TEA Winner 2021: Tulsa, OK
- Industry: Municipal
- Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Employees: 3,700
- Population: 400,000
- Tyler Client Since: 2016
- Tyler Products Used: Munis, Tyler Meeting Manager, Tyler Content Manager, Tyler Cashiering, EnerGov
- Website: www.cityoftulsa.org
In 2016, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, invested in Tyler Technologies’ integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, Munis®, to replace its legacy system. “We had an extraordinary number of manual processes,” said Monica Wright, enterprise systems manager at the city of Tulsa. “Incomplete integrations were slowing us down and complicating our efforts to maintain and upgrade systems.”
Additionally, there was no streamlined process across departments to track disaster-related expenditures and ensure compensation. So, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, each department was still responsible for identifying its own emergency-related spending, collecting the appropriate information to submit to various stakeholders, and submitting for reimbursement.
The city hoped it would qualify for federal reimbursement for extensive expenditures incurred across all city departments, so it needed a plan.
“We knew that Munis had Project Ledger, and we wanted to utilize it for grants, disasters, and capital improvement projects,” said Carol Jones, the city’s administration manager. “We initially created one project to record expenses that were being incurred by city departments. It had two expense strings — one for payroll-related costs and the other for expenses, including services and supplies.”
Tulsa provided specific guidance to each department on using the project strings to code charges. After being processed, including using Munis Project Ledger, expenses were tracked and reviewed for reimbursement eligibility
“When we learned we were eligible for reimbursement from U.S. Department of Treasury funds that were received by Tulsa County, the city was quickly able to determine which funds were charged with departmental expenses,” said Jones. Using multiple funding source strings, it became possible to post each of the reimbursements by fund and restore the budgets needed for ongoing departmental operations.
The Project Ledger module was also used to track the many hours of overtime worked by the city of Tulsa’s public safety personnel. Project entries were entered on the “COVID2019” project, so total expenses could be easily identified and reported.
Tulsa was additionally able to begin tracking and reporting on its use of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) fund disbursements in Munis after the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed and additional funds were made available from the Department of Justice. Each project included expense and funding source strings with unique General Ledger and Budget default accounts for tracking in both the Project Ledger and General Ledger.
Utilizing the unique COVID-19 project string for related materials, supplies, and services, the city of Tulsa was able to track nearly $684,000 in citywide expenditures, maintaining detailed totals within various departments and funding sources in a single location.
Tyler’s integrated products have allowed us to manage a diversity of operations across multiple departments with a single organizational viewpoint. Now, we know that we can react and respond quickly when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Enterprise Systems Manager, City of Tulsa, OK
“Our integration with Tyler Content Manager™ (TCM) allowed the city of Tulsa to extract more than 1,500 invoice copies, check disbursements, and other Munis attachments to fulfill expenditure documentation requirements, enabling us to extract hundreds of documents in a matter of minutes, saving many hours of staff time,” said Wright.
As a result, the city was able to capture all eligible expenditures and maximize its reimbursement. Prior to Munis, the process would have taken around 125 hours (equivalent to nearly $5,000 in staff hours). Today, the city of Tulsa can do the same work in 15 minutes.
Said Wright, “For the city of Tulsa, success means investing in a software solution that enables our talented employees to devote their time to projects that require expertise, judgement, and analytical skills versus spending their days doing manual processing.”