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Santa Maria City Council to consider $8.2 million technology upgrade

City of Santa Maria
Dave Alley/KEYT

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Santa Maria City Council will discuss investing more than $8 million to upgrade software technology that handles financial system operations.

If approved, the new Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) would replace the existing software Santa Maria has been using since 1998.

According to the city, the current system only maintains core financial records, while most of the other financial processes are handled via paper workflows, email, or Excel spreadsheets. The city reports the dated technology leads to inefficiencies, inadequate internal audit capabilities, and higher risk for human error due to disjointed systems and multiple points of data entry.

Santa Maria staff added the ERP is essential for the city to meet its statutory obligations for financial reporting, provide necessary tools for payroll and human resources management, enable electronic workflows for major citywide processes such as procurement, grants, projects, accounts payable, accounts receivable, timekeeping, payroll processing, cashiering, and utility billing.

To modernize its system, a Santa Maria selection committee has chosen a proposal from Cognizant/Collaborative for the implementation of Workday, SpryPoint, and CanAm/Teller technologies, which according to staff report, are modern systems with open interfaces that enable integration with other systems and workflows. The report goes on to say integrations will improve staff efficiency and reduce errors and rework due to disparate applications and manual data entry and processing.

The financial commitment for the City of Santa Maria to purchase and implement the new system is estimated to cost $8,221,000.

With a new ERP in place, staff said it will bring modern technologies to Santa Maria's financial and human resources operations, which will benefit the city and its residents by improving efficiency of operations, enhancing security of City assets, and transparency of information.

Article Topic Follows: Technology
Santa Maria City Council

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