Located between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain in Vermont, the Town of Essex (“Town”) is the second most populous municipality in the state of Vermont with a population of 22,000. The Village of Essex Junction (“Village”), located within the Town, ranks ninth with 11,000. In addition to the natural beauty that attracts tourism to the area, Essex is home to the largest private employer in the State, GlobalFoundries, a manufacturer of integrated circuits. The Town and Village are two municipalities sharing some municipal services under contract. With shared management, finance, police, human resources, IT, and public works, these two flourishing communities still operate separately for fire, libraries, parks departments, community development and capital, and are governed by two separate elected bodies. Town and Village residents are all residents of the Town and Village residents are residents of both the Town and Village. Are you confused? Imagine the budgeting!
Essex relied on Excel spreadsheets to prepare their budget, but found the manual process disorganized and cumbersome, with limited reporting options. Tired of the time wasted fixing errors, the Finance team sought a solution that would allow them to look ahead to future budgeting years and plan more strategically. Questica Budget is a full-featured system that will improve how Essex budgets, with access to real-time data with drill-down capability, automated reporting, scenario planning, better functionality for position planning and allocating salaries, and the opportunity to create more collaborative multi-year capital plans. Essex will make better decisions for the two communities when they no longer have time-consuming manual processes that reduce their ability to analyze their budget and plan ahead.
“Questica Budget had all the features we were looking for at the right price,” said Sarah Macy, Finance Director. “We are confident we will be able to fully utilize all of the functions and nothing will go to waste. The product fits our varying needs, from having one place for budgetary data, to accommodating advanced department users, to allowing for workflow abilities right in the system, to more sophisticated scenario planning. Questica Budget was the solution that was best able to elevate and advance our budgeting while still looking and functioning enough like our current process to allow for a seamless transition for all of our users.”
Questica Budget will integrate directly with the Town’s financial system (NEMRC) to manage a $15.3 million general fund budget for the Town, $5.3 million general fund budget for the Village, $11.7 million in combined enterprise funds, and seven capital plans. With a consolidated finance department as the cornerstone of the Essex shared services model, Essex looks forward to increasing automation and integration, reducing manual input, and enjoying greater collaboration with department heads.