Los Angeles County Development Authority - Case Study
Simplified operational budgeting and reporting
The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) is a dynamic and innovative local government agency created in 1982 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The agency is an industry leader its three core service areas: housing, community, and economic development. The LACDA remains committed to being a trusted community leader dedicated to serving the residents, businesses, and communities of Los Angeles County.
LACDA was previously utilizing an outdated database program to enter the budget for over 3,000 projects with 250 account line items and almost 600 employees. This system had a minimal interface with PeopleSoft Financials and no interface with the PeopleSoft Human Resources Management System (HRMS). LACDA's budget is done on a very detailed level by project and by account. Each employee was tasked with up to ten project allocations resulting in significant time spent inputting information into the systems.
It was obvious that a more efficient solution was required, and after a search of the market, the Board decision-making platform was selected. The flexible and dynamic nature of the platform combined with a low total cost of ownership was a big plus for LACDA, while the ability for report creation within Board was another primary factor in the decision.
“The other systems were uninspiring, for the most part out of the box and would have required approximately $450,000 or more in customization to meet our needs. Board has the flexibility to be built how the user wants it. Given that our agency is very dynamic and consistently changing, Board software was a perfect match for LACDA,” said Karen Ramirez, Manager, Executive Office of Budget.
Given that the Board of Supervisors adopts the budget in June and kicks off the budget season in October, it was important to be able to complete the implementation and testing in a relatively short time frame. The project included developing a personnel module to feed off the HRMS system as well as a financial module to interface with the finance system.
The implementation was completed within five months. Two consultants from Neubrain (a certified Board Partner) and LACDA's own consulting team were involved in the design, implementation, and testing of the system. Neubrain’s consultants worked diligently from June 2009 through October 2009. It was a short timeline as LACDA typically commences the budget process in October of each year; they were able to complete the design and implementation which resulted in a reduced timeframe for budget completion. Neubrain’s consultants developed the three modules for salary, operating, and allocations - the building blocks of the implementation. The ability to interface with PeopleSoft Financials and HRMS were vital in the implementation. This interface was set up to run on a nightly basis.
One of the major benefits of Board was the daily interface from the PeopleSoft Financials and HRMS systems. The actuals were loaded into Board and with its inbuilt reporting capabilities, LACDA was able to create customized reporting for the management team within minutes. In addition, the interface with HRMS allows all employee data to be automatically loaded into the Board system by project along with current salary, with the system automatically calculating merit and benefits. This saves analysts several days of data entry.
Initially the implementation only impacted all Budget Analysts. A few years later, LACDA would use Board to enter fleet mileage as well - impacting another 65 employees and bring the total number of users to more than 80.
“The benefits of the Board adoption have been astronomical," Karen says. “With Board's tight Office integration, we can now download our customized reports within Excel, making the analysis that much easier. We can enter our daily mileage in the system. We can access employees’ allocation and salary data within seconds. We can run a historical analysis of budget to actuals within seconds; we no longer have to rely on the lengthy processes via PeopleSoft nVision.”