City of Oak Grove

"What has impressed me most in dealing with Steve McDonald’s team from AEM is their approach to recognizing areas for improvement and custom designing a system that works the organization, as opposed to only focusing on a pre-determined way of operation..."

"Until 2011 the City of Oak Grove’s Finance Department operated with a full time Finance Director and an Accounting Technician.  In addition to these employees, from 2006 – 2009 the City also had a full time Accountant.  With the departure of the Finance Director in the fall of 2011, AEM Financial Solutions, LLC. was asked to do an assessment of the City’s Finance Department and offer recommendations for efficiency.

Following a one month assessment period the City entered into a contract with AEM for financial management services.  One year later, the department that once required 2.75 full time employees to operate is now effectively operating with a full time Accounting Technician and one office day per week by our Client Services Manager from AEM. 

What has impressed me most in dealing with Steve McDonald’s team from AEM is their approach to recognizing areas for improvement and custom designing a system that works the organization, as opposed to only focusing on a pre-determined way of operation.  For the City of Oak Grove, our Finance Department operations were too complex, so they offered a solution to simplify by changing our accounting software to a more straight forward system that can be easily comprehended by our City Councilmembers, staff and residents.  This change improved our transparency and eased traditional tension in our budget process. 

To go with their ability to put the right system in the right place, AEM has strategically placed the right people from their organization in our office.  Kristi Brutlag was first assigned to Oak Grove from AEM and worked rigorously to change the way our Finance Department functioned.  Now, Jeanne Day has been assigned to oversee how we operate.  Jeanne’s experience in daily operations as well as human resource management made her a perfect fit for what Oak Grove needs today. 

The effort, professionalism and ingenuity that the City receives from AEM has saved the City money and more importantly improved transparency and efficiency.  Their response to client needs gives them the capability to help other cities no matter their situation and I believe this model will be prevalent in the evolution of local government operations."

Rick JubaCity Administrator