Nassau Bay Leads the Way with User-Friendly Financial Transparency in Texas

POPULATION: 4,089  |  AGENCY TYPE: City  |  ANNUAL BUDGET: $87.8 Million

NASA Suburb’s Tech-Savvy Approach Leads the Way

When it comes to Texas towns, Nassau Bay is among neither the largest nor the oldest, but it does have an interesting history. Established in 1962 and incorporated in 1970, the town — which has a current population of around 4,000 people — became a community for NASA employees who worked at the nearby Johnson Space Center. While the space race made the Houston suburb boom, its commitment to financial transparency launched it into the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle. Nassau Bay is a recipient of the program’s distinguished “platinum” designation, which “spotlights entities that go above and beyond in providing financial transparency.”

“OpenGov gives us a better chance to work with our general ledger numbers, and everything is far more intuitive.”
Csilla Stiles, Finance Director, Nassau Bay, TX

A Step Up from Traditional Budgeting Software


“We haven’t had a problem meeting the state standards,” Nassau Bay Finance Director Csilla Stiles said. “But we did want to find a way to make our reports more intuitive and user-friendly. Just because a report is up on the website doesn’t mean it’s easy for people to search for the information they want or need.”

Stiles was also searching for a more efficient way to prepare and package her financial reports. “I was very frustrated with my budgeting software,” she explained. “It was taking me too long to use it combined with Word and Excel, so I went in search of something new. I found Palo Alto, California’s budget, which is beautiful. I really liked the document, and I contacted their team to find out how they created it. Their finance director sent me to OpenGov.”


Easy, On-Schedule Implementation


Stiles and her team worked with OpenGov’s Customer Success and Government Finance Solutions team to implement the city’s OpenGov platform in a process she called “relatively easy.” She added, “The team did a really good job of putting us on a schedule, setting goals, and moving forward.” She then presented OpenGov to Nassau Bay’s City Manager. Shortly thereafter, the City Manager presented the platform to the city council, and the city issued a press release to notify the media and the public.

“The response from the council was really good,” Stiles said. “As we go through our budgeting process…, I think we’ll have more people talking about it. The city manager does a weekly coffee meeting with residents, and I know it’s come up there.”

Break down Nassau Bay’s departmental expenses by category, then drill down in seconds for details.


New Tool Saves Staff Time

As the four-person finance team prepares for an interim audit, Stiles is confident the auditors will benefit from the software. However, she said she most looking forward to using OpenGov to finalize her next budget. “We’ve just finished the first draft, so I’m working out the details of how I’ll incorporate it,” she noted.

Immediately following implementation, the finance department saved valuable time by uploading their data into OpenGov. “We can pull more information and more reports from OpenGov on the back end than we can from our own accounting software,” Stiles said. “That gives us the opportunity to look at the data in an easy format. OpenGov gives us a better chance to work with our general ledger numbers, and everything is far more intuitive.”


Information Requests Made Easier

Using OpenGov not only saved Nassau Bay’s internal teams time as they analyze data. It has also streamlined how the city handles public records requests. “If someone has a request, we can direct them straight to the site,” Stiles explained. “They can create their own reports, and we don’t have to spend the time doing it for them. It’s very important for the public side of things.” Going forward, continuing to leverage OpenGov will strengthen a team already known for its innovation and strong community engagement.

Illustrate Nassau Bay’s long-term liabilities clearly using OpenGov.


“If someone has a request, we can direct them straight to OpenGov. It’s very important for the public side of things.”
Csilla Stiles, Finance Director, Nassau Bay, TX


Summary

  • Nassau Bay led the way with distinguished transparency initiative in the State of Texas.
  • The city saved time on operational reporting and information requests fulfillment.
  • OpenGov’s responsive, customer-centric implementation effectively supported the city’s finance team and delighted its tech-savvy city leaders.

Results

  • OpenGov simplified Nassau Bay’s access to and management of financial data.

  • Using OpenGov strengthened and streamlined the city’s operational reporting.

  • Streamlined accounting processes to reduce errors, verify information, and enhance research.Implementing the OpenGov Smart Government Platform provided Nassau Bay’s tech-savvy community with intuitive, web-based visualizations.

  • The city further strengthened its already award-winning financial transparency standards through OpenGov.

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