Eden TEA Winner, 2019: Wasco County, OR
Client Name: Wasco County, Oregon
Number of Employees: 137
A Tyler Client Since: 2006
Wasco County, Oregon, implemented Eden® financials more than 12 years ago. In the time since, a lot has changed at the county, including the people who work there, and what started as a plan to rollout Eden over time stalled when key stakeholders left their positions.
“Employees were simply focused on doing the best they could through all the changes,” explained finance manager, Kayla Nelson. With a lot of new team members creating new processes, however, operations became disjointed and lacked transparency. And, county finance employees were finding that they lacked oversight and tight control over expenditure approvals. The county’s contracts didn’t live in a central location — they were all housed in individual departments and in different hard copy and digital formats.
With limited data about contractual obligations and current assets, the finance department had to review each department’s purchases and request documentation one-by-one every time a report needed to be prepared.
Inefficiency wasn’t limited to the finance department. Employees were using paper timesheets for the bi-monthly payroll, causing departmentlevel payroll staff to make special trips to the county to facilitate payroll processing. Verifying time was very difficult because there was no electronic record of an employee’s activity history.
After recruiting several new team members, Wasco County employees wanted to improve their operational processes quickly. In addition to the operational challenges they faced, they wanted to provide transparency to their citizens, be better stewards of their resources, and strive to be the best performing rural county government.
County employees knew that Eden had a lot of unutilized capabilities, so they looked there first, and found Eden had what they needed all along.
The team scheduled an Eden training session and found several areas that could be improved by implementing additional Eden modules. Within a few months of training they had purchased Eden’s web extensions, contract management, and fixed assets modules.
Implementation of the new modules was managed by the county finance department staff, with assistance from the information services team. The team worked with department heads and planned a phased rollout that would limit impact to their users.
The finance department took on the first project, implementing Eden web extensions specifically to make time entry available to employees online. “We were able to quickly launch Eden web extensions, which completely transformed our payroll process,” said Nelson.
The county now has readily-available, centralized, trustworthy data making it a breeze in every process the county manages.
After successfully launching web extensions, the county finance department began implementing Eden’s contract management and fixed assets modules. Nelson recalled, “We went live with three new modules and trained all departments within a six-week timeframe.”
Nelson describes how technology underscores the county’s ability to serve the community, “At Wasco County, we have an organizational culture centered around ‘100% Love.’ Love for what we do, building strong teams, providing excellent service, and providing kindness and compassion for people in our community.”
Expanding the use of Eden has made employees more productive and able to focus on citizen service and government transparency. With Eden web extensions, time entry and payroll processing are now completely paperless and less time consuming for all employees. County finance staff is now able to use the contract management programs to see all contracts in one, centralized location. “It’s easy to find and understand our full range of contractual obligations, to find expiring contracts, and quickly create reports,” said Nelson. Using the fixed assets module, the staff has more control over useful life calculations and can ensure accuracy in the county’s balance sheet.