Cook County in Illinois is the second-most populous county in the United States. The county’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Office is tasked with implementing and supporting financial system projects to improve business operations county-wide. The ERP office contracted with IBM to implement the Strategic & Tactical Enterprise Processes (STEP) project, of which Clarity led Wave 2 of 4, “Budget Preparation & CAFR Reporting”. For more information on the county’s ERP office and the STEP project, visit the ERP web page.
Cook County recognized that it’s financial practices and systems were outdated and inefficient, costing unnecessary time and resources across departments. The previous system:
- Was homegrown and required updates to support budgeting and reporting needs
- Required several weeks of preparation time to load & validate source system data
- Made last-minute, on-the-fly system modifications extremely difficult
- Required a major overhaul to integrate with new ERP system being implemented
The county produces several public books and reports annually, including two budget books composed of three volumes and over 1300 pages. All public books require text, pictures, graphs, reports, table of contents, appendix, and custom covers. The manual creation of these books was extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Why Oracle Budgeting?
To meet the needs of the DBMS office, end-users and constituents, the county needed a world-class and dynamic financial planning, budgeting and reporting environment. The county requested the implementation of Oracle’s budgeting software, as part of the larger STEP project and integration with Oracle E-Business ERP Suite.
Implementation & Deployment
The Clarity and IBM team worked in tandem with DBMS to define best practices, modernize antiquated financial practices and standardize financial planning and analysis activities across Cook County. For the project’s first phase, Clarity installed and configured three environments (Development, QA and Production) of:
- Oracle Public Sector Planning & Budgeting (PSPB)
- Oracle Essbase
- Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM)
- Oracle Financial Data Quality Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE)
- Oracle Data Integrator (ODI)
Clarity designed and developed a budgeting and reporting solution to include the following functionality:
- Operational budget and forecasting (personnel and non-personnel)
- Capital expense budgeting
- Grant budgeting
- Creation of annual public budget books
- Creation of a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
- Revenue and expense modeling
- Monthly financial reporting solution for the Cook County Health and Hospital System
Clarity also designed and developed all necessary data integrations between Oracle’s Hyperion EPM Suite and Oracle E-Business Suite utilizing ODI and FDMEE. Additionally, Clarity developed three Essbase Aggregate Storage applications for reporting and designed and developed approximately 180 reports for the county.
- Modern web-based system
- Integration with the county-wide ERP system being implemented
- Automated data integration between Oracle budgeting modules
- Security driven access
- Real-time end user reporting
- Fully automated public budget books and CAFR
At the completion of the county’s four-phased STEP project, the Hyperion EPM Suite will integrate with the ERP system and continue to enhance efficiency and productivity of the county-wide budgeting and reporting process for years to come.
In the future, Cook County may consider implementing their strategic planning model into Oracle budgeting as well.