My Journey From Government to OpenGov: Roberto Ruiz
August 14, 2019 – Roberto Ruiz
Roberto Ruiz is a former budget analyst with 16 years of experience across four Texas government agencies. He specialized in budget preparation processes, new enterprise systems implementation, forecasting, reporting and communication, training, and reconciliation. Most recently, Roberto served as the Senior Budget Analyst for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Roberto is currently a Solutions Consultant for OpenGov. Here is the story of how Roberto found OpenGov and why he joined the OpenGov team.
Could you give a brief overview of your role and responsibilities with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas?
As a Senior Budget Analyst, I assessed submitted budgets, prepared and submitted legislative documents, oversaw the quarterly budget meetings and agency-wide budget planning sessions, and was the budget subject matter expert for the implementations of the Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel System (CAPPS) and OpenGov.
What were some of the pain points that you were looking to alleviate with technology?
I was searching for the ability to obtain financial data in a timely manner, without relying on IT for spreadsheets. A modern UE and UI with charts and graphs, so that comparing historical data was quick and easy. And lastly, a collaborative A to Z budgeting solution.
How did you become aware of OpenGov? What were your first impressions?
Our Accounting Director suggested I look into OpenGov for budget and reporting. My first impression: complete amazement. I had never seen such technology before. The graphs and visualizations were great but having complete control of our budget preparation cycles, and access to historical data through the benefit of a cross-walk built in the chart of accounts were the game-changers. Our agency had recently implemented a new ERP system, or general ledger, and account codes were changed. The new general ledger did not accept historical financial data or our old account codes. In the OpenGov chart of accounts platform, we combined both our old and new account strings/codes. Thus, allowing us to compare and report historic financials with current financials in half the time.
Why did you select OpenGov?
Selecting OpenGov as our budgeting solution was very easy. Using modern SaaS technology meant IT didn’t need to maintain hardware, we could have as many users as needed, and Budget Builder offered the A to Z, collaborative solution, we were looking for.
What were you able to accomplish with OpenGov?
We were able to not only collect budget requests from managers a lot quicker, but we also obtained proposal details, narratives, with each request and tied them to our strategic initiatives. In Reporting, we were able to upload historical fiscal years and compare that data to the current year. OpenGov’s flexible Chart of Account editor made this possible.
What made you want to work for OpenGov?
In my twenty years with the State of Texas, I have never seen technology this dedicated to making government budgeting and communications as effective and efficient as OpenGov’s solutions. Everyone I encountered at OpenGov was focused on helping us succeed in this mission. This made the difference for me.
What is it like working at OpenGov?
Working at OpenGov has been a great experience. People really do care about each other and our customers. Everyone is willing to help and support one another. Opinions count and are always heard, and teams are able to make necessary changes if needed. Although OpenGov and governments may technically have different mission statements, our goals are the same: make government more efficient, to better serve the public.
What about OpenGov makes you most excited for the future of Government? How about GovTech?
We’re building amazing solutions for our governments. Data has never been this accessible, for both government employees as well as citizens. Year after year, governments are asked to do more with less. We at OpenGov not only offer tools to help maximize those efforts, but we are also improving them due to customer feedback. This helps governments as respective IT staff steer into new technological frontiers.
Interested in joining OpenGov's mission to make government more effective and accountable? Check out our current job openings.