City of Merced - By the Numbers - Financial Analysis Tool

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While the City of Merced has shown its commitment to financial transparency by posting financial documents on its website, including the City of Merced’s operating budgets and audited financial statements, sometimes additional information may be sought out by citizens. Oftentimes that information is most easily understood through interactive charts and graphs. In an effort to enhance transparency in financial reporting, the City of Merced is offering an interactive reporting tool that allows citizens to explore City of Merced’s budget and actual data online in various graphical formats selected by the user.

The City of Merced is providing actual and budget data for public view. The City hopes through this additional tool that the connection between local government and community members will be strengthened.

OpenGov in Merced

The City of Merced has joined other California cities, school districts and counties that have partnered with OpenGov to access, share, and analyze its financial data. To access Merced’s interactive portal, visit https://mercedca.opengov.com/

Landing page of OpenGov

When viewing numbers at the organization wide level or at the Fund level, expenditures might exceed revenue in any given year. Although not displayed graphically the difference is covered by reserves or carryover of capital improvement funds.

No transactions have been eliminated that occur between funds. This insures when an individual fund is viewed the total revenue and expense is displayed. However, if funds are combined that have transactions between them those interfund transactions result in "double counting".

Some non-cash transactions have not been included in the numbers. Depreciation expense and other adjustments made at year end to comply with accounting pronouncements are some examples.

OpenGov How To Guide

OpenGov allows you to explore the City of Merced current budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface.

There are two ways to view information:

"Saved" is the default view and is a quick way to see reports that answer "Frequently Asked Questions".

"Filter" provides a way to create a variety of revenue and/or expense views and to drill down for more detail. By selecting "Filter" additional drop down menus are displayed which allows the user to create their own reports.

  • The "Show" drop-down menu allows selection of revenues and expenses or just revenues or just expenses.
  • The "Broken Down By" drop-down menu allows selection by Fund, Department or revenue and/or expenses by type.
  • The "Filtered By" drop-down menu allows selection of all or specific Funds, Departments or revenues and/or expenses.
  • Use the Search function within each filter to find exactly what you are looking for.
  • A Fiscal Year slider is below the "Filtered By" drop-down menu. Move the sliders to choose the fiscal year(s) whose data you would like to see.
  • There are five different types of visual representations of the data:
    • A stacked percentage graph to see percentage changes over time.
    • A stacked line graph to visualize overall trends over time.
    • A line graph overlaying each trend over time.
    • A pie chart to view percentage breakdowns by year. To view data for other years, move the slider below the pie chart.
    • A bar chart comparing trends and percentage breakdowns over time.
  • Below any chart or graph, you can view a Table detailing the financial information in the visualization above.
  • Use the "Help" drop-down in the top right corner to:
    • View a short How-To Guide with tips on navigating the platform.
    • Contact the administrators of the account.
  • Use the "Share" drop-down in the top right corner to:
    • Share your customized graph or chart through social media.
    • Send a link to your customized graph or chart through email.
  • Use the "Download" drop-down in the top right corner to:
    • Download an image of the graph or table as a .png file.
    • Download a spreadsheet as a .csv file.

For additional information on OpenGov and to access education materials, please visit: www.opengov.com/resources.