Avenu Attends AMROA’s Summer Conference

Avenu’s friends in the South may have spotted the Avenu booth at the 50th annual Alabama Municipal Revenue Officers Association (AMROA) Summer Conference at The Westin, Birmingham this week. A dedicated partner to revenue administrators around the country, Avenu is thrilled to be a Silver Sponsor of the event and support the professionals who help ensure their municipalities are fiscally secure.

Avenu Business Development Executive Yolanda Watkins Bailey was on site throughout the event, answering questions, introducing Avenu’s tools and services, and listening to agencies needs and concerns when it comes to their financial matters.

“I love getting to meet Alabama’s municipal finance officers face to face and learning what helps them succeed. Avenu has such great resources available and I very much enjoy when we can show that to a local audience.”

If you missed Yolanda this week, feel free to reach out to her with any questions about Avenu or its services at ywatkins@avenuinsights.com.

Avenu to attend MASC Annual Meeting

Adam Rubin

South Carolina’s city managers will be on the lookout for Avenu Insights & Analytics at the Municipal Association of South Carolina Annual Meeting. Taking place July 18-22 at the Marriott Hotel, Hilton Head Island, the MASC is a place for local government leaders to network, learn, and share their own insights on how to best manage the state’s municipalities. An avid supporter of local agencies, Avenu remains committed to helping South Carolina’s cities maximize their revenue and run more efficiently, and will be on site throughout the week. Look for Avenu Business Development Executive Adam Rubin at sessions – he will be ready to answer your questions regarding:

  • Sales and use tax
  • Franchise fees
  • Property tax
  • Hotel and short-term rental taxes

For any questions or to get in touch with Adam at the conference, reach out to him at adam.rubin@avenuinsights.com.

Avenu Supports TCMA

In keeping with its history of supporting agencies and municipalities in Texas, Avenu will be sponsoring the Texas City Management Association Conference from June 21-24 in Galveston.

Client Executive Brenda Anderson

As a silver sponsor of the event, Avenu continues to demonstrate the value it places on local governments and its mission to provide accessible revenue solutions for agencies of all sizes. With this year’s conference theme of “Surviving the Riptide,” Client Executive Brenda Anderson will be on site to provide revenue management insight to attendees and answer any questions about getting your municipality through challenging times.

“Riptides can be intimidating and scary, but if you stay calm they are manageable – just like any budget problems you might face in local government. I’m looking forward to connecting with the cities and counties of Texas to show them that with the right tools, they can survive – or even prevent – these budgetary “riptides” with ease,” Brenda says.

Brenda will be on site all weekend, ready to address your city or county’s compliance solution needs and is eager to help ensure your agency is financially sound. Contact her at brenda.anderson@avenuinsights.com if you’d like to meet at the conference.

Avenu sponsors ACCMA Summer Conference

Avenu (formerly known as Revenue Discovery Services/RDS in Alabama) continues its leadership role in the state as a sponsor the Alabama City County Management Association Summer Conference, June 6-8 in Orange Beach.

As silver sponsors of the ACCMA event, Avenu will be co-hosting the Summer Social on Thursday evening. In addition, team members will be on hand at the Avenu booth to discuss your city’s or county’s particular revenue enhancement or administration challenges.

Perry Brasfield, Avenu Client Executive

Yolanda Watkins,  Business Development Executive

Avenu’s Yolanda Watkins Bailey, Perry Brasfield, Audrey Freemen and Randy Godeke will be present to answer any and all questions pertaining to:

  • Sales and use tax
  • Franchise fees
  • Property tax
  • Hotel and short-term rental taxes

“Avenu is committed to helping agencies in Alabama get the most out of their revenue. I look forward to meeting with local government leaders this week to work toward making a positive impact on our great state,” Watkins says.

Avenu Seeks West Coast Talent

Following the impressive expansion of its East Coast team, Avenu Insights & Analytics is looking to add Client Executives to its team in Southern California. The news follows the announcement that Tracy Vesely, former Director of Finance in Hayward, has been hired to head up the West Coast Client Services group.

For those looking to advance their career in the field of local government, it’s a golden opportunity to join a reputable and rapidly expanding firm. As the client-facing members of Avenu, Client Executives are an integral part of the business and have the chance to meet face to face with the power players of local governments and agencies. As a remote employee, the Client Executive will also have the ability to work from the comfort of their home when not meeting with clients, a benefit that illustrates Avenu’s forward-thinking approach and dedication to leveraging technology.

This dynamic role is responsible for analyzing and communicating core products and services to local government leaders – including tax analyses and audit findings – in order to help them maximize agency revenue. Additionally, Client Executives train clients on Avenu products and services, and actively seek out new opportunities to grow Avenu’s customer base. Attendance at regional and statewide conferences is common, and providing cross-agency insights and experiences are core to adding value for Avenu clients.

According to Avenu, the ideal candidate will possess a strong technical understanding of local taxes as well as experience in local government and/or public sector sales and marketing. They will also be skilled networkers, ready and willing to attend industry events and maintain Avenu’s presence in the field. This position requires proven communication skills and the ability to present technical information to clients in a digestible fashion.

Candidates interested in a position with Avenu can apply via its online application.

[Recorded Webinar] Franchise Fees: Download Here

View or download our recent webinar by Avenu’s Jonathan Gerth, Esq. on how you can get more funding from the franchise fees you collect from utility providers. Jonathan will cover how you can increase compliance with an ordinance review, pending legal challenges that can work in your favor, and how some fees don’t get included in your payments but should.

This free presentation addresses franchise fees from all categories of utilities:

  • Telecommunications
  • Natural Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water & Solid Waste

Discussions will also include specific calculations to show what your franchise fee revenue should be!

Cyber Security Threats Abound in Public Sector

Over the past two years, hackers have attacked local government agencies more than 184 times, disabling systems for hours and sometimes days. Recently, Atlanta and Baltimore were hit with ransomware attacks that crippled their online and administrative systems. More than a week after the cyberattacks, officials still are working through the setbacks caused by the shutdown of their digital processes and services.

As cities and counties become more dependent on their IT infrastructure to manage their data and daily operations, cybersecurity must be a priority that starts with the budgeting process.

How much discussion occurred last year about cybersecurity during your planning? Funding needs to cover not only hard costs, such as software, but also soft expenses, such as training. Here’s why.

Our cybersecurity experts point to software vulnerabilities as a leading cause of attacks like ransomware, and there are ongoing costs for the subscriptions and other services that distribute security updates and prevent attacks. However, it’s often the human factor that allows public agencies to fall victim to these attacks when an unsuspecting staff member clicks on a bad link or downloads a “malware” file.

At Avenu we have access to sensitive information for municipal clients across the nation, so we place a high priority on security. We have developed a series of best practices around our “detection, prevention and recovery” strategy to stay ahead of threats. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about it.

Retired City Manager Fran David on the New Normal in Municipal Finance

Hear Fran David, Avenu advisory board member and former city manager of Hayward, California, describe the changing nature of municipal finance and things public administrators need to consider before raising revenue with a tax measure.