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Cocoa, FL

Cocoa, Florida Seal

★ GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Winner ★

Primary Objective

To ensure ADA optimization, have a more comprehensive and organized approach than spreadsheets, and move to a single cloud-based system for the entire budget.


Deputy Finance Director, Lora Howell, originally managed the budget of Cocoa, Florida, with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. The team was frustrated with Excel’s lack of organization, poor export compatibility, and the time and energy wasted trying to find specific information within a document.

Most notably, the team struggled to adhere to ADA optimization standards with Excel. Howell spent months trying to work with the software available to her, but creating ADA-optimized documents with a basic spreadsheet program just wasn’t practical.

The first time the city of Cocoa submitted our ClearGov Digital Budget Book to the GFOA, we had our best scoring ever, with only ‘outstanding’ and ‘proficient’ ratings throughout. We’d won previously with lower ratings, but always had points taken off. This time, we won in style!

Lora Howell
Deputy Finance Director


Howell began searching for a solution, with a way to ensure ADA optimization at the top of her software wishlist. She and her team came to the conclusion that ClearGov was the clear winner. Initially, Howell was just pleased that she wouldn’t have to worry about ADA violations, but the software would help in so many other ways.

Cocoa, FL chose ClearGov to create ADA-optimized budgets that were organized, easy to sift through quickly, and had high-quality and engaging charts and visuals. With ClearGov on the team, they created an award-winning, website-based Digital Budget Book.

The effects of the cloud-based software and its benefits were easy to discern. In the past, the team won GFOA awards for their budgets and presentations. However, on the rating scale, there would always be a deduction for a section that ‘needs improvement.’ In the team’s first year with ClearGov, their budget didn’t have a single negative strike against it: only proficient and outstanding marks.

Howell led her team’s onboarding with the new software, all while being, as she puts it, “not very techie.” She looks forward to the process again this year, now that the team members are expert ClearGov users. Overall, the city of Cocoa had a positive experience with the ClearGov support team. Howell was grateful for the support staff’s availability, quick replies, and care and attention directed to her team’s needs.

Finally, the team didn’t have to stress over ADA optimization. The city’s finances were organized, visually appealing, and easy to search through. The team is thrilled to have found ClearGov, and is looking forward to the continued community engagement with Cocoa residents that has resulted from the implementation of their Digital Budget Book.

The Digital Budget Book looks great! In fact, a co-worker and I were looking through some other budget documents to gather data, and we noticed immediately how much more interactive and user-friendly ours was.

Lora Howell
Deputy Finance Director

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