City of Knoxville


Posted by Rachel Raymond

Topic(s): Success Stories, Budget Book

Read Time: minute(s)

City of Knoxville Reduces
Budget Book Workload by 50%

Project: Budget Book Automation
Organization: City of Knoxville
Population: 192,648  (2021)
Solution: Workiva

The Scenario & Solution

The finance team at the City of Knoxville, Tennessee was spreadsheet-weary. They wanted a collaborative tool and a streamlined approach for creating their annual budget book. So, they engaged Workiva and FHB to automate the process.


The Outcome

Kittrin Smith, Deputy Director of Finance for the city, said she and her team were “very happy” with the project’s implementation and outcome. She estimates that the new solution has eliminated, “… at least 50 percent of our work on the production of the book." She added, “... that was always a heavy lift that multiple analysts had to work on. So, I definitely feel it was worth the time and money that we spent. [It’s a] very valuable asset … that we will continue to use every year.” 


“I feel like we’ve come out of the dark ages.” –Kittrin Smith, Deputy Director of Finance,
City of Knoxville

Since Workiva is cloud-based, many users can now work on the city’s budget simultaneously. And it’s database-driven, so instead of the staff spending countless hours manipulating data in multiple spreadsheets, the data flows in and is mapped all the way up to the budget book.

“The ability to get more real-time data without having to start from ground zero again,” has made the team’s lift significantly lighter. In addition, Workiva’s advanced publishing capabilities make formatting easy, eliminating the need to manually modify the table of contents, page numbers, margins, fonts, and the like.  


"So, the software was a great help, it was a success. Everyone here on our side,
all the way through the administration [and] mayor liked it.” 

What's Next?

Kittrin will work with FHB support to continually refine and enhance the solution. She is considering expanding its use to prepare mid-year and other reports. “We already have a few things that we want to tweak going forward.”  

Throughout the budget book project’s implementation, the city was short-staffed, relying on an outside consultant to lead the process. Kittrin is hopeful that they will soon be able to hire a dedicated staff member to manage future projects. “I’m really looking forward to the time when we have a staff member, who … takes the lead with the software and how we use it. That's really going to enable us to expand the use of it,” she said.

With the city’s new documented and repeatable processes in place, any new team members will be able to step in and get up to speed more quickly. 

Since the Knoxville team had such a positive experience with FHB’s Director, Solutions Design and Architecture Darryl Parker, CPA, CMA, who led the project, they hope to partner with him for the next stages of implementation. 


“Darryl is very knowledgeable, very helpful.
It would be nice to be able to work with him again.” 


For more on this topic(s), see: Success Stories, Budget Book

Originally Posted on 17 August, 2023

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