What’s in a Name? Let’s Have a Contest

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Bill Rivenbark, Greg Allison, and Dale Roenigk have partnered with the State Treasurer’s Office to create the County and Municipal Fiscal Analysis Tool. It is a wonderful new online application that allows anyone, especially local elected officials, to easily understand the financial condition of North Carolina cities and counties.  A local unit can create a dashboard showing five years of its own financial data in a number of important areas, and then compare the same data from as many as five peer jurisdictions.  For example, you might compare your cash reserves or your general fund balance.  Right now local officials are overly inclined to rely on the audited financial statement in determining their financial condition, which only tells you that your numbers are accurate, not whether your overall financial condition is good.  This new tool allows local officials to see financial trouble developing and do something about it before it becomes a problem.  There is nothing like it in the country and we are offering regional training that will teach people how to use it.  The tool comes at an ideal time—when local officials need to be paying especially close attention to their financial condition as they try to navigate through these tough times.

So what’s the problem?  The name is the problem.  Bill, Greg, and Dale have struggled to come up with a name that is descriptively accurate (it is now) and will capture the interest of people who need to know about this important tool (it does not now).   It is a pretty boring name.  The tool and its potential are incredibly exciting.  The name—not so much.

Let’s see if we can come up with something better.  Put on your thinking caps and make suggestions in the comment section of this blog.  I’m thinking along the lines of Budget Survival Guide or Budget Reality Check or something a lot better.  Go to the link in this post if you want more information about the tool.

A dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the person who comes up with a new name that is adopted by Bill, Greg, and Dale.  They are the ultimate judges.  I’m confident that we have the creativity to do this, especially with such a big-time prize on the line.


15 thoughts on “What’s in a Name? Let’s Have a Contest

  1. I’ll start us off. (…or, I’ll try to. Who knows how much time has passed while I’ve been doing this).

    Developing Economic Long-term Projections of High Importance.

    Or…. DELPHI. Since this tool is supposed to help people ‘interpret the future’, taking inspiration from the Greek Oracle at Delphi seems appropriate.

    I’m sure I’ve got more, so don’t judge the first hit too harshly!

  2. Given that Krispy Kreme is involved, what’s wrong with Fiscal Analysis Tool (“FAT”)?

    If you are trying to help local governments achieve a “fabulously” good budget condiction, how about “Fiscal Analysis Benchmark” (“FAB”)

    There’s also “BAIT” = Budget Analysis Index Tool, but I can’t think of a cool tag line for “bait” in the context of budgeting.

    Then there’s “BuMP” = Budget Management and Performance, as we are all hoping for a ‘bump” in revenues . . .

    Of course, what everyone is doing now is “trimming” their budgets – “TRIM” = Tool for Realistic Indexing and Management.

    Finally, if they are able to use the tool effectively, they will “beam” with joy – “BEAM” = Budget Evaluation, Analysis, and Management Tool.

    Clearly I won’t be in the running for the grand prize . . .

      1. Being a fan of greek and roman mythology, I thought DELPHI was pretty cool too! Unfortunately, the romans and greeks didn’t have a “God” of fiscal analysis so we can’t directly borrow from their lore. However, the Roman Catholic Church does have a patron saint for accountants, bankers, bookkeepers, and tas collectors – St. Matthew – but the name Matthew doesn’t lend itself to a cool acronym. Other potential saintly choices include St. More -patron saint of civil servants and politicians (St. More is also the patron saint of court clerks for those of you on the Hall of Justice), St. Jude – patron saint of desperate causes, St. Genevieve – patron saint of disasters, and perhaps the most relevant: Sts. Frances Xavier Cabrini and Rita of Cascia – patron saints of impossible causes (no, I’m not making any of this up – http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/Patrons.aspx?letter=%)

  3. Map Your Money: A tool to help taxpayers understand how their money is performing. (Is there an app for that?)

  4. Seems to me a fully descriptive name (like the current one) has three parts.
    1. Something about the audience:
    County and Municipal
    Local Government

    2. Something about the function:
    Financial Analysis

    3. And a descriptive noun:

    I’m not sure the name needs all three, but if we want the name to encapsulate the purpose, then it probably does. If we want something to just grab attention, we could got way shorter and have some wilder ideas, but I suspect the desire to contain at least most of the purpose will win out.

    With that and my made up three-part formula in mind, I propose the following to build upon:
    Local Government Finance Dashboard
    County and Municipal Budget Reporter
    Local Government Financial Analyzer

    If we can drop the first part of the formula (because audience will be understood), we may be able to spend more space on the other parts:
    Financial Comparison Reporter
    Fiscal Health Analyzer
    Budget Solution Dashboard (I know it analyzes and doesn’t “solve,” but you have to analyze first, right? And people are looking for solutions…)

  5. I like the word “mete” because it can mean measure or apportion. It can also mean a limiting mark or boundary. We want clients to know what they have so they can dole it out wisely or know when they can’t afford to spend, right?

    Mete Your Money
    Meting Place
    Mete Me…

  6. Local Government Fiscal Report Card


    Local Government Fiscal Dashboard


    Really Important Information You May (or May Not) Want to Know

  7. Running the Maze – Fiscal Condition and Planning

    Your Fiscal Roadmap: Balancing Efficiency, Safety, Speed, Destination

    But I think I like Fiscal GPS and F-CAT of all the above.

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