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Friday, December 19, 2008

Army rolls forward with Web financial system

GFEBS set for wide deployment in 2009

The U.S. Army’s five-year-long effort to transition its financial management to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) configuration moved forward in late 2008 when the first fielded solution, known as Release 1.2, was rolled out to Fort Jackson, S.C., the Army’s primary center for basic combat training.

The General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) is a Web-enabled ERP system from SAP that will allow the Army to share financial, asset and accounting data across the service. The GFEBS implementation involves standardizing financial management and accounting functions such as reimbursables between commands, and real property inventory and management across the Army. It will ultimately serve 79,000 users at about 200 installations around the world, and will manage about $200 billion in spending by the active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves.

The Fort Jackson deployment went out to about 250 users. Release 1.2 will begin the process of subsuming the Army’s Standard Financial System (STANFINS) and Standard Operation and Maintenance Army Research & Development System (SOMARDS), as well as the majority of their feeder systems, and over time will create a single access point for all Army financial, asset management and real property information.

Eventually, 84 systems will subsume all or part of their functionality to GFEBS, according to Jones. Not every Army financial system will fall under the GFEBS umbrella, at least not right away.

For 2009, the plan is to introduce GFEBS Release 1.3 in April to the rest of Fort Jackson, and also to Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Stewart, Ga. Release 1.3 is aimed mainly at replacing STANFINS, with new functionality that automates processes and interfaces with the funds control module to bring in supply data.

October 2009 will see the rollout of Release 1.4 to nine major installations in the Southeast U.S. It is at that point that GFEBS will take over more of the SOMARDS function.

- Barry Rosenburg, DefenseSystems.com

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