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Financial management at your fingertips: Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System.

John Senn

Functional Manager

Defense Enterprise Accounting

and Management Service

Richard R Gustafson

Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for

Financial Operations and Technology

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial

Management and Comptroller Headquarters

U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

Alan K. Bentley

Director

Program Analysis and Financial Management

U.S. Transportation Command

Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

Carlton Francis

Director, Accounting Services

United States Air Force

Defense Finance and

Accounting Service, Denver

Information on the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System (DEAMS) was provided in two workshops held during the American Society of Military Comptrollers Professional Development Institute 2005. Both the DEAMS senior leader panel workshop and the DEAMS 101/Concept of Operations (CONOPS) workshop focused on the theme "DEAMS is the opportunity to reengineer business processes and demonstrate fiscal fitness."

DEAMS is a modern, integrated financial system for the Department of Defense (DoD) that will be used by the commands represented by the partnership that has the potential to be used by selected Defense agencies. DEAMS will transform business processes at the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), the U.S. Air Force (USAF), and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS); improve combat support for the warfighting forces; and improve information accuracy for DoD decision makers.

Senior Leader Panel

To provide the USTRANSCOM and the USAF with a single financial system, USTRANSCOM, USAF, and DFAS have joined forces to implement DEAMS. The various aspects of the DEAMS program were discussed by members of the senior leader panel. All panel members agreed that senior leader buy-in is critical to the success of DEAMS.

USTRANSCOM Focus

In his discussion on why DEAMS is right for USTRANSCOM, Mr. Alan K. "Keith" Bentley stated that the DEAMS environment would achieve the following:

* Provide a single billing system with one set of reports and one bill per customer

* Support distribution process owner activities and the USTRANSCOM commander's metrics

* Streamline training

* Standardize processes

According to Mr. Bentley, some of the impacts of DEAMS for USTRANSCOM included reduced rework, on-line access to billing information, reduced cost to customers, full visibility of funding and execution in one system, and improved financial visibility at all levels of command.

SAF/FM Focus

Mr. Richard P. "Gus" Gustafson discussed the benefits of DEAMS for warfighters, senior leaders, financial managers, and taxpayers. The benefits he discussed included the following:

* Warfighters

--Reduced footprint in theater

--Improved decision making due to timely and accurate financial data

--Improved understanding of "the cost" of decisions

--Significantly improved decision support

* Senior Leadership/Taxpayers

--Improved credibility

--Compliance with Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990

--Reduced costs of financial operations

* Financial Managers

--Analysts versus "data input" or "data chaser"

--Major reduction in reconciliation and rework

--Major reduction in data calls

DFAS Focus

Mr. Carlton Francis spoke on the DFAS mission--to provide responsive, professional finance and accounting services for the people who defend America. He said DFAS is a financial partner that enhances readiness and mission capability. Other key issues in his briefing included the need for a robust training program for DEAMS, a comprehensive and effective change management program, a skilled project team and the ability of the workforce to embrace change. Mr. Francis also discussed DFAS as the provider of the Center of Excellence for DEAMS.

DEAMS 101/CONOPS

Mr. John Senn, DEAMS functional manager, provided an informational overview to those ASMC PDI participants who attended the DEAMS 101/ CONOPS workshop. He presented the basic introduction to the program, which included the current status, the concept of operations, and requirements. He also detailed the success factors for the program.

DEAMS Background

The DEAMS team consists of functional team subject matter experts (SMEs) representing all three partner organizations, technical experts from the Air Force and USTRANSCOM, acquisition experts from the Air Force, and contractor support for program management and communications, data cleansing, change management, and the system architecture. The SMEs worked the DEAMS booth at the PDI.

The CONOPS was based on input from Air Force, Navy, Army, DFAS, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and USTRANSCOM leadership. The DEAMS Executive Steering Group (ESG) provides stakeholder planning and oversight to DEAMS by making recommendations to improve management processes/practices and setting program strategy and critical success factors. Members of the ESG include personnel from the following organizations: OSD--Financial Management Transformation Team (co-chair), USTRANSCOM J8 (co-chair), USAF (financial management and logistics), Army, Navy, DFAS, Chief Information Officer (from USTRANSCOM), and a USAF Program Executive Office.

Initial Development and Deployment

DEAMS will be implemented in increments beginning with the deployment of Version 1.1 at USTRANSCOM, Air Mobility Command (AMC) Headquarters, and all USAF tenant organizations at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, in October 2006. Version 1.1 will be used to demonstrate the feasibility, usability, and effectiveness of the chosen technology.

The remainder of AMC and the two remaining USTRANSCOM component commands (Military Sealift Command and Surface Deployment and Distribution Command) will use legacy financial systems and processes until a later version of DEAMS is implemented. The remainder of USAF General Fund operations will use the new business processes when converted to DEAMS in Version 2.1.

Requirements and Concept of Operations

Mr. Senn explained the concept of operations and DEAMS requirements. He said DEAMS will support and replace an array of existing financial processes to include general ledger, customer order and customer billing and collection, purchase request/commitment, obligation, receipt and acceptance, accounts payable, and cost management and decision support.

Critical Success Factors and Integrations Tasks

Mr. Senn then detailed critical success factors for the DEAMS program. Several were completed by the DEAMS team in developing a governance process and requirements and assigning fulltime SMEs to the team. Additionally, on-going efforts address change management, data cleansing prior to conversion, customer acceptance of the requirements, accurate data conversion, and integrated interfaces.

He also explained that the integration tasks require a strong integrator, a Standard Fiscal Information Structure crosswalk, a cost center structure, fund distribution structure, fund control workflow, activity/project structure, identification of users, dual processing methodology, and a time and attendance process.

Current Status/ The Way Ahead

Milestone A was approved in April 2005 by the Milestone Decision Authority and Department of Defense Chief Information Officer. With the approval of Milestone A, DEAMS may award the contracts for the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and the systems integrator.

DEAMS will implement leading practices including business line management, integrated system modules, electronic billing, and integrated system modules using COTS software. [Oracle Corporation was chosen as the software provider.]

Further information on DEAMS can be found at http://deams.transcom.mil.

Summary

The DEAMS team comprises talented SMEs and has a developed CONOPS requirements and documentation. DEAMS will significantly improve financial operations and management through use of single source input, COTS software, integrated modules eliminating interfaces, Business Enterprise Architecture-compliant activities, DoD standard processes, and fully electronic and automated transaction processing.

Mr. Gustafson's final slide summed up the differences between DEAMS and previous programs by stating the following:

* Technology is proven ... COTS works in industry, government, and DoD.

* Senior commitment exists like never before.

* Partnership between organizations and functional stovepipes has never been better.

* Bottom line: We do not have a choice!

Reported by Arlene King

Ms. Arlene King is the strategic communications senior consultant for the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System. She retired after serving in the U.S. Army for 26 years, first as a signal officer and later as a public affairs officer.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Workshop Report
Author:King, Arlene
Publication:Armed Forces Comptroller
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Words:1238
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