Tracking COVID-19 Funds With Munis
- Industry: Municipal
- Location: Salisbury, North Carolina
- Employees: 1,340
- Population: 142,000
- Tyler Client Since: 2010
- Tyler Products Used: Munis, Tyler Content Manager, EnerGov, and iasWorld
Soon after joining Rowan County, North Carolina, as a Munis® Software Specialist, Peter Molleur realized the county’s ongoing implementation had some room for improvement. Because county staff was used to a legacy platform with limited functionality, they hadn’t fully grasped the opportunity for efficiency that lay in front of them.
Molleur jumped in to rework the county’s chart of accounts and harness the true power of Munis, Tyler Technologies’ integrated ERP software solution. His work markedly improved the county’s ability to perform tasks like project accounting and quarterly reporting. But perhaps the most impactful improvement became evident when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
According to Molleur: “The public sector is required to keep track of every penny that we’ve received to help combat COVID-19, or we will be required to give it back. This applies to money obtained through CARES Act funding, as well as state and local funding through organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Council of Governments, United Way, and more.”
“Some of the money is passed along to our Health Department or our Department of Social Services [. . .] and as it spreads throughout individual agencies, it becomes even more difficult to track,” he continued. “For that reason, it quickly became a priority for Rowan County to report on those funds.”
Molleur was able to use Munis’ Project & Grant Accounting module to enable multi-year tracking of budgets, expenditures, and revenues for user-defined projects such as COVID-19 funding and grants. He established a master project for COVID-19 and utilized sub-projects to tie back to that master project to assist in searching and reporting.
He also worked with staff at the Department of Social Services (DSS) to set up each grant received by Rowan County DSS as a project – using Munis Project Ledger to track specific details as necessary, while releasing a summary of the funds in Munis General Ledger for stakeholders who did not require a high level of detail.
With more than 25 project pieces related to the pandemic in Rowan County’s system, Molleur and the team are pleased to use project accounting to manage projects without impacting the numbers in Munis General Ledger or having to set up new org and object account numbers for pandemic-related funds.
Molleur utilized the current account structure to attach the project grant number. This allows the county’s finance director to roll the projects to objects for consolidated reporting, even as grant funding expands the budget. The COVID-19 grants can easily be reported by themselves, including detailed expenditures by each department using the funds.
Said Molleur, “Project accounting saves a lot of time when it comes to reporting. It takes only a few minutes to set something up or give a department access to a particular project. But, it is so much easier in the long run. It enables departments to see expenditures, and it takes complicated reports out of Microsoft® Excel™ spreadsheets. Rowan County can create a summary of various related projects instead of making its system bulkier.”
In addition to saving time, better tracking pandemic-related funds, and streamlining reporting processes, Rowan County has unlocked some of the features and functionality of Munis that it was not previously using.
If you have a problem and look around enough, there will be some piece of Munis that will help you to fix that problem. The software is totally customizable depending on our needs.
Peter A. Molleur
Munis Software Specialist, Rowan County, North Carolina
Whereas Rowan County previously had to close its books on the very last day of the month, Molleur mentions that, with Munis, staff are now able to hold the month open, work in the next month, and retroactively adjust numbers if necessary. There is no longer an end-of-month rush: “Munis gets it right.”
So, what’s Rowan County’s secret to making the best use of its Munis software?
Molleur advises: “Spend time watching and learning from other Munis sites, including those in the Tyler Community. We’ll read something, think about how it applies to us, then incorporate new processes and ideas to improve our workflow. It’s a great way to learn best practices and how everything works together.”