To replace the city’s existing transparency platform with a more powerful budgeting software solution that exceeded the capabilities of their ERP system.
The city of Milton, Georgia already had a very robust system of information that department heads were required to submit. The challenge was that department heads needed to reach out to multiple people within their departments for information, then consolidate the data and create a budget using spreadsheets.
One obvious challenge of spreadsheets is the lack of security, so when multiple people had access to inputting data, there was a higher chance for errors and more reconciliation was needed to ensure accuracy. The city found that the budget tool within their ERP was similarly ‘open’ and on top of that, each and every person they wanted to input data needed to be a registered user.
The other challenge they were experiencing with their ERP tool was the lack of customization when combining spreadsheets. It was impossible to tailor the way the budget data was viewed, making it more difficult to comprehend.
Bernadette Harvill was the Finance Director when the city began looking for a new budgeting solution in 2020. They had come to the end of their contract with their previous transparency solution, and were looking for a tool that would do more while still being suitable for their small city. They explored budgeting tools offered through their ERP system but realized that the ERP’s budget feature didn’t have the capabilities to easily build out the different operating, personnel, and capital budgets.
The city ultimately chose ClearGov because it was the most user-friendly and had the capabilities they were looking for. In 2020, they began using Operational Budgeting and Transparency. One of the features the department heads appreciated was the ability to invite subordinates to submit requests directly in the platform and only edit only certain line items, while locking down other parts of the budget that were non-negotiable.
Before adopting the entire ClearGov Budget Cycle Management Suite, Harvill and her team used the Capital Request module and Transparency to create and update project pages for the community. She appreciated the ability to give the public works director, engineers, and others in charge of capital projects administrator rights to update the project pages. This meant citizens could get more timely updates on projects, and many took advantage of the feature to ‘subscribe’ to receive updates on the projects important to them.
New this year, the city is using ClearGov to track and share progress on its strategic initiatives. Each strategic plan goal will have its own dashboard within their Transparency center with an action plan to support that initiative. The dashboard will be updated quarterly for a more meaningful and timely way for citizens to see what they’re working on.
They are looking forward to leveraging Capital Budgeting and Personnel Budgeting for a full cycle as the ClearGov tool provides more meaningful insights into how to prioritize and score upcoming projects and personnel requests.