September 9, 2014
The US Army has awarded Accenture Federal Services two contracts to provide continued operations and maintenance support to its General Fund Enterprise Business Systems (GFEBS), Accenture announced last week. The contracts are worth a total of $53.1 million.
Accenture Federal Services secured one contract worth $42 million to maintain and support the daily operations of the GFEBS. This includes project management, application development, and help desk services. Under the second contract, valued at $11.1 million, the technology services firm will provide the US Army with onsite training and support across various Army bases. This is crucial because the GFEBS monitors and manages more than $220 billion of transactions and is used by 52,000 personnel spread across close to 230 locations around the globe.
Joe Chenelle, who heads Accenture's intelligence and defense agency division, said the GFEBS is essential in changing how things are done at the US Army. "GFEBS changes a 200-plus year tradition in how the Army managed resources, and now provides real-time, auditable data to Army leaders for the first time in history," he said. "In a world of constrained budgets and increasing mission demands on the Army, GFEBS is the new breed of systems that allows leaders to balance mission effectiveness with resource efficiencies."
[Learn more about how the government is tracking the money it spends. See Analytics Fights Fraud In Government Benefits Programs.]
The GFEBS is one of the biggest enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that acquires, develops, integrates, sustains, and deploys procurement and financial management abilities throughout the enterprise. The US Army uses this web-enabled asset, accounting, and financial management system to standardize, share, and streamline critical data across the Active Army, the Army National Guard, and the US Army Reserve. The system was first delivered by Accenture in 2012 and helped bring together the more than 100 legacy systems that the Army had at the time. It initially led to being able to establish a centralized financial, cost management, performance data, and real property record. Because the Army now had a single core log and record, the Army General Fund could obtain the information that it needed to improve accountability, which made audits a lot easier.
The GFEBS also helped the US Army comply with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act.
"Now that the Army has GFEBS to collect data across every part of the Army in a consistent way, an even bigger opportunity presents itself," Chenelle said. "The Army can use that data to understand itself in ways that were not possible before, and then change the Army in fundamental ways. GFEBS will improve Army decision making by providing greater visibility into the use of Army funds and the corresponding operational performance. With GFEBS, Army leaders and managers will make more informed business decisions, streamline operations, better leverage current resources, and plan for the future as the most effective and efficient Army in the world."
The Army says that the GFEBS will improve core business processes. For instance, it has helped the US Army close its books for fiscal 2013 in just days, instead of the usual weeks required before the system came online. This allowed users to work on tasks and execute the fiscal 2014 year on Oct. 1, 2014 -- something that was not possible with the previous system.
The US Army will also save money by retiring the old systems.
Chenelle called the GFEBS an "unparalleled leap forward" in the financial management of the US Army, because it fulfills high-level mandates for financial responsibility and auditability. Instead of being just budget conscious, he said, the Army can now look at things from a cost perspective due to the system's ability to provide data in real-time and offer analyses that drive informed decisions.
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