US Army able to be audited for first time thanks to ERP rollout

Posted on 16 Apr 2014 by Tim Brown

The US Army can, for the first time ever, now fully audit its finances thanks to the implementation of its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software tools.

Replacing a number of piecemeal management platforms, the new ERP tools, which are still being deployed, will allow the service to meet Department of Defense auditing compliance goals.

Full auditability not only helps the Army save money, it makes the service’s financial workings more transparent to federal scrutiny, service officials said.

According to Information Week, the Army’s efforts to shed light on its books are part of a broader program to make the military’s finances more accountable. The Defense Department remains the only cabinet-level agency that can’t run a full audit of its activities, said Kristyn Jones, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for financial information management at a recent briefing meeting with industry executives, held by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

To achieve its federally mandated auditing goals for the Department of Defense, the Army launched its General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) in 2012. The SAP-based system allows the service to manage its financial and procurement processes. Since the ERP’s launch, Jones said, the Army has successfully undergone several audits by outside auditing firms focusing on its financial resources and asset inventories.

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As it continues its rollout across the service, GFEBS replaces a number of legacy auditing systems, some of which are 40 years old, Army officials said. However, many of these older systems won’t be completely phased out until 2018, they said.

Another ERP system employed by the Army is the Global Combat Support System-Army, a logistics management system that has a major financial component, Jones said. About 20% of the Army uses GCSS-A and it will soon be used by the Army National Guard, she added.