County’s upgrade smooths operations
Like many local governments, Tuolumne County, Calif., possessed a mishmash of IT systems that worked okay, but not well. As the county began preparing for Y2K two years ago, IT officials decided that the impending changeover provided the perfect excuse to update HR and financial IT systems. The county also wanted to integrate its hospital’s operations with the rest of the administration.
The existing system allowed users to perform general ledger, accounts payable and basic HR functions, but it had limited capabilities and dated hardware, according to Craig Pedro, assistant county administrator. “It was kind of a home-grown financial system,” he says.
In an effort to improve overall business practices and establish a coordinated system, Tuolumne installed software modules from PeopleSoft, Pleasanton, Calif. The county began using financial and HR systems in July 1999 and installed a budget program last winter. The county also expanded its wide area network and added hardware to support the new systems.
The hospital’s financial management operations, which previously functioned independently of the county, were fully integrated into the new system, allowing county officials to better keep up with the hospital. With one system, county officials are able to include hospital finances in the rest of their plans and budgets.
Of all the county operations, payroll functions have improved dramatically as a result of the new IT systems, Pedro notes. The new program allows the county to set up pay groups by category so that checks are processed and received quickly. For example, family support checks, which are required to be distributed within a specific time frame, can be grouped separately from other county checks.
With the new software, users are able to make quick queries and run reports with very little turnaround time, allowing county workers to improve their productivity. “We’re finally hitting a regular pace of business,” Pedro says.