Burnet, Texas Streamlines Budgeting and Reporting With OpenGov
POPULATION: 6,077 | AGENCY TYPE: City | ANNUAL BUDGET: $28.5 Million
Burnet’s management team delivers services to a population that fluctuates with the seasons, requiring effective systems for tracking cyclical trends. (Photo: iStock)
Maxwell explains how she pressed a couple buttons, pulled up an OpenGov report on my screen, and a moment later, he had his answer, ready to take back to the Councilmember who initially wanted the information.
“Holy smokes!” he exclaimed, “That’s pretty slick.”
OpenGov gives Department Heads, the City Manager, Council members, and even citizens one place to go for multiple years of financial and statistical information, whether the data originated from Burnet’s financial system, a department’s operational spreadsheet, or another source.
Maxwell explains how she runs reports across funds, automatically generate interactive graphs and tables populated with subtotals and totals, and customize viewing permissions to maintain informational security. Burnet even runs reports it couldn’t run before. For example, the city can compare the Fire Department’s monthly expenses against its share of General Fund revenue.
Flexible reporting helps the City quickly visualize and analyze its expenses across departments.
Here are some examples of reports Burnet uses across the organization:
- Monthly departmental budget to actual reports: For each department, Burnet has reports that track monthly expenses against the department’s share of General Fund revenues. The City Manager, the respective Department Head, and finance staff can access this information simply by logging into OpenGov. Burnet uses these reports both for council meetings and to quickly answer questions from councilmemebrs and staff.
- Annual report: The Annual Report displays multiple years of budgets, expenses, and revenues across funds on the same screen, solving the issue we had with our financial system. Burnet can drill down, filter, and bookmark important information without having to re-query our ERP.
- Payroll analysis: Burnet is compiling payroll data into OpenGov, including hours and dollars, to create reports we can search, filter, sort, and graph. This deep dive across multiple years helps us detect trends and flows in payroll. The city can see how changes affect budget to inform future planning such as the five-year forecast.
- Cash and investments: This interactive reports enables Council and the Finance Team to track our financial position and the status of our bank accounts. They can access this information on their own. Council especially relies on this report to make financial decisions, and enjoys on-demand access to this information.
- Capital projects: Council, citizens, and managers can track strategic capital projects. They can explore multi-year budgets, expenses, and revenues across funds. We made a Saved View (think of it as a bookmark) on our Transparency site so citizens and businesses can stay in the loop.
- Debt service: Our debt service report shows debt interest expenses, which kinds of debt were issued on which dates, and why we issued it. This information informs both management and citizens.