Financial Transparency Tool
Transparent Financial Reporting
In an effort to enhance transparency in financial reporting, the City of Modesto is offering an interactive reporting tool that allows citizens to explore the City’s budget and actual data online. The City's new user-friendly tool will allow you to manipulate the data by viewing charts and graphs or downloading the information into an excel spreadsheet. The City has engaged Open Gov to assist with providing the public with this financial transparency tool that will provide detail financial data for both actual and budget.
Through the City’s Financial Data Transparency Portal users can view financial data based on the current budget, current month and prior year annual data. The users can manipulate the data and drill down to predetermined details or scale up to the big picture. Users can also download the data as an excel spreadsheet to take home.
Visit the City of Modesto’s Transparency Portal.
Tips on How to Use the Portal
Here are some general tips on how to use the Financial Transparency Portal.
Open Gov allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface.
- You’ll notice the title of the Report you are viewing in the top left corner.
- Click on Saved on the left-hand side to view of common or favorite view on each report.
- Select Filter to display key menus.
- You can use the Show drop-down to select the data that is most interest to you.
- Use the Broken Down By drop-down to specify the category you would like the data organized by in your chart or graph.
- Select the Filtered By option to view the data filters. These filters will allow you select exactly which data you want to include, or exclude, from your graph or chart.
- Use the Search function within each filter to find exactly what you are looking for.
- If your organization has uploaded multiple years of data, a Fiscal Year slider will be present below the Filtered By menu. Move the sliders to choose the fiscal year(s) whose data you would like to see.
- There are 5 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.
- Recall the Welcome Screen.
- View a short Budget 101 primer with basic information on multi-fund accounting.
- 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.
City of Modesto Specific Tips
- The City of Modesto’s main fund is its General Fund. Most of its expenses come from this fund.
- The City of Modesto has several "restricted" Special Revenue funds. Expenditures from these funds are limited to restricted areas - for example, the Grant, Traffic Safety Fund or the Surface Transportation Fund.
- Some expenditures or revenues do not track year to year. For example, there may be an expenditure for a specific item or project in 2010/11 that the City no longer uses. These expenditure categories will be visible for the years in which they were encountered. After that, they will zero out.
- A "Proprietary Fund" is either an Enterprise or Internal Service Fund. An Enterprise Fund represents a fund used for services provided to the public on a user charge basis. Examples include the Water, Sewer and Golf Fund. An Internal Service Funds are used internally to pay for specific items - employee benefits, general liability, IT are all examples of internal service funds.
- A "Fiduciary Fund" is a restricted fund for specific purposes. Here you will find various Joint Power Agencies and the Successor Redevelopment Agency.
- A "Governmental Fund" is where most of the work happens. Here you will find the General Fund, the Special Revenue Funds (Traffic Safety, Surface Transportation, Grant, etc.) and the Capital Improvement Fund.