June 19, 2019

Local Government Best Practices: Newnan, GA

How the Finance Department has brought its processes online to improve civic engagement.
Posted by Andrew Liebelt

Our ‘Local Government Best Practices’ series profiles innovators in the public sector who are bringing digital transformation to their municipality.

Today we’re featuring Katrina Cline, Finance Director for Newnan, GA.

I have been with the City for almost 17 years. I came from private industry, working at a couple different manufacturing plants. Day-to-day, I manage Newnan’s Finance Department. We do all the accounting for the city: the bank accounts, investments, annual audits, purchasing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, asset management. Anything to do with money is our responsibility! We also issue alcohol licenses and occupational tax certificates for our businesses.

The seal of Newnan, GA

How did you get involved with local government?

I had worked in a manufacturing environment for most of my career and I got to a point where I was just burned out. At the time, my company had combined two plants, opening a new plant; I had to go through the process of deciding which employees would remain, which would be terminated; one plant was ISO certified, the other wasn’t. I wanted to explore the flip side of the coin: finance from the government perspective. 17 years later, here I am…still in government finance.

How did you first hear about GovOS Studio?

Somebody sent me an email about GovOS and then I started looking at the potential. We have a Document Management System that we use internally, and through that we were able to create a lot of forms that could be self-populated with workflows. But it was all internal. We wanted an even more robust system that could handle external use cases as well, allow attachments, payment processing…the whole nine yards!

Why did you decide to go paperless?

We had already taken the initiative to create fillable forms using Adobe, but it was just a halfway fix. In Adobe, there are no payments, no workflows. Once you conquer one thing, you move onto the next.

We needed to have the ability for our customers to communicate more effectively with us. This has helped with a lot of the delinquencies too. Companies who used to be slow to pay, now pay on time every month, thanks to the automation. For me and some other department heads, we often wished we had the ability to automate forms and processes, so the customer didn’t have to make the trip to City Hall. We talked about it, but nobody took the initiative until I decided we had to do something about it!

Studio makes it easier for people to interact with us, do business with us, move to our city, open business in our city.

What was implementation of GovOS Studio like?

Implementation was awesome. It’s one of those things that’s truly very intuitive, easy-to-use, and I just dove right in. If I got stuck, I sent an email to their customer success team or checked out the guides online, but implementation was super simple.

Name one form or process that’s been changed by GovOS Studio

Alcohol licensing – we have monthly alcohol taxes and our customers can now go online and file quarterly reports, pay fees online and it’s automatically routed internally. We also automated many occupational tax renewals – we maintain certificates for about 2100 annual businesses, and a good amount of those customers take advantage of the new online process.

The renewal workflow goes through several different departments and has attachments required. Now, a business doesn’t have to come to City Hall to open up a new business or apply for license. Businesses used to come in from out-of-state, but now they can do it online. GovOS Studio has improved communications, efficiencies, and effectiveness.

Favorite GovOS Studio Feature?

It’s so neat that you can automate workflows. Now you can look and see at which stage the application’s in. But overall, having the ability and the tools available to create these documents makes it easier for our customers and citizens to communicate with us and conduct business with us as a government. Studio makes that possible!

Advice for another municipality just starting out with GovOS Studio?

Sign up today and get started because you’ll never look back. Studio has just enabled so many things and our customers love it. Even a simple inquiry form – if someone just wants to ask a question, it’s easy. We have so much freedom to customize, add information, and cover letters. Anything you would like in a form solution – GovOS has it all!