7 Things GovMax Can Do That Spreadsheets Can’t
Spreadsheets are phenomenal financial tools, but they are not databases, which allow information to be easily sorted and grouped for reporting purposes year after year. Traditional government budgeting or let’s say “spreadsheet-based budgeting” is a tedious, painful budgeting process that no public agency should really be using in this day and age. Using spreadsheets for government budgeting is full of manual entries and potentially error-prone tasks. It’s also cumbersome with spreadsheets formulas that can break anytime and multiple spreadsheets tabs that you have to keep up with and cross reference. At a time where information and data comes at lightning speed and running reports and analytics is essential to budgeting, spreadsheets do not give you the dynamic functionality that the typical government agency needs.
GovMax is a government budgeting SaaS solution that built by Sarasota County, Florida to solve our own budgeting headaches. At the time, we could not find a government budgeting application on the market that understood how government budgets work. So we built our own and have made it available to other agencies since then.
We understand that some public agencies are comfortable using spreadsheets to create their budgets, but we also know that today’s complex fiscal environment requires more in-depth reporting, budget scenario testing and to better manage expenditures, among other needs. Constituents also want their governments to be more transparent and publish public-facing GFOA-compliant Budget Documents. So GovMax was developed with this in mind to support public agencies of all sizes from small to billion dollar budgets and whether budgeting with spreadsheets or complex ERP systems.
In a nutshell, budgeting on spreadsheets is very limited and less efficient. One of the biggest headaches we know that budget managers have is meeting budget deadlines with little to no budgeting staff members.
7 ways budgeting is made easier with GovMax
Spreadsheets have advanced filtering, but there are limits to what you can filter based on certain values and numbers, because spreadsheets are not, by default, budgeting tools. They are actually data-handling tools that may or may not be relevant to the budgets your team is preparing. On the other hand, GovMax is a budgeting giant. Every module of GovMax speaks for budgeting. It has dynamic filtering at various levels that allow you to easily review and edit details that are custom to the variable that you input according to your departmental needs.
Effortless collaboration and report generation
One of the biggest headaches of spreadsheet budgeting is the difficulty in reporting on budget details to your stakeholders and getting input from department-level budget teams. All of those disconnected spreadsheets and tabs can be messy for reporting purposes, but it is absolutely effortless with GovMax. Because GovMax is cloud-based and operates from a browser, it has built-in collaboration and allows other budget teams and staff to easily input their budget items without having to pass around spreadsheets.
GovMax also makes it easy to create dynamic reports in an easy-to-understand format. You can easily create reports such as Departmental Budget Documents and Budgetary Cost Summary with just one click
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Imagine trying to create budget scenarios or forecasting multi-year capital budgeting in a spreadsheet? Attempting this would be labor intensive and would require manually entering and manipulating data. That’s because spreadsheets neither allow you to create budget scenarios nor have the ability to reflect and compare various budget assumptions or forecasts.
That’s not the case with GovMax, because it allows multiple budgeting scenarios and shows different merit options. The multi-view formats also help you understand cross-departmental budget impacts and the budget reductions that would need to be made.
Spreadsheets can store data and allow editing with some level of advanced calculations, but they don’t allow analytical features for effective decision-making. Alternatively, Fund Proforma Analysis is a feature in GovMax that helps you assess your funding sources. This feature highlights fund summaries, funding justification, and creates detailed fund reports to fulfill all your capital planning and reporting needs in one place.
Personnel budgeting constitutes a big portion of the entire budgeting process with strict demand for access control and multiple inputs from HR which may not be possible altogether with spreadsheets. However, GovMax helps you analyze individual positions to assess department totals, attributes, and salary comparisons. You can also control user access and maintain confidentiality by creating user permissions to allow cross collaboration and free up personnel time with your budget team.
Budget vs. Actuals
When you feed budget data into spreadsheets, it’s only just one part of the complex budgeting process and you then have to prepare the actuals separately. With GovMax, you can seamlessly analyze Budget to Actuals and prepare interactive instant reports for keeping on top of projected agency needs. Instead of working through stressful data manipulations, you can invest your time in actually making decisions and plans for your budget strategies throughout the year.
Interactive Visuals and Transparency
It is difficult to understand data in spreadsheets because they are neither attractive nor interactive, but GovMax creates advanced automatic visual dashboards as interactive graphs and data grids. This makes it so much easier to share budget details that internal and external stakeholders can easily understand. GovMax also has a Transparency option that allows you to directly display your desired budget data on your public website and share your agency’s financial health with the public in an interactive format. You no longer have to plug in large pdfs on your website or create entirely new budget websites that can be both time-consuming and costly.
In a nutshell, spreadsheets are not the enemy, but they certainly impact budgeting efficiency. GovMax is the most affordable government budgeting solution available on the market built by veteran budget managers who understands your budgeting headaches.
For a free demo and to see how GovMax can meet your agency’s specific needs, email email@example.com.