Tool can help balance the books
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Jun 04, 2001
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.