came with the risk of human errors.
Compounding these issues was the lack of an effective tracking system for capital requests. Without a transparent and reliable request system, there was a lot of back and forth between the finance team and department heads that led to frequent misunderstandings and frustration.
ClearGov’s Capital Budgeting solution was chosen because it seamlessly integrated with Digital Budget Book, which the city was already using. This choice provided a unified system for handling capital requests from department heads while allowing the finance team to easily organize and view the categorized requests in one place. Once requests were approved and accepted, the capital budget automatically transferred to the digital budget book, which was “the icing on the cake,” according to Jennifer Ustation, the city’s Finance Director.
ClearGov’s Capital Budgeting solution collectively saved the City of Beaumont significant time that was previously spent manually gathering and formatting data. Additionally, the real-time visibility of budget requests and updates, combined with having everything in one place, significantly improved collaboration between departments and the finance team.
ClearGov’s ease of use was another key benefit. With support from ClearGov, including tutorials, videos, and responsive customer service, city staff found it easy to adopt and start using the new system.
Moreover, the adoption of ClearGov’s solution allowed the city to focus on producing more high-quality content for their budget book to help tie the budget to the city’s priorities and goals. With the handy criteria checklist and auto-generated content for the GFOA budget award already included in ClearGov’s Digital Budget Book, it was an obvious decision to apply for the prestigious award for the first time. Not surprisingly, the city’s focus on budgeting excellence earned them a GFOA award that first year!
Looking ahead, the city is excited about using ClearGov’s Transparency product. This initiative will provide citizens with status updates on capital projects and improve transparency, which is a key step in addressing citizen concerns about ongoing street projects and traffic. This forward-looking approach proves the city’s commitment to not only using technology to improve internal efficiencies but also to improve communication and engagement with citizens. The city most recently adopted ClearPlans to support their strategic planning initiatives and is in the process of building their first strategic plan using ClearGov.