UMass Boston

Financial Management

The Collins Center financial management practice team brings decades of experience and has assisted scores of municipalities across the Commonwealth as well as in our neighboring states. To learn more about our services or to discuss a project in your municipality, please contact Becca Meekins at 


Budget Process and Document Improvements

A budget is one of a municipality’s most important policy documents and communication tools. Collins Center experts are available to work with you to enhance your budget as well as realign and improve your budgeting process.  

The Center has helped other municipalities take their simple, line item budgets to the next level by working to add additional context and data to engage readers. This can significantly improve budget deliberations for elected and appointed officials.

Increasingly, the Center has been helping Massachusetts municipalities interested in participating in the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation program. The Center team will work with your staff throughout the budget process to create a document that aligns with GFOA standards. The project team can also assist with the application to the GFOA Distinguished Budget program. 

Budget process projects may include clarifying roles and responsibilities, integrating budgeting with forecasting, capital planning, etc., recommending process improvements, developing draft policies, SOPs, and/or calendars, and/or improving forms and data collection tools. 

Capital Improvement Planning

The development of a comprehensive, five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) is one of the most important responsibilities of municipal leaders. It allows for the effective and fiscally-responsible management of capital assets and infrastructure. 

The Collins Center will work with you, your financial team, and department leaders to complete a capital needs assessment and develop a capital investment strategy. The team will help you develop a comprehensive, five-year plan that your municipality can afford. 

Financial Forecasting 

A financial forecast is a roadmap for a municipality which can provide a foundation for operating and capital budgeting as well as other important decision making. 

The Collins Center will prepare a five-year financial forecast for you that can help analyze the implications of proposed policies and potential projects over time. The team will use data gathered from budgets, revenue and expenditure reports, collective bargaining agreements, and other sources and apply projection factors based on historical trend analysis and industry expertise.  In addition to the financial forecast (delivered in an excel format), clients receive a User’s Guide that will document the assumptions included in the forecast and will assist staff in keeping the forecast up to date and relevant.  

As an add-on service, Center experts will assist municipal leaders model, understand, and plan for various scenarios using the forecast tool. 

Financial Policy Review and Development

Financial policies provide proper and clear guidance to staff and other stakeholders. The Collins Center can help you develop a comprehensive package of financial management policies. 

Experts will review your existing financial policies, if any, compare them with best practice policies identified by the Center, and offer recommended edits. The Center team will provide initial feedback regarding potential policy areas that could be added and draft policies for areas identified. 

Financial Management Structure Review

In many Massachusetts municipalities financial management can involve a wide range of individuals and boards with different mandates and jurisdictions. Together, they are responsible for developing the operating and capital budgets, monitoring and reporting on expenditures, and ensuring long-term financial stability. To be successful, they must work in concert, avoiding gaps or overlaps in responsibilities.

Collins Center staff have expertise in financial management structure and operations. We can help you determine how best to organize financial management functions. Center experts can identify the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the different individuals and entities that contribute to financial processes and make recommendations for any changes to the roles as established by municipal code, job descriptions, and local practices.


Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management

Healey Library, 10th Floor, Room 25
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125 USA


The Collins Center is affiliated with the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.