Following others for budgeting and permitting, a third software suite rounds out the OpenGov ERP Cloud, which proposes to allow state and local governments to manage ERP-related tasks remotely.
Citing a growing need for cloud-based tools that can accommodate remote work, OpenGov today unveiled the third software suite in its enterprise resource planning kit, this one focused on accounting for local government. With the launch of OpenGov Financials, the company says it has built a full-cloud ERP for the public sector, giving state and local governments a way to handle most ERP-related functions through cloud-hosted software-as-a-service instead of in person or through on-premises software.
Starting today, according to a news release, the full OpenGov ERP Cloud includes three integrated suites: the new OpenGov Financials, plus the previously released Budgeting & Planning as well as Permitting, Licensing & Code Enforcement. OpenGov Financials gives governments an online platform to report, forecast and budget, automating various aspects of those jobs and eliminating the need for physical documents such as timecards, cash receipts and invoices. The underlying platform for the three software suites, OpenGov Reporting & Transparency, includes a set of reporting and analytics tools and dashboards that can interface with third-party software and comes with all of OpenGov’s products.
A blog post today by OpenGov Chief Product Officer Ammiel Kamon said the new Financials suite rounds out a software package the company has been building toward for three years, after the success of its budgeting software. When working in tandem with Budgeting & Planning, which helps governments design budgets and do capital and workforce planning; and the Permitting, Licensing & Code Enforcement suite, which automates those tasks with an online portal; Kamon said Financials was the missing piece that would enable governments to do most of their administrative tasks entirely in the cloud.
“Government work requires a high frequency of cross-departmental communications,” he wrote. “How about having multiple departments and government agencies collaborating together on large vertical construction projects, while centrally providing all the requisite permit collaboration with developers to drive economic development in a community?”
In a public statement, company CEO Zac Bookman stressed the need for an end-to-end ERP suite built specifically with government needs in mind, given what is likely to be a new reality of working remotely.
“In light of the current crisis, it’s clear now more than ever that these old systems present a growing liability for cities and counties across the country,” he said in a statement. “Aside from forcing staff to miss their kids’ practices and family dinners, they are cumbersome, open to security risks like ransomware attacks, and not available online. To effectively respond to a rapidly changing world, government leaders need flexible, modern technology that can enable remote work with high security, that breaks down silos and encourages collaborative data sharing, and that continuously improves based on their feedback.”
The company’s news release said nearly 100 governments are already using OpenGov Financials via an early-access program, and feedback has been “very positive,” including the example of Curry County, Ore.
“With one of the lowest tax rates in the state, we simply don’t have the money for additional staff and we can’t afford to make mistakes,” said Julie Schmelzer, Curry County’s director of operations, in a statement. “OpenGov will offer more transparency to the public and allow us to become more efficient while minimizing chances for human error. Internally, we will now know where each department is in their budget with the click of a mouse, and that information can easily be shared with the public.”
The OpenGov ERP Cloud represents years of investment and expansion for OpenGov, which was founded in 2012 with a focus on financial planning and transparency. The company has raised $140 million from investors since then, announced three acquisitions in the past four years and made four high-level leadership appointments in 2019. The company’s news release said it counts more than 1,000 government customers.