Streamline Monthly Reports and Budget Books With OpenGov
June 30, 2016 – Brandon Camhi
With OpenGov, your organization can streamline important reports and other documents. We’ve even seen customers replace entire printed reports with OpenGov reports that users can interact with and explore.
This boosts internal insights. For example, if a manager sees something that stands out, she can click the number and drill down. This both empowers people to answer questions on their own and leads to better-informed follow-up. In this post, we show how two governments streamline the creation of critical documents with OpenGov:
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Replaces Hefty and Outdated Monthly Reports
For Tony Cholewinski, Allegheny’s assistant to the Deputy Controller of Management Systems, “data delayed is data made useless.” However, before implementing OpenGov, Allegheny County’s departments needed to routinely wait a couple of months before receiving their expense and revenue packets. Although accountants inputted the data on time, there was a delay until accountants could reconcile the numbers.
“What good is a report on May’s activities,” Cholewinski asks, “if I get it in September? By that time, I don’t have the opportunity to be agile and react.” At around 25 pages a month, a year’s worth of monthly reports for one person consumes 300 pages:
At 25 pages per month, a year’s worth of monthly reports quickly consumes reams of paper per person.
Allegheny is replacing this report with OpenGov. Cholewinski and Rudolph quickly enter preliminary monthly data into OpenGov shortly after the month concludes, and circulate it to managers to find issues and foster accountability.
Rudolph explains how building these monthly reports in OpenGov will “make sure people can get information and react to it in a timely manner.” As accruals and updates come in, Allegheny can update its OpenGov site without printing a new report.
Cholewinski believes, “There’s now no excuse for directors not to take a given number from a monthly update and make a decision on it, verify it, or learn more. All the tools are there.” Before, if a manager looked through her static 25-page report and saw $50 million in unexpected spending, she was stuck with just a number.
In OpenGov, she can click on the number and figure out which divisions generated the expense, find the source, drill down to the transaction-level, and find any accounting issues. “Instead of taking the book and going back to our financial system to make decisions and assess metrics, I can do it in OpenGov by putting on a couple filters to find important trends,” Cholewinski adds.
Burnet, Texas Enhances its Budget Book With OpenGov
Before OpenGov, Budget Director Connie Maxwell had to double check every line of Excel totals to ensure there were no errors. This process often took hours, as Burnet’s budget is over a hundred pages long.
However, with OpenGov, Connie was able to automatically generate charts and tables for her budget book in a fraction of the time. All she had to do was highlight totals in Excel and, as long as she uploaded correct information into OpenGov, she didn’t have to labor through every line of every table and chart. In a recent webinar, Connie described how this substantially reduced mistakes in the budget book.
To prepare these graphics, simply ensure your data in OpenGov is fresh, filter and pivot the data as needed, select your desired chart type, then export the charts and tables you need.
Burnet used OpenGov to simplify the creation of its budget book.
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