City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

OpenGov: Financial Transparency Portal

Link to OpenGov
Upper Arlington OpenGov Main Portal

The Finance Department is committed to helping Upper Arlington residents better understand the many financial aspects that affect your local government. Each year, the City presents detailed financial information in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to the public through the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). However, understanding the need for increased government transparency and resident engagement, the City is pleased to announce a new partnership with – providing residents a portal through which they can create and analyze visualizations of our financial data firsthand.

Currently, the City of Upper Arlington’s OpenGov portal gives users access to FY 2014-2016 annual budget reports and current year budget reports. With both annual and monthly reports, users can drill down to specific department-level data or they can view a more holistic view of our organization’s expenditures and revenues. OpenGov makes visualization easy, but users are also able to download the data directly to their device for further analysis. 

Stay tuned! In the upcoming months, the City will be adding its Checkbook to the financial transparency portal. This function allows the public to search and view the City’s expense transactions by vendor, spending category or other variables. 

Annual Budget Report View Current Year View
 Annual Budget Report View Current Budget Year View

Tips on How to Use OpenGov...

  • The portal allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface. The main view (shown above) includes charts and graphs, a legend and various controls to view expenses by departments out of various funds. Click on "Budget 101" for information on fund accounting. 
  • You will notice the title of the chart or graph they are viewing on top along with the account type selector.
  • To focus on specific data - like a fund, department, expense or revenue 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 that category - funds, departments, expense type.
  • For reports that have 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) of data you would like to see.
  • Keep in mind that not every revenue or expense category will apply to every fund or departments - if a category is not applicable to that particular category, it will be grayed out.
  • There are five different types of visual representations of the data - an area graph, an area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie graph and a table. Switch between the representations by using the buttons on the top-right. You can change your view by type at any point by simply selecting the different type of representation.
  • Below any chart or graph, you can view a Table detailing the financial information in the visualization above.
  • Any chart or graph can be downloaded into .png image while the data can be downloaded into a .csv spreadsheet (compatible with Excel).
  • You can share the data (any view of the data) on a social network or by email.

 City of Upper Arlington-Specific Tips...

  • All of the City’s funds can be divided into three categories: Governmental Funds, Proprietary Funds and Fiduciary Funds. In the reporting tool on OpenGov we have grouped all funds into these three major categories.
    • The Governmental Funds category is by far the largest category and includes the City’s General Fund. This category covers most governmental expenses, including Community Development, Parks & Recreation, Public Service, General Government, Public Safety, Capital Outlay and Debt Service Payments. The City’s major sources of revenue are also included in the Governmental Fund, including Income Tax, Property Tax, Charges for Services, Intergovernmental, Licenses and Permits and Investment Earnings.
    • The Proprietary Funds category includes two different types of fund types: Enterprise and Internal Service Funds. The Enterprise fund type consists of a series of individual funds that are maintained in a manner similar to private business enterprises, there intent is that the cost of proving goods or services to the general public on continuing basis be financed or recovered primarily through user charges. The Water Surcharge, Sewer Surcharge, Stormwater Management, Solid Waste and Swimming Pool funds make up the Enterprise fund type. The Internal Service fund type consists of a series of funds used to account for the recovery of costs and payment premiums for employee health, dental and workers compensation benefits.
    • The Fiduciary Funds category funds are used to account for resources held for the benefit of parties outside the government. Examples include: Construction withholding accounts and unclaimed funds.
  • The City of Upper Arlington utilizes a modified cash basis for in the presentation of its budgetary data. Revenues are recognized when the cash is received while expenditures include cash payments for goods and services as well as encumbrances. An encumbrance is a commitment to purchase goods and services, and includes one or more year’s payments depending on the relationship between the services rendered and the stream of payments. For example, if an order for police uniforms is placed, an encumbrance is established to reserve those funds necessary to pay for the purchase. Payment is made after the clothing is received.
  • The data is solely for the City of Upper Arlington and does not include financial data from any outside entities such as the Upper Arlington School District or the Upper Arlington Public Library. 

Frequently Asked Questions...

Here are some quick FAQs to get you started...