Friday, May 15, 2015

Connecting Costs & Outcomes: Innovation and Resilience with GFOA!


"Connecting costs and outcomes associated with specific services is critical to communicating value to citizens."


"Program costing is at the forefront of GFOA's priorities right now!"

At the end of this month, May 31-June 3, leaders from the Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA’s) following of over 18,000 members will take part in GFOA’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia.

We at the Center for Priority Based Budgeting are humbled and proud to announce that we’ll be there too, presenting "Painless Program Costing" Sunday, May 31st. This will be CPBB’s 3rd time presenting at a GFOA annual conference, and we are so thrilled, perhaps this time more than any other time…

Why is this presentation so important?

As GFOA’s Shayne Kavanaugh enthusiastically relayed to us, “program costing is at the forefront of GFOA’s priorities right now” – and CPBB has been doing Program Inventory and Program Costing in nearly 100 organizations since 2009!

According to GFOA: “Program budgeting is an underlying assumption to many of GFOA's budgeting best practices, and being able to connect costs and outcomes associated with specific services is critical to communicating value to citizens. However, very few governments actually do this fundamental piece well for a number of reasons, including poor definition of programs and technical challenges in accounting for programs.”

Make no mistake, program costing is not easy! As so many leaders know, engaging in the exercise itself is often the result of controversial questions around “sourcing”, assessing fees and charges as they measure against the “true cost of doing business”, privatization, running government “like a business”, public-private partnerships, efficiency analysis and financial transparency.

And yet, therein lay the most exciting realization! Just as GFOA has identified: if you can measure Program Costs, you can answer these questions, and so many more!

We at the CPBB have seen it again and again – the way to diffuse politics, to temper emotionally-driven decision making in favor of data-focused decision making, can come about with great data. Program Costing is a center-piece to data-driven decision making, and we’re looking forward to May 31st as our opportunity to unveil (as GFOA described our presentation) “Painless Program Costing” with a web-based, user-friendly interface that translates your line-item budget into a program budget.

We at the CPBB have spent our careers delving into the kinds of controversial discussions that have, until now, polarized politicians – whether to outsource, to insource, to raise fees, to lower taxes, to privatize or partner or divest the organization of a service.

We’ve been attracted to these contentious debates NOT because we’re crazy, but because the answers to these questions are so important to get RIGHT! Or, to put it another way, CPBB’s founders designed tools specifically to resolve these kinds of debates, because throughout our careers, like so many of you, we experienced the emotional struggles and misunderstandings that accompany data-less debate!

“Painless program costing” presents an intuitive user-interface to identify the programs and services your organization provides, and translate your line-item budget into a program budget. The development of a program inventory and program costs is the foundational data-set to bring clarity and understanding, data-focused decision-making in a time when it’s never been so crucial. And it’s never before been so easy to do…

Introducing CPBB’s web-based Program Inventory and Program Costing Tool!

We created this innovative new web tool because our partner organizations wanted an easy to use, web-based tool that would easily connect to your financial system and give you:
  • a tool that allows you to evaluate the fees, rates and charges that you have on a program-by-program basis,
  • a tool that allows you to make ready comparisons to other public-sector, or private sector service providers, to the extent that you want to evaluate the efficiency or the appropriate sourcing of your programs,
  • a tool that brings departments into the process of understanding and communicating better what they do, and how much it costs, on a program level,
  • a tool that can allow you to see clearly how your workforce is associated with programs (do you have retirement eligible staff serving a particular program, and are you aware of how you'll address succession planning?, for example),
  • and ultimately a tool that helps transition your approach (or the department's approach) from line-item budgeting to program budgeting
The GFOA Best Practice for "Measuring the the Full Cost of Government Service" was created over a decade ago... At a time when this data-driven practice, this "evolution" from line-item budgeting is so valuable, so vital to our community's success, we wanted a Tool to make this far easier. We wanted to make it accessible. We wanted it in everybody's hands!

Program Inventory and Costing made easy - by CPBB!

Find out MORE and contact US about our web-based Program Inventory and Program Costing Tool!

Learn more at CPBB's Know the cost of your #localgov services! CPBB presenting at the GFOA conference! 

Center for Priority Based Budgeting
2015 Annual Conference 
Denver, Colorado | August 4 - 6, 2015
Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel

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