The Nation’s Capital transforms revenue management with iNovah

Background

As the capital of the United States, Washington D.C. is home not only to historic national monuments, but also the men and women who govern America. It has transformed into a fast-growing metropolis over the past several years, with a population nearing 700,000 people.

Summary

The DC government strives to meet its responsibility to deliver secure, budget and tax dollar conscious financial management to the people of D.C. To best serve its citizens, the District of Columbia Office of Finance and Treasury needed a cost-effective solution that would consolidate payments from multiple departments and improve operational efficiency across the District. System Innovators’ iNovah Enterprise Revenue Management (ERM) solution allowed the District to reallocate 8 staff, eliminate manual processing, and drastically lower overtime pay.

Their Challenges

Before the transition to iNovah, reconciliation was a challenge for the District of Columbia Office of Finance and Treasury. The District had no way to automatically consolidate the reconciliation of revenue and, as a result, had to manually reconcile and record revenue activity into the District’s System of Accounting and Reporting (SOAR) General Ledger System.

By relying on manual reconciliation, each department risked calculation errors that had the potential to impact their end-of-day reporting and reconciliation, as well as audits. Their system also involved packaging physical work documents to send to the Office of Finance and Treasury, resulting in a consistent 4-5 month delay in updating their SOAR General Ledger System.

The effects of the District’s outdated system were felt beyond error potential and extensive update delays though; they complicated staff’s day-to-day responsibilities and impeded audit preparation. Employees faced significant pressure to complete assigned duties as well as fiscal year-end reports, requiring auditors to contribute to 1-3 hours/day per person in overtime pay and 4-5 hours on Saturdays for an entire year to complete the task.

A New Solution

With inefficient processes and potential for errors, government administrators knew a change must be made. The District needed a solution that would consolidate payments from multiple departments, alleviate security issues and save staff members a significant amount of time. The solution was iNovah.

After comparing multiple systems in their search for a revenue management solution, the District deemed System Innovators a trusted leader in the industry, concluding that the iNovah Enterprise Revenue Management (ERM) system was the optimal system for the size and scope of their project. System Innovators implemented the solution in 2005 in the Office of Finance and Treasury.

Implementation Success

Implementation was a hands-on experience for the Office of Finance and Treasury. System Innovators’ knowledgeable team was on-site to train the Finance and Treasury staff on all aspects of iNovah. Through the addition of iNovah, each department within the District is now able to collect payments, make deposits and manage their revenue, while eliminating the need for department staff to send physical documentation to the Office of Finance and Treasury. With the application of iNovah’s general ledger export and allocation codes, the Office of Finance and Treasury is able to update the general ledger in real-time and benefit from economies of scale in their end-of-day tasks.

Rapid Results

iNovah ERM allowed the District to reduce errors by automating the reconciliation process, improve employee workflow and create hassle-free preparation of reports. With the efficiencies gained through iNovah, the District was able to better utilize employees’ skills and decrease the amount of required staff. The team of 11 that once endured a cumbersome reconciliation process was reduced to only three people. The team of three is now tasked with monitoring iNovah’s automated batch reports and reconciliation reporting, as opposed to relying on the separation of paper piles to manually enter into the GL as required before.

The remaining 8 staff members were reallocated to understaffed areas within the Office of Finance of Treasury, like debt management and grants management. Because the need for overtime has been resolved, employees’ work/life balance has also improved tremendously. Employees can now take well-deserved vacation time without adding additional pressure to co-workers.

iNovah has provided a streamlined process that enabled staff to update the GL in a single day, erasing the four-month delay previously encountered when updating SOAR.

“iNovah has changed revenue management in D.C. for the better. The efficiencies gained have saved us time and unnecessary spending, as well as provided us with better reporting and reconciliation capabilities. iNovah has decreased errors in our audits, and really simplified management for our cashiers.”

With iNovah as the hub for all revenue, the District of Columbia Office of Finance and Treasury now rests soundly knowing that their financial management is centralized, automated and secure.

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Washington DC Case Study