Strategic Implementation Ensures Success
- Cobb County School District, Georgia
- Number of Employees: 17,675
- Number of Students: 113,740
- Tyler Client Since: 2011
- Tyler Products: Munis, Tyler EAM, Tyler Content Manager
- Website: www.cobbk12.org
The Cobb County School District (CCSD) implemented Tyler Technologies’ Munis® in 2014 to replace the HR and payroll functions of its outdated AS400 system. However, due to budgetary constraints, the district decided to retain its legacy accounting system at that time.
Over the following two years, it became increasingly evident that — for a district as large as CCSD — a fully integrated system was a necessity. The district was managing most of its financial reporting on spreadsheets or through custom-built reports that the CCSD technology team developed to fill the gaps in its legacy accounting system.
Additionally, the district was using a variety of third-party applications for tasks like accounting, 1099, and maintenance work order solutions. Its technology team did a phenomenal job of ensuring all systems were able to integrate with each other, but it strained district resources to constantly manage so many applications and integrations, especially if any type of system issue occurred. Further, the technology team created hundreds of custom reports to fulfill needs from every department — a task that was time-consuming and made it extremely difficult for departments within CCSD to see the bigger picture.
Due to the numerous integrations, there was a 24-hour delay for transactions to fully process through to the legacy accounting system. So, CCSD began to explore the benefits of Munis’ fully integrated financial applications to increase performance and efficiency.
After a thorough review process, the district decided to reinvest in Tyler Technologies — this time in Tyler’s industry-leading enterprise resource planning software solution. The project team included representation from all departments that would be impacted by the change, with the CFO serving as an executive sponsor.
Two full-time financial trainers were responsible for training 1,000 end users, and CCSD also enlisted the assistance of future end users in participating in proof-of-concept sessions where it conducted trial runs of training and end-user processes. The implementation project was a collaboration of 14 departments within the district.
During more than 1,200 implementation sessions comprised of 22,500 people hours over a 21-month period, CCSD redesigned its chart of accounts and implemented solutions for accounts payable, accounts receivable/general billing, budget, CAFR statement builder, cash management, capital assets, contracts, general ledger, inventory, purchasing, and project accounting.
We were very strategic in our approach to evaluate Munis; we took our time to ensure we had all of the right players around the table even if some discussions didn’t pertain to all departments. Everyone got the benefit of hearing the discussions so they could understand the bigger picture, which helped ensure our leadership was highly engaged and committed to the implementation process.
Director of Financial Services Special Projects, Cobb County School District, Georgia
CFO Brad Johnson shared, “We only had one opportunity to get it right. We recognized that even if everyone worked really hard on the project, we would be judged not by our success but by our failures — especially if we were not strategic in our implementation of Munis.”
According to CCSD, Munis is the first “state of the art” solution it has ever implemented, and the undertaking was well worth it. Director of Financial Services Special Projects Nancy Tolbert said, “Because of the Munis project, we now have a level of cohesiveness in our departments and across divisions that we did not have before.”
When all was said and done, CCSD was able to retire three third-party applications, nine internally developed applications and solutions, and all of the custom reports from each department. This means the district’s technology team can now focus on supporting other district initiatives.