The Finance Department has taken the lead in ensuring the City’s long-term financial stability. Through a renewed focus on zero-based budgeting, the Finance Department is helping operating Departments make better and more well-informed budgeting and spending decisions. The recent implementation of the City’s new financial software system – New World Systems – has greatly improved staff’s ability to access financial data necessary for making prudent management decisions.
The Fiscal Year 2016-17 General Fund budget was adopted with a $340,000 surplus. Mid-year projections indicate this surplus could grow to $1 million once the fiscal year books are closed. The General Fund reserves will exceed $65.0 million, ensuring the City has funding available for emergencies. The City Council approved reserve policies (adopted as part of the FY 2016-17 budget process) created several “buckets” of reserves for various purposes, dividing up the $65 million in fund balance for specific purposes.
Continuing the trend of healthy budgets, the FY 2017-18 General Fund budget was adopted with a $300,000 surplus. This budget not only provides basic services in-line with City Council priorities, but also provides an expansion of services in other areas: Parks and Recreation special events, code enforcement, parking enforcement, and other service areas. Recent changes to the City’s operations – such as the choice of a new insurance provider – will provide additional savings to the General Fund that will help build the City’s reserves.
In support of furthering fiscal literacy throughout the organization, Finance Department staff have been working closely with each department to provide training on purchasing, invoice processing, the new chart of accounts, and other areas. The Finance Department will continue to provide training in all areas of finance in order to help departments better manage their service areas. This focus on fiscal literacy will have a long-term positive effect on City operations – leading to better management of programs, improving the use of taxpayer resources.
Undertaking the implementation of a new financial enterprise resource program is no small task. The City began transitioning from an outdated, limited and difficult to use financial system over two years ago. Pico Rivera engaged New World Systems (NWS) by Tyler Technologies, to upgrade the City’s financial software.
The City went live with NWS in September 2016, allowing staff to more easily process invoices, make purchases, and run financial reports. In January 2017, the City went live with the payroll/human resources module of New World Systems. This integrated module allows for easier processing of bi-weekly payroll and improved tracking of positions. In addition, time sheets can now be done online, eliminating the processing of paper time sheets. The eSuites functionality of NWS even allows employees access to W-2 information and prior pay stubs.
The final module to be implemented – with a scheduled go-live date in September 2017 – is the Community Development module. This module will automate the City’s building, planning and engineering permitting processing, improving the City’s ability to provide excellent customer service to homeowners and developers.