To find cloud-based budgeting solutions that could accommodate remote workers, increase efficiency, and increase departmental collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it changed everything about the way the city of Mesquite, Nevada worked – including location. City Finance Director, Dodie Melendez, faced an unprecedented challenge as her team needed a way to collaborate while some workers were remote, and some were in-office. Further, she needed to find a program that wouldn’t decrease the team’s productivity and efficiency.
Prior to the pandemic, Mesquite used a combination of Excel and Google Docs as a makeshift manual budgeting system. With this setup, the team communicated through lengthy back-and-forth email threads. The system was beyond frustrating, as it wasted the team’s time toggling between separate programs and sending emails before making changes. They were doing the best that they could with what they had to work with, but Melendez knew there had to be a better way.
The city functioned with this system for many years, but it was impossible to unlock the team’s potential and truly thrive with such a difficult and time-consuming process.
The city of Mesquite chose ClearGov to modernize their budgeting processes, and they continue to use ClearGov’s Budget Cycle Management solutions because they keep the city organized, efficient, flexible, and transparent. After onboarding with ClearGov, the team completed a budget cycle and successfully created a website-based budget book using the Digital Budget Book and Operational Budgeting solutions.
While the team’s original decision to integrate ClearGov was catalyzed by the pandemic, the city found so many more benefits to the program than remote work capabilities. For example, Mesquite’s annual budget book had to be finished on a tight timeline, as dictated by the pandemic. ClearGov’s cloud capabilities and ease of use not only made this possible, but the budget book received overwhelmingly positive feedback from department directors and citizens alike. Mesquite expects the same type of positive feedback as they roll out ClearGov’s easy-to-use Transparency center to tell their financial story in a way that everyone can understand.
Additionally, Melendez participated in negotiations with unions during the personnel budgeting process and was frustrated with other vendors’ capabilities. She needed an easy way to do projection scenarios in order to demonstrate how different union propositions would affect wages. Further, the team wanted additional software as a platform to aid in their 10-year plan for capital projects, which required the ability to monitor projections and share the information with department directors.
Acknowledging these needs and challenges, and building off of the momentum of their existing success with ClearGov, the Mesquite team expanded their use of the Budget Cycle Management suite to include Personnel Budgeting and Capital Budgeting.
Throughout the process, Melendez and other Mesquite employees had a positive experience with the ClearGov support team, who provided excellent assistance in onboarding and feedback for improvement. The team also appreciated the library of video tutorials that made it easy to learn the system and follow best practices. The municipality hasn’t applied for GFOA awards in the past, but they’re looking forward to doing so now that they have the time, capability, added professionalism, and engaging visuals with ClearGov.