In a press release, Missouri’s State Treasurer Eric Schmitt’s office announced on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, the launch of a new financial website appropriately named ShowMeCheckbook.mo.gov. The unique and well thought out website draws and presents data on government finances from state agency reports and the state’s accounting system. It was stated that Missourians have the right to see and learn how their money is being managed and spent and that Show-Me Checkbook will let them do just that at great length.
In addition to the above features and benefits, websites such as this can result in significant cost-savings. Cited were the examples of North Carolina’s website leading to reform of the state purchasing laws and Texas saving approximately $163 million due to a similar project.
This new website promotes government transparency and gives residents a better view of the state’s finances. Its more than 20 million data points make it one of the nation’s most comprehensive state financial data portals. In the past, Missouri has not provided tools that were adequate for accessing information regarding state finances, and it was difficult to find and analyze financial data.
Schmitt advised that Show-Me Checkbook is user-friendly and gives greater access by creating a “one-stop-shop” for crucial information on state revenue, spending, debt, payroll, cash flow and how the government operates. Data analysts and government accounting experts contributed to a review to ensure that the website gives an accurate reflection of accounting standards.
The CEO and founder of the government watchdog group Truth in Accounting, Sheila Weinberg, also sees the creation of this comprehensive financial data portal as a step forward. She stated that she is pleased to see this Show-Me Checkbook, which will provide citizens with an easy-to-understand website so that they can obtain information about the finances of their state.
Jim O’Hallaron, CEO and President of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, said they wholeheartedly support these efforts to increase the transparency of the state’s finances and give citizens access to the important information about details of the management and spending of taxpayer dollars.
Treasurer Schmitt encourages citizen watchdogs to feel free to contact his office by using the submission link that appears on the bottom of each page of the Show-Me Checkbook website if they have any concerns or comments.