Government

Williamson County, Texas

“Users are ecstatic to have historical data, detailed notes, reports and graphs at their fingertips."

Ashlie Koenig, Budget Officer at Williamson County, Texas

About Williamson County

Williamson County is seated in Georgetown, Texas. The Commissioners Court is the overall governing body of Williamson County. Among the duties of the Commissioners Court is administration of all the business of the County, including the building and maintenance of county roads and bridges. The stewardship of public funds is one of the greatest responsibilities of the Commissioners Court. Therefore, the establishment and maintenance of budget policy is critical to ensure County officials protect public interests and promote citizens’ confidence in County government.

Population

471,014

Financial System

Oracle EBS

Annual Operating Budget

$236 million

Number of Employees

1,800

Business Need

Williamson County needed to replace their outdated, antiquated budgeting system.

Budget Solution

The Questica advanced budgeting management solution (formerly PowerPlan Corp.) provided them with a fully integrated system that was easy-to-use and affordable for their 150 users of the system.

 Business Benefits

  • Significantly shortened budget cycle
  • Reduced effort to construct budget and produce management reports
  • Swiftyl replaced the Oracle Web Center Portal which was being phased out.
  • Provided Williamson County staff with tools to efficiently manage budgets
  • Added flexibility to analyze multiple versions of the budget and perform multi-year planning
  • Improved use of personnel costs
  • Minimal effort required to train managers on budgeting and reporting functionality
  • System was implemented on time and on budget

Business Challenge

For the past several years and up until recently, Williamson County’s budgeting processes were handled through an Oracle Web Center Portal. This system, however, was being phased out and finding a replacement solution was imminent. Not only would the new budgeting solution need to accommodate a diverse set of users with varying needs, backgrounds, and skillsets, but the system would also need to be flexible and dynamic enough to effectively handle the County’s many exceptions to standard processes. The task at hand seemed monumental, but nevertheless, a search for the right solution and the right vendor was underway.

 

Solution

Subsequent to receiving a number of responses to Williamson County’s Request for Proposal for a public sector budget software issued in early 2014, the County reviewed responses, scheduled product demonstrations, and conducted vendor interviews. The selection committee chose PowerPlan (now part of Questica) based on several factors including overall product functionality and ease-of-use, their ability to demonstrate how our key processes and significant requirements would be effectively satisfied, and their proposed implementation strategy. We certainly perceived as a solution that would benefit Williamson County, provide for the much-needed increased transparency, and also allow for growth.

 

Process

While implementing a new software organization-wide can be very difficult and intimidating, we experienced a successful roll out of the advanced budgeting solution to approximately 100 system users throughout Williamson County. Our strategy was to start early, involve users immediately, and offer plenty of user training.

 

Results

The team offered a solution, workaround, or fix to every exception we brought to the table. They share their expertise in best practices and continue to help us tailor the solution to our needs.

“Our positive experience with PowerPlan [now part of Questica] has helped us tremendously and has allowed us to formalize many of our policies and procedures, all to which the Court has been quite receptive.” – Ashlie Koenig, Budget Officer at Williamson County, Texas

 

Thanks to more efficient budgeting, Williamson County is brilliant.

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