Case study: High Point
The City of High Point is located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina and received its name for being the highest point on the North Carolina Railroad between Goldsboro and Charlotte, historically an important advantage for the City’s industry and commerce. The City is known for its furniture and textiles market and is often referred to as the ‘Home Furnishings Capital of the World’, drawing hundreds of visitors to the world’s largest Wholesale Home Furnishings Show. Providing an optimum quality of life for the community, High Point is proud to be a safe and prosperous City, offering citizens a bright future full of opportunities.
Laura Altizer, Budget Performance Manager, High Point, provided insight into the transformation of the City’s budgeting process.
Annual Operating Budget
$112 million general fund budget; over $398 million total budget
Questica Budget’s Operating, Capital, Salaries, Performance and Questica OpenBook
High Point needed better functionality and flexibility to prepare their budgets, and to include non-financial staff in the budgeting process.
- Powerful functionality for budgeting and performance management
- Automated processes for more efficient, time-saving budgeting
- Questica’s exceptional customer service and expertise in public sector budgeting
- Improved data integrity for greater confidence in the budget numbers
High Point struggled with their previous budgeting system because it did not provide the functionality and flexibility they needed to prepare their budgets. The City experienced issues with data integrity that required time-consuming clean-up of budget data in the back end and an inability to trust that the budget numbers were correct. In addition, High Point’s ERP financial system was not user-friendly for non-financial staff and while their budgeting system allowed departments to enter their budgets, making changes and reviewing the budget was not an easy task.
When they migrated to Questica Budget suite, the problems High Point experienced with their budgeting process were alleviated. Questica provides the City with an easy to use, multi-user system for preparing their operating, salaries and capital budgets. With automated workflows, approvals and role-based security, City staff can work collaboratively and efficiently on the budget to meet their deadlines. Users can view their budgets, assemble actionable data and generate reports for analysis and planning. Configurable and with seamless integration with their ERP financial system, Questica Budget gives High Point better functionality and the confidence that their budget data is accurate.
Powerful functionality for budgeting and performance management
Questica Budget’s powerful functionality has enabled High Point to work efficiently on their general fund, enterprise fund, salaries and capital budgets, with the flexibility to review, publish or makes corrections to the budget as needed. The City also discovered their ability to import and export data was an efficient way to make wholesale changes. After transitioning to Questica Budget, the budget office and 30 non-financial staff using the solution agreed it has enabled them to work on the budget without the same restrictions they experienced with their previous system.
Automated processes for more efficient, time-saving budgeting
Questica Budget automates processes for entering, approving, reviewing and promoting the budget, saving time and making it easy for non-financial staff to be included in the budgeting process. Role-based security allows the City’s non-financial staff to access the budget data specifically for their departments using easy to navigate dashboards. High Point likes to take advantage of the change request system for user submissions and then publish, not publish or makes changes, as necessary. Now all of their departments are using Questica Budget without the necessity of generating paperwork outside of the system.
Questica’s exceptional customer service and expertise in public sector budgeting
While High Point has used Questica’s online resources, including step-by-step videos and topical webinars; the City knows knowledgeable customer success staff are just a phone call away to help them figure out their more complex issues. The City has called Questica when they needed a refresher on a function in Questica Budget or a walk-through to figure out a specific salaries integration. They never feel left on their own to understand how Questica Budget works.
Improved data integrity for greater confidence in the budget numbers
Gone are the days when High Point discovered surprises at the end of the budgeting process or the need to clean-up data in the back end. Questica Budget allows the City to upload actuals in a much cleaner way compared to their previous system. As a result, they have a lot more confidence in the data that is in Questica, as well as the data coming out of Questica. Knowing their data is secure and accurate provides a level of confidence in the budget High Point was unable to experience using their previous system. Without the same kind of problems to challenge them, the City can successfully complete their budgeting process and can better prepare for the next one using our “Publish Next Year’s Budget” feature. As well the City is looking forward to using the budget transparency tool with its internal and external stakeholders to better engage staff, council and citizens in the budget process.
“Questica is a good, solid company to work with and interested in growing to meet the needs of customers. The company is interested in going into new areas of budgeting. For example, mapping technology and transparency with OpenBook. They’re growing in the direction that budgeting is growing, so that’s a good thing.”
— Laura Altizer, Budget Performance Manager, City of High Point
By using Questica Budget, High Point is streamlining their budgeting process and is now working smarter to achieve budgeting success.