How a Finance Director saved up to 90% of her time with OpenGov

April 18, 2018 – OpenGov

Budgeting wasn’t easy for Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority in Georgia. The agency’s finance director, Judy Smith, previously worked on her budget by “exporting everything from my finance software and creating my own reports and drafts in Excel.” Then, she would export the most recent income and budget-to-actual data, create trending information from year last, and then create the budget from there. Every time a proposal was updated or the numbers changed, Smith had to “recreate the wheel.”

Smith implemented OpenGov, and everything changed. “With OpenGov, budgeting is easier than it’s ever been for me,” Smith says in this video. The first time she used it to prepare the budget for a presentation to the board, she was able to present the full budget a full month faster than she had in the past. That allowed the team to review the process in greater depth, get more buy-in from departments and other stakeholders, and hone their budget recommendation presentation to the board.

When it came time to present to the board, Smith explains how OpenGov helped: “Our budget was passed the night we presented it using reports and charts from OpenGov. I was thrilled! This budget process was the easiest I’ve experienced in my government career!”

Smith reports she has also gone from a one and one half days down to an hour and one half -- saving 90% of her time -- in creating her quarterly financial statements, and is able to easily pull them together last-minute when needed.

Once Jackson County’s Water and Sewerage Authority adopts its budget, the agency needs to show departments and the board how they are performing. A day-long process of preparing reports now takes Smith “thirty minutes.” She adds, “once I export the report from my finance software, it’s simply a matter of checking the template and the numbers.”

This has allowed Smith to embrace a monthly reporting cycle, which gives departments the granular information they need to follow their budget and change course if necessary. It has also empowered the appointed board to have access to more full information. “Many of the questions they have for me will be answered for them by OpenGov,” Smith explains, which allows her to focus her time on strategic priorities, collaborating more with colleagues, improving service delivery for the community.

“OpenGov has made my life so much easier,” Judy says.

Her husband, Scotty, agrees with a smile. "It made things so much easier for her, therefore transferred into a happier marriage because she was not stressed out all the time."

Find out how OpenGov can make your budgeting process easier.

Video: Watch to hear Judy share her story

Read: Get the detailed case story

Category: Customer Story