Tracking COVID-Related Expenses in Tulsa
July 15, 2021 by
In 2016, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, invested in Tyler Technologies’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, Munis®, to manage its core functions. After a thoughtful implementation process, the city was prepared to do that, and more.
For example, Tulsa created a streamlined process to track disaster-related expenses across departments — a focus that emerged during the pandemic when it sought federal reimbursements for COVID-19-related expenses. The city wanted to make it easier for each department to identify emergency-related spending, collect the appropriate data for stakeholders, and submit for funding.
A cross-functional team determined the optimal path to capturing expenses and facilitating accurate reporting was to create a single project in the city’s ledger to record expenses incurred by all city departments. Using the project ledger module in the city’s finance software solution, staff was able to track nearly $684,000 in citywide expenditures. Not only that, they were able to maintain detailed totals for various departments and funding sources.
“When we learned we were eligible for reimbursement from Treasury funds received by Tulsa County, we were able to determine which funds were charged with departmental expenses,” explained Carol Jones, Tulsa’s administration manager. Using multiple funding source strings, it became possible to post the reimbursements by fund and restore the budgets that were needed for ongoing departmental operations.
In addition, the team created multiple project ledgers, including unique sub-funds, to track and report on the use of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development fund disbursements.
Employing project ledgers freed up staff time for other critical tasks.
“We had a large transaction volume, and the time saved on document extract was spent reviewing receipts for eligibility for reimbursement,” said Monica Wright, enterprise systems manager at the city of Tulsa. “Using our time in this way, we captured all eligible expenditures and maximized our reimbursement.”
The city of Tulsa won a 2021 Tyler Excellence Award for managing diverse operations across multiple departments with a single organizational viewpoint. This tracking and reporting functionality remains in place for any future funding as well.
The city feels confident that the steps it has taken will prepare it for the future. Wright explained, “Now, we know that we can react and respond quickly when unforeseen circumstances arise.”