Ivins, Utah Saves Time and Funds New Positions Using OpenGov Budget Builder
As a bedroom community, Ivins, UT uses OpenGov Budget Builder to strategically plan how the city will allocate resources to deliver quality services over time. (Image: Bobak Ha’Eri / CC)
Static Spreadsheets Limited Collaboration and Efficiency
Ivins Finance Director Wally Ritchie explained that the City’s previously static budget planning process revolved around spreadsheets, making it onerous. “Our business challenge was that I had five other department heads working with me on the budget, and I used very large spreadsheets for the process,” he said. “The department heads would input original numbers into their spreadsheets, and I’d end up making the changes to my master version. There was no good way for information to flow back and forth.”
Furthermore, once Ritchie started making those updates in his master spreadsheet, the process allowed for little ongoing budget collaboration with his department heads. “Other than inputting the original numbers, the department heads were not overly-involved in the budget process,” he said. “I made necessary changes along the way, which took a significant amount of my work time. No one else had a way to provide input, and as they were busy running their departments, they never really went back to the spreadsheets or looked at them again.”
Ritchie sought a solution that would involve non-finance departments in planning and provide them with greater awareness of the financial landscape – both throughout the year and into the future.
Implemented OpenGov Budget Builder to Streamline Process
To introduce his team to OpenGov Budget Builder, OpenGov’s Customer Success team facilitated a kickoff meeting with the entire team. “OpenGov provided the best introduction for our staff by illustrating what we were trying to accomplish with Budget Builder and how it would allow them greater access to our finances throughout the year and beyond,” he said. He noted the department heads immediately noticed how easy it would be to adjust their numbers. For example, if they knew benefits were increasing by seven percent, the ability to quickly update the percentage accordingly in the software was exciting. For them, he said simplicity was key.