5 min read
Why Data Transparency & Financial Software Matter for Local Government
Apr 11, 2023 9:15:00 AM
Only 7% of people think local governments effectively share data. What’s worse is that most local governments don’t have functional ways to gather data in the first place. The truth is—local government has a modernization problem, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. There is a huge opportunity for data efficiency and transparency in the public sector.
Auditors, finance directors, budget managers, and fiscal officers—you all want to do your jobs well, and that includes being up-to-date with the latest industry trends. In this post, we’ll explain why financial software for local governments is highly effective and cost-efficient, how data-gathering is useful to you and your citizens, and what data transparency can do for your public agency.
WHY FINANCIAL SOFTWARE IS HIGHLY EFFECTIVE AND COST-EFFICIENT
The best financial reporting software will achieve exactly what you want it to. It will store information securely, be simple to access, and will create easy-to-read reports that can quickly be shared with constituents and councils. Instead of using complicated equations or dozens of tabs in Excel, your financial software will organize everything for you on a secure platform, help forecast for the future, and easily generate web-based fund summaries to share with your community. With all these capabilities, council meetings will be less stressful and year-end reporting will be much easier. This allows you to do your job in a more effective way.
This sounds great, but can you afford it? Realistically, you can’t afford not to upgrade your financial software. According to research, “cloud-hosted accounting software reduced operating expenses by up to 50%.” Every local government is trying to cut costs, but you can successfully do it!
Maybe you don’t see the need to cut costs, but who doesn't love to be productive? “According to 56% of accountants, accounting technology increased their productivity.”
The point is financial software solutions are highly effective and cost-efficient long term.
HOW DATA-GATHERING AND REPORTING ARE USEFUL FOR YOU AND YOUR CITIZENS
You understand the benefits of financial software solutions, but how is having all the gathered data useful to you and your citizens?
Data you collect will help you with the past, present, and future of your municipality. It will give you a broad picture of where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you’re going. In financial jargon, it will aid in auditing, fund management, growth, forecasting, and sharing that information with your citizens. You will be able to track trends in revenue collections and see what other initiatives were effective. You will be able to budget better and plan for future development. Its usefulness is unlimited.
Your citizens will have more trust in you because you can give them accurate information. They will feel heard because you have a full financial picture of them and the town. They will feel empowered because they can access information that is relevant to them. When coupled with transparency, financial software solutions are game changers.
WHAT DATA TRANSPARENCY CAN DO FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION
Even the most patient civil servants get tired of fielding phone calls from citizens asking for specific financial information. At the local level of government, citizens have certain expectations regarding public information: accessibility, accuracy, and certainty. There is a way that you can meet their expectations head-on with cybersecurity for local governments and data transparency.
Cloud-based software checks the box for cybersecurity. With the cloud, your data is stored securely, backed-up daily, and utilizes the latest cybersecurity techniques. Experts in the field make sure that information is encrypted and protected. According to Pew Research, “66% of Americans harbor hopes that open data will improve government accountability.” Data transparency, which keeps public agencies accountable, is one of the most important things organizations can utilize to build trust.
Data transparency simply means that local government information is easily accessible and readable to the everyday person. Instead of you handing out spreadsheets full of financial details, citizens can access a website that displays real-time facts and figures in an accessible way (think charts and graphs). That way, your citizens can simply hop on the website and get the information they want instead of calling the office. It’s a win-win situation!
THE VALUE OF INCLUDING TRANSPARENCY IN YOUR FINANCIAL PROCESS
Financial data accuracy and transparency go hand-in-hand. With financial software solutions, you get organization, accuracy, and accountability. However, you still won’t be able to display the data effectively without some effort. Transparency software gives you an accessible display, but it needs data to work. When paired together, both government officials and citizens can access particular information and have a more valuable relationship. You both want to make your community better, and this is the best way to do it.
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT
Software Solutions has teamed up with ClearGov to bring the public sector into the 21st century of financial data management and transparency. With this partnership, our users can quickly export their data and upload it into ClearGov’s database to display information with ease.
In addition, both companies have top-tier customer service and back that up with over 99% CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores and awards.
We hope that with this collaboration, your job will be easier, and your citizens will trust you more, knowing that you care about efficiency and transparency.
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