5 Reasons to Switch to ClearGov Digital Budget Book (And Make Earning the GFOA Distinguished Budget Award Easier)

By Matt Benati, VP Marketing at ClearGov

The GFOA Distinguished Budget Award is one of the most coveted accolades in local government – and for good reason.

The award can mean a number of things to a local government, but for many, it is twofold. First, having a transparent budget for residents is ethical, strengthens community relationships, and makes responding to inquiries simpler and faster. Second, local government employees take a great deal of pride in their work. Providing the community you love with excellence in budgeting is rewarding on its own, but the acknowledgment that you’re an asset to your community, is a fulfilling and well-deserved badge of honor.

However, developing an award-worthy budget book is a lot of work. Physical budget books may be several hundred pages long and involve countless hours, late nights, errors, reprints, and headaches.

There is a better way: web-based digital budget books.

Modernize Your Government Budgeting Process With ClearGov Digital Budget Book

Gone are the days of manual processes and legacy systems like Excel and Word. It’s time to bring your budget cycle management process into the 21st century, and it begins with a digital budget book.

No more confusing back-and-forth emails with department heads. No more intimidating printed documents that are hard for citizens to navigate. No more manual updates and struggling with version control.

ClearGov’s Digital Budget Book solves all of these challenges. While there are many more reasons to make the switch to a web-based budget book, here are our top five.

1 – Automatically Meet GFOA Award Criteria

If earning a GFOA award is important to your community, ClearGov’s Digital Budget Book platform with award criteria built right in makes it easier to create an award-winning document.

Simply add your narrative and supporting documentation and check it off the list. Speaking of lists, award criteria checklists built into the software make it a snap to see what sections are complete and what criteria you still need to work on.

2 – Include Interactive Elements For Context

Traditional PDF and printed budget books are static documents. It’s time-consuming to manually create charts and graphs and then embed them in the document, and it’s impossible to embed videos and files that add context to your budget.

ClearGov’s Digital Budget Book allows you to create documents that are dynamic. Using the online dashboard, you can include images, videos, spreadsheets, scanned documents, and any other type of content you want to support your budget and add context. Charts and graphs are automatically generated from your data, and users can interact with them by toggling a chart to a format that makes the data make sense to them.

The result is a beautiful, engaging, and interactive budget book – all while supporting increased transparency for your community.

3 – Improve Readability and ADA Compliance

While you may have a thorough and well-written budget book, if your residents can’t easily access, visualize, and understand your information, then was it truly worth creating?

The ability to enlarge text and images, easily navigate to different parts of the book in an instant, and digest complex ideas with interactive charts and graphs are all compelling reasons to switch to a web-based digital budget book like ClearGov Digital Budget Book.

Plus, it is ADA-optimized to ensure accessibility for your citizens with disabilities.

4 – Sustainability and Responsible Spending

Physical budget books are not environmentally-friendly. Whether you print in-house or send them to a copy shop, it’s a huge investment in ink, paper, and equipment. It’s taxpayer dollars that could be more responsibly spent elsewhere. Further, if you make any changes to your budget, the documents are instantly out of date.

ClearGov Digital Budget Book is 100% digital. It reduces waste and shows your commitment to sustainability and responsible spending. Taxpayers will appreciate the investment in software that eliminates paper budget books in favor of an interactive web-based presentation that makes it easier for them to understand the budget.

5 – Mobile-Friendly

Though the ability to access documents through our phones is a relatively recent development in the timeline of government transparency, the implication is crucial: mobile-friendliness is a must.

According to the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans now own smartphones. Implementing access to your budget book through a mobile device increases convenience and accessibility for all residents.

Ditch The Paper & Go Digital With ClearGov

If you’re over the hassle of paper budget books, we invite you to learn more about our preferred budget management solution, ClearGov.

ClearGov Digital Budget Book fully automates the manual process of creating a budget book. It’s affordable, user-friendly, and it even comes with a built-in GFOA Distinguished Budget Award checklist to help you automatically meet the award criteria.

And best of all? Black Mountain users can effortlessly export their data into the ClearGov software.

ClearGov is a strategic partner and the preferred budget management solution of Black Mountain Software.

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