How government fleet managers deal with tight budgeting


According to the Federal Highway Administration, governments are major fleet operators. They own more than 4.2 million vehicles, with state, county and municipal agencies accounting for 3.7 million of those cars, trucks and buses.


Since the recession of the past decade, many municipalities have struggled with shrinking budgets as they work to continue to meet needs with less tax revenue due to the employment struggles of those they serve. For those responsible for municipal fleets, these shrinking budgets have caused a closer look at budgets and a need to cut costs. Municipal fleet managers face a challenge of continuing to provide high quality services to those who live in the community expect while maintaining a strict budget. Determining what costs to prioritize can be difficult, and making a balanced budget often requires compromise between departments.


Managing fleet assets is a complex and relies heavily on significant data collection, systems, support and analysis. In addition, coordination and analytical activities are required to closely keep track of key asset management indicators such as:

  • Life cycles
  • Condition ratings
  • Replacement costs
  • Salvage values
  • Taxes
  • Incentives
  • Warranties
  • Right-fit replacements


Budgets will need to be reviewed to identify cost containment, efficiencies and possible revenue opportunities. Services will be impacted by measures required to meet the fiscal constraints. Coping with these fiscal constraints require budgeting capabilities beyond conventional paper or spreadsheet-based budget systems.


Questica Budget is a web-based platform that offers one point of data entry and seamless integration with municipal financial systems. It also automatically updates actuals and changes to the custom chart of accounts, so staff can be confident that the account data they’re seeing is current. Running different “what-if” scenarios (in-house vs. outsourced, etc.) is straightforward, and the impact of each scenario is immediately understood. With all the data in one place, there is no longer a need to re-key the summary data from spreadsheets, while advanced searches are simple and have eliminated the need to slice through massive quantities of data.


Questica Budget’s Allocations module allows divisions performing the work to include costs in their own budget and subsequently transfer the charges to other divisions the work is being managed for. Changes made to the original division budget after the initial transfer trigger a recalculation based on the established percentage.


Questica has been providing budgeting solutions to the public sector since 1998 and we currently manage public sector budgets for over 600 North American customers. To find out how we can help you find the most effective solutions to deal with tight budgets, request a demo of Questica Budget today.