In Programming Power: Technological Tools to Tighten the Budget, a MACo Winter Conference session hosted by MACo’s Budget & Finance Officers Affiliate, county budget and finance directors shared how technology can streamline budgeting processes and provide the public with information.
Jennifer Hughes, Montgomery Office of Budget & Management Director and Scott Coble, Montgomery Office of Budget & Management Manager demoed the County’s Open Budget website.
In response to questions about the Montgomery County system, Coble described that it is completely homegrown by Montgomery County. Through mimicking the structure in the underlying ledger database, the County simplified the connection between existing databases and the new platform.
Jonathan Seeman, Queen Anne’s Office of Budget, Finance & Information Technology Director, described some of the options and challenges facing smaller counties seeking to improve their budget systems.
Director Seeman is one of two employees in his budget office, and the county IT department only has about six employees. He said that while a standalone modern and efficient budget system is preferred, Seeman explained, if a county has an existing ERP (enterprise resource planning system), that may prevent them from purchasing standalone software.