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States are realizing public service transformation – through greater public accountability and transparency in budgetary decision-making – by implementing Oracle’s financial planning solution.Technology is a key factor in public service transformation. In virtually every industry, from manufacturing to retail and services, technology helps boost productivity and deliver new capabilities. However, despite the benefits realized in the private sector, a majority of state governments approach their critical budgetary work without the use of modern public service transformation technology.
Until recently, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with its more than 80,000 employees and $45 billion in annual expenditures, had been using a 15-year old application to carry out its budgeting process. Last year, the Commonwealth’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance (ANF) partnered with Accenture to expedite its development and execution of Oracle’s Hyperion Financial Planning software.
This Accenture Point of View explains how this public service transformation solution meets not only the Commonwealth’s needs, but also the specific needs of state government budgeting processes nationwide. Furthermore, the solution enhances the Commonwealth’s ability to provide a uniform, consistent, and comprehensive public service transformation budget process for the state’s 156 agencies. The new system creates a common approach to project budget needs and aids in the review/approval of budget proposals. The system also provides administration officials with the foundation to make more informed decisions about program and service allocations, and offers increased visibility into how agencies are matching financial and personnel resources to critical services and needs.
Learn more about Massachusetts’ budgeting and planning system. Visit Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Public Service Transformation.
Today’s state governments are expected to adhere to standards that rank transparent budgetary planning and forecasting as critically important responsibilities. Best practices in budgeting include:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts realized that meeting such standards would be impossible to achieve without a public service transformation system that would support not only the capability to model spending decisions, but also to analyze and prioritize spending options. To meet this challenge, leaders from the Commonwealth’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance (ANF) sought a public service transformation solution that would allow them to effectively manage more than $45 billion in annual spending and to keep Massachusetts at the forefront of budgeting and fiscal management.
The capability the ANF desired required an Oracle Hyperion-based solution that had never before been implemented for a statewide government. The design and implementation were challenging not only because of the unique structure of state governments, but also because of the Commonwealth’s unique budgeting and fiscal management requirements. Additionally, the Commonwealth’s large employee base was much larger than any that had ever been accommodated by prior implementations of Oracle Hyperion Workforce Planning. Together, these factors presented several considerations that needed to be managed and mitigated in both the design and the implementation of the public service transformation solution.
Working with Accenture and Oracle, the ANF implemented public service transformation software from Oracle to replace the 15-year old application that it had been using to carry out its budgeting process. The Commonwealth replaced its legacy spending plan/budget development software with a state-of-the-art Oracle application that was put in place across all state agencies to plan and monitor over $45 billion in annual expenditures. In addition to monitoring state spending, the budget application also interfaces with the state’s accounting system [CGI/Advantage] and human resource/payroll system [Oracle/PeopleSoft] to provide agencies with the ability to budget for their existing active workforce and plan for backfills and new positions to support the agency’s vision and mission. In addition, agencies are able to compare and reconcile approved plan/budget information with actual spending on personnel so that adjustments to the spending plan and related budgeting decisions may be made at identified points during the fiscal year.
The Oracle Hyperion Planning solution that was implemented facilitates spending and revenue projections across the state by combining each agency’s detailed position budgeting data with all other relevant budgeting information to provide an overall budgeting and spending picture for the entire Commonwealth. The implementation of this solution enabled public service transformation by offering enhanced transparency into the fiscal activities of the state and by providing real-time information in the guidance statewide budgeting and planning.
Additional features and benefits of the new public service transformation system include:
Oracle’s public service transformation technology helps to provide a rich set of information for those who need to know and control exactly how money is spent. In this instance, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now able to project its cash flows with greater accuracy and identify its spending patterns more precisely, both of which allow for easier reconciliation of budgeted costs against actual expenditures at identified points throughout the fiscal year.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was able to realize public service transformation by implementing a new Oracle budget system and adopting standards that enhance the state’s ability to project and allocate financial resources throughout its fiscal year. With Oracle’s solution, Massachusetts has demonstrated leading edge fiscal management and a high level of commitment to its citizens.
Elsewhere, however, many states still struggle with aging software that hinders their ability to follow best practices and exercise sound financial judgment. Given that states are increasingly accountable to the public for their budgetary decisions, now is the time for states to get the right tools for the job.
August 30, 2012
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