Financial Management

HCG opens new regional financial management services program

According to a recent Massachusetts Workforce report, “an aging municipal workforce coupled with a limited pool of qualified replacements means cities and towns face the challenge of identifying and attracting capable municipal finance employees.”

Communities in Western Massachusetts are particularly vulnerable as they already face recruitment challenges. As time passes, this issue compounds as retirements increase and available, qualified finance professionals become scarce. Local governments face significant challenges in the in the coming years as they seek to identify, attract and retain professionals for the positions necessary to provide critical financial services.

HCG’s financial management service solves these challenges and provides a wider pool of well-trained experts with readily available skillsets and ensures that there is no gap in the case of vacation, illness, or bad weather.

Municipalities of any size may select some or all of the following services: finance director, accounting, collector, treasurer, and assessor. Each service is supported by a team in order to provide a tailored, responsive and affordable financial management solution. As services are bundled, the savings increase as efficiencies become more pronounced.

“Expanding our municipal services brings savings and efficiencies to our local communities,” says Todd Ford, executive director, HCG. “Through this program, cities and towns are able to save money and staff time by utilizing cloud-based technology and outsourcing financial management.”

Through this program, in partnership with Baystate Municipal Accounting Group, the Regional Resource Group (RRG) and cloud based VADAR systems, communities are able to receive the highest level of financial management without the costs associated with employment benefits or the risk of service gaps due to vacations and retirements. Over time, these savings can become significant as a community saves on retirement benefits and assessments, human resource costs, health insurance and potential legal costs.

“It is a natural fit to offer our services through a regional program,” says Justin Cole, director of municipal finance, Baystate Municipal Accounting Group. “We are excited to partner with HCG on this forward-thinking program.”

Other benefits include: economies of scale across disciplines, savings and steep discounts of up to 25% with bundled services, and additional discounts as overall program grows. It offers increased data security, and no potential loss of institutional memory. Initial assessment is free.

Town leaders praise HCG’s partners. “When I started, the books had not been balanced in 11 months. The system Baystate set up streamlined the process, and saved us time and money,” says Jennifer Callahan, town administrator, Millville. “They have been incredibly easy to work with, and we have seen a marked improvement; our town now has a 98% collection rate.”

To learn more about how to participate in this program, please call us at 413-584-1300 x3 or visit hcg-ma.org/financial-management-services.