A New Accounting System with Years of Wisdom - Just for Governments

May 21, 2020 – Mike McCann

Hopefully by now you have seen our OpenGov Cloud ERP announcement or caught some of the news coverage. Granted, I’m biased, but this may be the most important development in the ERP market for local governments (city, county, special districts and schools) in a generation. Even if you were not considering (daydreaming?) about replacing your old ERP a month ago, current events have surely revealed the shortcomings of being saddled with that old technology.

I am excited to see OpenGov introduce this product and extremely proud of the teams who built and are delivering it to the market. With nearly 100 customers already running, the robust technology, the straightforward user interfaces, and the scope of the product are all exceptional. OpenGov Financials and the greater OpenGov ERP gives governments new options now and ultimately reshapes the market for the future.

Bringing the core accounting function to the cloud with OpenGov Financials is going to revolutionize everything. The disastrous events of the last few weeks have made it clear that the days of on-premises servers and software are over; it is no longer the safe, wise or conservative approach. We are rapidly learning to operate our governments over the Internet, and we are reaping the overwhelming advantages of cloud-based, subscription (Software-as-a-Service) solutions. Moving the entire accounting system to the cloud allows the financial team to fully benefit from this massive technology upgrade.

Having been around long enough to see accounting systems evolve gives me some perspective on all this. Back at the beginning of the century, I was running the accounting office for a Silicon Valley startup - from 200 miles away, with a staff of 3 working across VPNs using remote desktop software. We are in a whole different Internet era now. Comparing older technology to broadband Internet connectivity and cloud-based platform applications is like comparing your pappa’s old sedan to a Tesla.

Over the years I have run Quickbooks and MAS200 (Sage) accounting systems. I started my career at ADP using their nation-wide payroll system, worked with Wells Fargo’s corporate system (closing the books every business day - no pressure there), and built home-grown systems to manage not-for-profits. Since finally seeing the light and coming into local government, I have managed AS400 and Tyler Eden systems, worked with a vendor in developing a new accounting system, and researched many other products.

Now retired from government service, I am happy to be helping provide some of the products and services I needed when I was in the hot seat, during the Great Recession and subsequent recovery. We founded OpenGov with one mission: Powering More Effective and Accountable Government. For over seven years we have been building cloud-based, Internet-native solutions to serve that mission. Starting with basic annual budget reporting, and moving on to operating and variance reporting, open data and public transparency, budget development and publishing, permitting, licensing, and much more.

Now, in bringing the OpenGov Cloud ERP to the market at this critical time, when the entire shape of government operations, and the entire economy is being reshaped and reforged right before our eyes, OpenGov is emerging as the leader, innovator, and partner, that drew me to the cause almost eight years ago.

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about OpenGov’s Cloud ERP, and how it can help your government, read our new eBook “Seven Steps Toward a Better Government ERP.”

About the Author

James Michael “Mike” McCann is a founding employee at OpenGov and now serves both as VP of Government Finance and a subject matter expert in local financial operations and budgeting. After 30 years in accounting management in corporate, startup, nonprofit, and government finance offices, Mike took an early retirement from government service in 2011 and joined a newly formed startup, OpenGov.

With a BS in Accounting, and an MS in Instructional Science and Technology, Mike calls himself a shirtsleeve accountant,” and inside guy. He led teams responsible for Budget and CAFR development and publication for many years.

Mike’s background in corporate and government finance, deep knowledge of governmental accounting practices, formal reporting needs, and the daily practice of accounting, all prepared Mike to ground the software development process in the real needs of government. Today Mike writes and speaks on the status and needs of the market, conducts training in the field, and continues to advise on product development.

Category: Government Finance