Category Archives: Office Efficiency

Financial Data Transparency: Build Better Taxpayer Trust and Confidence

A recent Gallup poll shows Congressional approval at an unprecedented historical low of seventeen percent. There’s an endless amount of reasons one could posit as to why that is the case—political dysfunction, legislative gridlock, corruption, a lack of transparency, and virtually everything in between—but regardless, the level of distrust in governmental institutions is growing and even trickling down to the state and local level, which is frustrating for both elected representatives and their constituents.

Before we all sharpen our pitchforks, fire up the torches and start a revolution, though, there is a silver lining worthy of note: a growing trend of public institutions willing to share their financial data with the citizens they serve and a panoply of technological options to do so. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Small Cities | Comments Off on Financial Data Transparency: Build Better Taxpayer Trust and Confidence

The Many Hats City Clerks Wear

To be a city clerk is to know: “Multitasking is not an option, it is a requirement.”

The days of a city clerk are filled wearing many hats and accomplishing many things—from interfacing with constituents,
to taking down meeting minutes, to crunching budget numbers. So, in honor of all the roles a city clerk takes on, we thought
we’d list some of the many titles that should come after the
“City Clerk” title.

City Clerk, Also Known As…

Community-Agency Liaison:

A city clerk is the connector between the public and the government agency, making sure constituent voices are heard and governmental decisions are made public. Read more >

Posted in City Clerk Cafe, Clerks in the News, Customer Spotlight, Office Efficiency | Comments Off on The Many Hats City Clerks Wear

Picking Good Passwords You’ll Actually Remember

Last weekend, I had a lot of online shopping to do!

I started clicking away, filling up my shopping cart, hit checkout and…declined?

“What?” I thought to myself. I just got paid! So, in complete meltdown mode I logged into my bank account and at the top of the transaction list I spotted several pending charges, including one for $1,400 to walmart.com. My card number had been stolen and my bank account was compromised.

I always thought I did everything possible to prevent being subject of an account hack or identity theft situation. I had a six-letter password, shredded all my bills and never gave up personal information on the phone. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency | Comments Off on Picking Good Passwords You’ll Actually Remember

Stand Up for Your Heart

Things we know for certain: One, February is National Heart Month; and two, most of our clients do a lot of sitting at their desks; so it makes sense to take a break from our list of blog stories about technology, accounting, and government management and instead focus on the two things that will affect all our clients at some point—their hearts and health.

The baby boomer generation is the first generation of workers who will likely spend most of their day sitting. As we moved from an industrial era to a technological one, many laborious jobs were replaced by desk jobs, putting many workers in front of a typewriter, or computer for most of their working career. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stand Up for Your Heart

Signs of a High-Efficiency Worker

If doing the right things is considered to be effectiveness, then doing things right is essentially being efficient. To be efficient at your job is different than being effective at your job. They do go hand in hand—efficiency can lead to effectiveness—but effectiveness alone cannot create efficiency.

Retaining a sustainable job means being able to perform both efficiently and effectively; an employee who is just one or neither is more expendable than an employee who is both. Because
high-efficiency workers are able to effectively complete tasks in the most efficient way possible, upping your efficiency factor to increase your overall effectiveness is a great place to put focus and become an invaluable team member. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs of a High-Efficiency Worker

How the Cloud is Changing Telecommuting for the Better

Technology has changed everything, and the ability to telecommute is one of those.
In fact, telecommuting trend data collected by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com shows:

  • 50% of the US workforce has a job that is at least partially compatible with telework or telecommuting
  • 20-25% of the workforce telecommutes at some frequency (2.8% work at least part-time from home)
  • 80-90% of the workforce would like to telecommute at least part-time
  • Fortune 1000 company employees are not at their desk 50-60% of the time
  • The amount of regular, non-self-employed work-at-home employees has increased 140% since 2005

The growing trend for telecommuters and telework is not likely to decline anytime soon. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Staff, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Technology | Comments Off on How the Cloud is Changing Telecommuting for the Better

Goal Setting by Month for a Better and Balanced Work Year

How was 2018 for you? Did you accomplish all you wanted to accomplish? Did you do everything you hoped you would do? Were you able to strike a balance between work and relaxation?

How the previous year went plays a large role in determining how we execute our goals and resolutions for the year to come. If portions of your work life left you feeling the need for a little more organization and fun in 2019, here are a few monthly suggestions to spark some enthusiasm in your goal planning for the New Year.

Month-By-Month Goal Setting for a Better and Balanced Work Year

January
Set work and personal goals for the New Year. When it’s cold outside, and you’re hunkered inside, new goals can create a great positive diversion to the weather. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Goal Setting by Month for a Better and Balanced Work Year

8 Signs You Are Close to Retirement

There is a rapidly aging demographic in the workforce, and city clerks are no exception. In fact, when we surveyed the 700 City Clerk Café members in 2013 to find out more about them, a staggering 80 percent were over the age of 40.

With retirement looming for many city clerks, and retirement planning for the future on the minds of the remaining city clerks, it seems relevant and timely to discuss what being “ready” for retirement actually means. So, we’ve put together a list of eight signs that could mean your days basking in the sun under a palm tree are nearing. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Uncategorized | Comments Off on 8 Signs You Are Close to Retirement

Five Fall-Inspired Alternatives to Drip Coffee

It’s the season of change and while we often don’t think twice before changing out our sandals for boots, or sunglasses for gloves, we don’t often think about changing up our in-office routine for something a bit more festive.

The proof is in the pudding (or at least, in your coffee cup)! Think about it…how often do you make a run for that same pot of office coffee without even thinking about sprucing up your caffeine routine for something a little tastier?

So, if your tongue is begging for a seasonal update to that black cup of Joe, consider these fall alternatives to your drip coffee—no trip to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte required! Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Fall-Inspired Alternatives to Drip Coffee

Five Reasons Work Breaks Are Important

John Lubbock, author of The Use of Life said, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

Did he perhaps know something we do not?

As workdays grow longer, and the lines between work and home life continue to blur, the need for midday “me time” seems to be ignored. Taking a lunch is sometimes unheard of, so why would anyone take breaks?

While some may frown upon the 15 or 20 minute break from work, many believe breaks are key to continued concentration, focus, brain function, energy, calmness and creativity—all of which are essential to a productive and happy work environment. Read more >

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