While the City of Beaufort promotes financial transparency by posting several financial documents online such as the annual budget and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report found under fiscal accountability, sometimes additional information may be sought by our residents and other interested parties. Oftentimes that information is most easily understood by viewing charts and graphs or downloading the information into a spreadsheet.
In an effort to enhance transparency in financial reporting and provide the community with access to City's financial data, the City has engaged OpenGov.com to assist in providing the public with the ability to explore the City's budget and financial data online. Users can manipulate the data, drill down to the object code level and download the data into an excel spreadsheet with just a few clicks.
Click on the graphic to the right to visit the City's Transparency Portal. This link will open a new window and take you to the OpenGov website.
To view the OpenGov article referencing the City's transparency, click here.
TIPS ON HOW TO USE THE CITY'S FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY
- The portal allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface. The main view includes a chart or graph, a legend and various controls to view expenses by departments and revenues by source.
- You can always access the portal by navigating to OpenGov.com.
- You can use the filter to see the data that is of most interest to you.
- To focus on specific data - like a fund, function, expense type, or any combination - look to the left and use the menu on the side panel. These selectors allow you to specify exactly what breakdown you want the graph or table to represent. When you select "Filtered by" the data filter pops up and allows you to turn on or turn off selected filters for the category - fund, function, department, expense type, etc.
- There are five (5) different types of visual representations of the data - an area graph, and area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie chart and a table. You can change your view at any time by simply selecting the different type of representation. The data will automatically convert.
- Below any chart or graph, you can view a table detailing the financial information in the visualization above.
- Use the HELP drop-down box in the top right corner to view a short HOW TO GUIDE with tips on navigating the platform, recall the Welcome Screen, view a short BUDGET 101 primer with basic information on multi-fund accounting or contract the administrator of the account.
- You can download the data into a .csv spreadsheet or a .png image.
- You can share the data, in any view, on a social network or by email.
- The City's of Beaufort main fund is the General Fund. The General Fund includes all departments of the City: City Council, City Manager, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Municipal Court, Planning, Police, Fire, and Public Works.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Click these links to answer some frequently asked questions (results will open in a new tab or window through the Financial Transparency Portal at OpenGov).
- How much does the City receive from S.C. Accommodations Tax?
- What are the State Accommodations Tax funds spent on?
- How much is the City receiving from charges for services?
- How much is the City receiving in general property taxes?
- How much does the City receive from other governments - federal, state, and local?
- How much does the City spend on retirement and other employee benefits?
- How much does the City spend on employee salaries?
- Do stormwater utility fees cover the cost to operate and maintain the stormwater system?