~ 5 MIN READ
Top Municipal Government Software By Category
Looking for municipal government software for accounting, performance management, or anything else? Here are five popular solutions most helpful for municipalities.
Whether it’s for accounting, asset management, communications, or anything else, the right software can do for local governments what it does for any type of organization—give them an advantage in the areas of efficiency, productivity, and decision-making. But municipalities have an additional set of concerns that makes their software needs somewhat unique. Because they exist to serve the public, they have a greater need for transparency around their activities; they also put more emphasis on communication (with citizens, employees, the media, and others) than the typical organization.
In our view, then, the best municipal government software not only helps you perform specific tasks, but also supports transparency and communication.
That’s what this list is all about. We’ve identified the following five software categories as those most relevant to municipalities, and a top-rated software solution (according to G2, Capterra, and other review sites) for each one. All the solutions noted below provide transparency and openness as it relates to their core functionality, whether it be accounting or resource management. It’s important to note that not every government needs all the types of software listed here; it depends on the problems you’re trying to solve, as well as your size, your existing technology tools, and your budget.
Is your municipality striving for excellence? Here are more than 100 performance measures you can use to help you reach your goals.
5 Top-Rated Municipal Government Software Choices
1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP solutions help organizations of all types consolidate their various activities and workflows into a single, integrated system. Municipal ERPs are designed to encompass a wide range of public sector needs—accounting, procurement, planning, payroll, human resources, and more. A huge benefit of using an ERP system is that housing data around all these functions in one system offers you insights into all the different departments, and breaks down data silos. There’s currently a lot of interest in ERP solutions from local governments because of their appeal as an end-to-end solution, but the cost of most systems makes it a major buy.
|★ A top-rated ERP solution is Munis, designed especially for government agencies and schools. Munis gets high marks from users on its functionality, ease of use, and dedication to product development. And in addition to helping municipalities manage finances, human resources, and procurement, users also reported improved citizen access to government and easier reporting.|
2. Performance Management/Government Reporting
As with any organization, municipal leaders are constantly working to improve their communities. Performance management software supports strategic planning in local governments by helping them track goals and projects; it also simplifies progress reporting to citizens and stakeholders.
|★ A top-rated performance management/government reporting solution is ClearPoint. Many municipalities use ClearPoint to define their long-term goals and create a clear plan to achieve them. It also allows them to share the progress of those plans with citizens and other stakeholders through visually appealing (and automatically updated) online dashboards and other types of reports. Designed to reduce the amount of time it takes to manage and report on strategy, ClearPoint gets high marks consistently in the areas of customer service, ease of use, and customization options. (Read how Germantown, Tennessee, used ClearPoint to help it win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award!)|
3. Financial Management/Accounting
Government accounting is complex, with multiple income sources to track, grants and loans to manage, and numerous fund payouts to handle for employees, contractors, and other parties. Software helps keep clear records of all financial transactions, and streamlines workflows so staff accountants can work more efficiently. Transparency is especially important in municipal accounting, as citizens have a right to know how their government is using public funds. Governments must be ready to respond to finance inquiries at any time, which is another area where software comes in handy.
|★ Among the top-rated accounting software solutions is Sage Intacct. Although not specifically public sector software, Sage Intacct is a web-based product that gets very high marks as a financial management solution for organizations of all sizes. It’s capable of handling all the basic finance-related activities of a municipality, as well as project accounting, fixed assets and core accounting, inventory management, vendor payment services, and more. Sage Intacct streamlines and automates many workflows for greater efficiency. Users say it’s incredibly easy to use, integrates with lots of other products, and saves time.|
4. Public Works Software Work Order/Purchase Order System
Governments own numerous public buildings and spaces, assets, and infrastructure. Software is useful for tracking and managing all those assets, as well as the associated work orders and maintenance projects. It also simplifies government permitting and licensing processes.
Public works software should give you better visibility into your assets, making sure they are always well-maintained and optimally used.
|★ Among the top-rated public works software solutions is EnerGov. Users give EnerGov high marks for handling all the aspects mentioned above. Because it was designed for governments, the software also includes functionality for receiving input and requests from citizens, and allows them to search for public works data online. EnerGov automates some aspects of the permitting and planning processes, improving efficiency.|
5. Citizen Relationship Management
Maintaining good relations with citizens is key to building a successful community; such relationships rely on communication. Software helps government officials become better communicators by giving them a reliable platform for receiving public input and responding to it in a timely manner. Citizens can use it to request information or services, fill out forms, provide comments, or submit applications. And because software collects and tracks relationship data across departments and agencies, it can be compiled for analysis, generating insights that can help you anticipate needs and serve your community better.
|★ Among the top-rated citizen relationship management software is SeeClickFix. It gives municipalities an easy way to accept public service requests directly from citizens via their smartphones or the town website, and routes those issues to the right public official for handling. As a communication channel, it also keeps citizens in the loop about progress. The data collected within the software is useful for tracking issue resolution rates; a solution like this also helps demonstrate accountability for individual departments. ClickSeeFix gets high marks for customer service and ease of use.|
A Final Tip: Two things any type of public sector software should have are...
Software is an investment and a partnership—the vendor you choose is just as important as the product you’ll be using. Click To Tweet If you look at the reviews on software sites, the top municipal government software solutions are almost always associated with:
Excellent customer service—the vendor is always ready and willing to help.
A clear dedication to quality—the vendor regularly solicits customer feedback and makes deliberate efforts to improve the product.
To dig deeper into vendors, talk to some existing customers. If both the software and the vendor get high marks, you’ve likely made a sound investment that will serve your community well.