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ProjectONE Report to the 82nd Legislature

An Introduction to ERP in Texas

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) consolidates all aspects of a business — accounting, payroll, human resources (HR), inventory, fleet management and more — within a common system. Information is entered once and then carried over to all other functions, resulting in less room for error as well as a reduction in manual effort.

Through this system, real-time data is available across departments. Reporting is accurate and highly automated, and provides greater detail and better access to more data for “big-picture” overviews.

ERP is the future of business and state government. Computers revolutionized the processes of appropriating, tracking and reporting the state’s money, but the systems that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s are ill-equipped to manage the volume of transactions needed today and the rapidly changing requirements of accounting, personnel management and reporting. State and federal laws and industry best practices evolve quickly, and continual reprogramming of outdated systems creates a drain on agency resources and personnel.

ProjectONE – Our New Enterprise – is charged with implementing ERP for the state of Texas over the next several years. The resulting system, known as CAPPS (Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel System), will be more cost effective over time to maintain and upgrade than current statewide accounting systems, while also offering greater accuracy and functionality.

ProjectONE is the most comprehensive effort to date to standardize state agency data and business processes. The ProjectONE team is establishing a common language for reporting expenditures, thereby allowing for consistent reporting and better analysis of how the state’s money is spent. This will reduce data integrity concerns and move the state closer to having a “single set” of books.

This means that data can easily be collected and compared among state agencies, giving agency heads, state leaders and taxpayers a clear picture of state spending.

Other essential ProjectONE goals include the following:

  • Providing better tracking of the state’s assets, thus helping agencies and the Legislature in budget planning.
  • Creating more efficient and accurate research capabilities through enhanced ad hoc reporting and inquiry functionality associated with new technologies.
  • Enhancing security of state data and personnel information.

ERP will provide a single software solution for financial and HR/payroll administration at all state agencies. Aging and inefficient statewide systems numbering in the hundreds will be replaced with an easy-to-use and easy-to-update system that can be scaled to the size of each agency. Reporting will be easier and more accurate as agency functions are recorded in a common data language on an interconnected system, allowing financial and HR/payroll departments to exchange information quickly, safely and reliably.

Why do we need ERP?

Rewriting and deploying vital components of the current statewide administrative systems would cost approximately $121 million. These systems have major deficiencies, redundancies and risks that could negatively impact the state of Texas, including the following:

  • Gaps in data collection — The current systems do not collect or integrate all the information needed, such as method of finance and detailed time and labor information on consultants hired by agencies. This lack of information impairs decision making and hinders transparency efforts.
  • Duplication of data — Because data and information must be entered in multiple systems, there is high risk of error and duplication, which leads to serious data integrity concerns. When conflicting numbers are reported, it is difficult to determine which version is correct.
  • Social Security number (SSN) use — SSNs are used as the primary identifier in the statewide administrative systems, thus increasing the opportunity for identity theft, potentially on a massive scale. The cost of investigating, prosecuting and managing public relations in such an event is a significant liability for the state.
  • Accessibility — Current systems are not compliant with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In addition, agencies have expressed steadily decreasing satisfaction with the existing statewide accounting systems in the last several customer service surveys conducted by the Comptroller’s office. As faster, more robust Web-based systems have become standard throughout the business world, mainframe-based state systems have aged poorly. Continually patching and maintaining these systems requires a disproportionate amount of agency staff time and resources that could be redirected to mission-oriented tasks.

Further, to address critical unmet needs, agencies have expended significant amounts of money on their own ERP and “best-of-breed” systems. Instead of continuing this practice, these funds could be redirected toward the implementation of a single, statewide ERP system that would benefit all agencies and lower the total cost of ownership to the state.