Tool can help balance the books

Minneapolis-based Adaytum Software Inc., in partnership with Accenture and

the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), is planning to market

a Web-based budgeting and forecasting application for the public sector.

Because public-sector entities — such as federal agencies, states, cities,

counties, school districts, universities and airports — share many similar

requirements in how they plan and project their budgets, Adaytum officials

said they developed an application that needs little customization from

one such entity to another.

"In the public sector, there's enough commonality that we can jump-start

the process with preconfigured templates," said Ashok Sudarshan, director

of Adaytum's education and government sector.

David Wilson, a partner in Accenture's government practices group, said

there has been a shortage of budget planning and forecasting products for

governments in the past decade. He said products developed for the commercial

sector do not address the needs of state and local governments.

Adaytum's product enables governments to gather information from different

sources faster and, therefore, provide users more time to manipulate and

analyze the data, he said. Traditionally, governments have spent more time

collecting data and less time analyzing it.

Sudarshan said the public-sector product, based on Adaytum's commercial

e.Planning software, enables governments to collect data via the Internet

or an intranet and put it in a single repository where it can be sliced

and diced using complex scenarios. A user can then publish the data via

the Web in a variety of ways. Because the product is scalable and pricing

is based on user licenses, he said smaller municipalities would be able

to afford the software. Training and implementation would also be provided.

Accenture helped develop the product and will help market it, said Jeff

Gerkin, Adaytum's vice president of strategic alliances. In another partnership,

GFOA, an association of public-sector finance professionals, will provide

input and expert consultation.

Adaytum, which has developed budgeting systems for Maricopa County,

Ariz., and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system, is in negotiations with

several public-sector groups, company officials said.

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