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Learn how Accenture helped the Commonwealth of Virginia revamp its outdated financial management systems to improve government productivity.
Faced with significant budgetary constraints, the Commonwealth of Virginia wanted to upgrade and streamline its outdated financial management systems, enable sharing of financial data across all its agencies and enhance government productivity. It decided to implement the new Cardinal system to revamp the statewide financial management infrastructure. The Commonwealth chose the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) from among its many agencies as the pilot agency for implementing the new enterprise platform.
Accenture helped the Commonwealth in evaluating and selecting the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The Accenture team was also responsible for overall program management, design, configuration, testing and deployment of the application. After the successful implementation at VDOT, Accenture rolled out the Cardinal system at the Department of Accounts, which operates the Commonwealth’s statewide financial system of record.
The Cardinal system has improved government productivity by integrating business processes with financial data standards and operational tools and enabling a robust reporting engine. Accenture is now working with the Commonwealth to roll out the Cardinal system to all its agencies.
With an operating budget of US$42 billion, Virginia is the twelfth most populous state in the United States. The Department of Accounts operates the Commonwealth’s statewide financial system of record, CARS—an aging mainframe system that was first implemented in the 1970s. To minimize the operational risk associated with its aging and unsupported financial accounting systems, the Commonwealth of Virginia sought to implement a new statewide financial management system—Cardinal.
The VDOT—with its highly customized and unsupported PeopleSoft v6.0 system—was chosen as the first agency to go live on the Cardinal system. VDOT is responsible for the third largest state-maintained highway system in the United States. Its PeopleSoft v6.0 system was rendered vulnerable by changes in the underlying technology. Moreover, VDOT was unable to upgrade its existing system as the industry no longer supported the technology platform. With the Commonwealth facing significant budgetary constraints and loss of government productivity, it moved to implement the Cardinal system at VDOT, with an aim to establish it as the Commonwealth’s base ERP system at the Department of Accounts.
Based on a detailed fit-gap analysis of the Commonwealth’s business requirements and available technology platforms, Accenture helped the client in selecting Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Application 9.1 to support its back-office processes. A joint team of Accenture and VDOT worked to identify possible areas where business process changes could minimize application customizations, promoting government productivity through ease of maintenance and future upgrades. The PeopleSoft modules implemented at VDOT were General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Expenses, Accounts Receivable, Billing, Purchasing, eProcurement, Strategic Sourcing, Project Costing, Contracts and Human Resources. The Accenture team was responsible for overall program management, design, configuration, testing and deployment of the application, including change management to ensure the success of the Cardinal system.
Post go-live at VDOT in December 2011, Accenture provided application support and maintenance while implementing General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Expenses, and Accounts Receivable modules at the Department of Accounts. Accenture continues to support the production application and is now working with the Commonwealth of Virginia to roll out the Cardinal system to all its agencies.
The Cardinal system has replaced the obsolete and overly customized PeopleSoft v6.0 platform at VDOT. By integrating business processes with financial data standards and operational tools, Cardinal will provide agencies with robust financial and operational reporting tools, as well as standard and efficient business processes to achieve government productivity. It will also help in implementing statewide financial data standards and sharing of key financial data across all Commonwealth agencies. As a system with minimized customizations, it will be easy to upgrade with the latest software releases. To sum up, the Cardinal system will provide:
Standard, proven government business processes that reduce risk and improve visibility.
Improved controls and consistent workflow.
The ability to address business requirements through configuration, with only limited customizations.
Technical and functional improvements through vendor-supplied upgrades.
Robust reporting tools and capabilities.
Flexible chart of accounts structure that will facilitate consistent financial reporting across all the 280 state agencies.
“Virginia has already seen success with the implementation of Cardinal at two key agencies in the Commonwealth,” says Stacy McCracken, VDOT Enterprise Application Office Director. “Oracle’s solutions, along with Accenture’s expertise in deploying them, have been critical to our transformation.”
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