City of Champaign Implements New Financial and Human Resource Management Software

Following a 15-month implementation project, the City of Champaign successfully launched a new financial and human resource management software solution on July 1, 2017.  The new Munis Financial Management Software replaces an aging software system that was first put into service 21 years ago.  The new software will streamline and maximize the efficiency of managing the City’s financial transactions, payroll, employee benefit tracking, improve vendor services, and increase government transparency.

“Replacing our old, insufficient financial software with a modern, more capable system is an important step towards improving the efficiency of handling all the City’s financial transactions, improving public transparency, and moving towards a paperless process,” said Management Analyst/Project Manager Cynthia Chandler.  “Staff from across the City organization have been working on this project for more than a year, and it’s rewarding to see all the time and effort pay off with a successful cutover that was on time and under budget.”

In 2012, the City began looking at options to replace its aging enterprise resource planning solution – Harris Government e-Management Solutions (GEMS).  First implemented in 1996, the GEMS system suffered increasing limitations in functionality and support.  The City took a critical look at its current practices and looked at opportunities to make a strategic investment in modernizing business processes and technology in order to promote the effective and efficient delivery of financial management services.  Through a series of processes, including a comprehensive internal analysis, a Request for Proposals, and an in-depth evaluation of various vendor solutions, the City selected a new software solution to replace the aging GEMS system.  On March 15, 2016, the City Council approved an agreement with Tyler Technologies, Inc., for the purchase of Munis Financial Management Software at a cost of $1.1 million.  Since that time, staff has been working diligently with the vendor to customize the software to suit the City’s needs, train staff, and move data from the old system to the new.  This first phase of implementation was completed on July 1, 2017.

The initial launch of the Munis software includes the core financial management and revenue modules, as well as integrated content management, analytics, and reporting.  These applications will provide City staff with increased efficiencies and enhanced reporting tools.  It also features an electronic workflow and robust content management system to store and retrieve electronic images of supporting documents like contracts and invoices.  Additionally, this software solution provides vendors doing business with the City access to their information through an online, self-service portal.

The first phase of this project was successfully implemented thanks to the dedication and teamwork of the leadership team and all the City staff involved with this sizable project.  The Comprehensive Organizational Research Evaluation (CORE) leadership team is comprised of representatives from the Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technologies departments, including: Amanda Farthing (Assistant Human Resources Director), Cynthia Chandler (Project Manager), Daphne Greaves (Network Administrator), Kay Nees (Finance Director), Mark Toalson (Information Technologies Director), and Molly Talkington (Budget Officer).

Chandler adds, “The team of professionals who led, implemented, and are now using the new software have done a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time.  Every part of the City organization has been actively involved in the configuration, testing, and training on the new system, and their dedication paid off with an easy transition to the new system on July 1.”

Two remaining phases of the project are scheduled for completion on January 1, 2018.  This includes software applications related to managing employee benefits and improved services for residents.  Once all Munis applications have been successfully implemented, the City will have improved business resources which enhanced staff productivity and increased information transparency for the public.

Media Contact:  Cynthia Chandler  |  217-403-8970  |  [email protected]