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From the sounds of things during a Dec. 10 Weld Re-8 workshop session, the district’s director of business services, Jessica Holbrook, is awash in Excel spreadsheets. “Three years ago, when I …
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From the sounds of things during a Dec. 10 Weld Re-8 workshop session, the district’s director of business services, Jessica Holbrook, is awash in Excel spreadsheets.
“Three years ago, when I started, it was all Excel spreadsheets,” she told the school board. “Over the last three years, we haven’t had a lot of bandwidth to update the budget. There are more than 7,000 account numbers. Our revenues are about $26 million. One spreadsheet has 20 tabs. If one of the formulas break, it can be a nightmare.”
Enter Ryan Wilson, an account executive with ClearGov, a business geared toward making financial life easier for smaller government entities, such as the Re-8 district. After a one-time installation of budget data -- past and present, the online business takes care of the rest.
“Instead of 20 tabs for one section, everything is in our spreadsheet,” Wilson told the school board. “If she (Holbrook) wanted to make changes it’s easy. It’s a matter of typing a percentage chance or a dollar amount. We can build a budget book where we use all the data. We can automate the budget or the budget book.”
If the district opts to buy the new program, it will not replace its need for an auditor.
“It allows us a way to improve our budgeting process,” Holbrook said. “We provided the budget to the auditor. In no way would this replace the auditor.”
One thing the Re-8 district -- and others -- doesn’t have is a forecasting tool.
The price is $11,500 for the budget piece, $7,000 for the budget books or $15,700 for the bundle.
“We don’t need something like a Cadillac,” said board President Susan K. Browne.
“You’ll be the first district to do this,” Wilson said. “We can do an add-on. But my job is to listen to your needs and see what’s pertinent.”
Board member Kehle Griego said the cloud makes her nervous.
“More and more governments are moving to the cloud,” Wilson said. “We use the same servers as the FBI.”
Council did not make a decision since the discussion occurred in a workshop session and not a regular meeting. The soonest the board could make a decision is Jan. 28.
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