Financial Data Transparency Portal
In an effort to provide the community with access to Town financial data, the Town produces and distributes the Town budget electronically via the Town's website. Online you can find copies of the Town's current and historic budgets, annual audited financial statements, employment contracts, salary schedules, CalPERS actuarials, and more - all within the Archive Center.
But sometimes, there's nothing quite like being able to manipulate the data by yourself by viewing charts and graphs or downloading the information into an excel spreadsheet. The Town has engaged OpenGov.com to assist with providing the public with just that opportunity. Through Atherton's Financial Data Transparency Portal users can view financial data based on the current budget or up to the current month. The users can manipulate the data and drill down to finite details or scale up to the big picture. Users can also download the data as an excel spreadsheet to take home.
Visit the Town's Transparency Portal. The link will open a new window and take you to the OpenGov website.
Tips on How to Use The Portal
Here are some general tips on how to use the Transparency Portal...
- The Portal allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface. The main view (shown above) includes a chart or graph, a legend and various controls to view expenses by departments out of various funds.
- You'll notice the title of the chart or graph you are viewing on top along with the account type selector. You can use the filter to see the data that is of most interest to you.
- To focus on specific data - like a fund, department, expense 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.
- Keep in mind that some departments or expenses only receive funds from specific funds - if the department or expense is not funded from a particular fund, 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. You can change your view by type at any point by simply selecting the different type of representation. The data will automatically convert. These functions are on the top right.
- You can also download the data into a .csv spreadheet and .png image.
- You can share the data (any view of the data) on a social network or by email.
Here are some Atherton-specific tips...
- Atherton's main fund is its General Fund. Most of its expenses come from that fund.
- Atherton has several "restricted" funds. Expenditures from these funds are limited to restricted areas - for example, the Library Fund or the Gas Tax 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 2008/09 that the Town 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 almost always going to be an Internal Service Fund. This is basically a fund that the Town uses 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 the Evans Estate Fund, the Park Improvement Fund, etc.
- A "Governmental Fund" is where most of the work happens. Here you will find the General Fund, the Special Revenue Funds (Gas Tax, Library, Parcel Tax, etc.) and the Capital Improvement Fund.
- The data is solely for the Town of Atherton and does not include financial data from any outside special districts, such as the Menlo Fire Protection District, sewer districts, school districts, water districts, Library JPA, etc.
Quick Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some quick FAQs to get you started...
- How much does the Town spend on Police Services?
- What does the Town spend on Public Works Projects?
- Overall, what are the Town's Revenues and Expenses?
- What are the details of the Town's Annual Revenues?
- What are the details of the Town's Property Tax Revenues?
- What does the Town receive from Charges for Services?
- What revenue does the Town receive from the Park?
- What about Library Fund, Revenues and Expenses?