Gainesville, GAHALL COUNTY
Find a better way to manage capital budget requests for large CIP budgets, and move away from a hard copy budget book to a streamlined digital budget book.
The City of Gainesville, Georgia has a large capital improvement budget, with more than $180 million set aside for capital projects over the next 5 years. Previously, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Matthew Hamby, managed the city’s capital improvement planning process in Excel. Department heads used a shared drive to submit requests, and Hamby made sure to lock the spreadsheets to prevent errors, and then manually consolidated the requests. He wanted a better way to capture and track capital requests.
Since 1991, the city has won a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) for their budget book. However, their budget book was created using Excel and Adobe design software, which was cumbersome for a non-design person. While the hard copy budget book was impressive enough to win an award, Hamby knew it was time to evolve and embrace a solution to create a digital budget book and improve engagement with residents and other stakeholders.
Hamby recognized the opportunity to embrace modern technology as part of the city’s continuous effort to improve their budgeting process. He wanted a solution that would make their internal budgeting process more efficient, while allowing them to create a website-based budget book with more visualizations to make their financial data easier to understand. Hamby knew that an interactive online budget document would also further solidify the city’s commitment to transparency while improving community engagement and facilitating feedback from citizens.
This year, Gainesville is using ClearGov Digital Budget Book to streamline their budget book process and publish their first digital document in July. The city is looking forward to the website-based budget book facilitating greater engagement with residents and other stakeholders. Hamby also appreciates how ClearGov has integrated GFOA guidelines so that the Digital Budget Book is automatically optimized.
Hamby started using the Capital Request Manager within the Digital Budget Book software right away to manage their capital requests. The Capital Requests feature was very easy to navigate, and department heads required no training to use the request forms. Hamby was able to customize the request forms in just 5-10 minutes to match the data on their existing forms, and he appreciates that the requests are immediately presented in the dashboard. In addition, with the click of a button the requests automatically generate dedicated project pages. Hamby has already signed up for