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JUL 18, 2022

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CUSTOMER STORIES

Garden Grove, California, Goes Live with CentralSquare Finance

By replacing its 40-year-old ERP system, Garden Grove modernizes its technology footprint with a fully integrated and centralized finance, HR and payroll management software suite.

Garden Grove’s Challenge

Garden Grove is the fifth-largest city in Orange County, California, and its Finance Department consistently receives high marks for fostering a culture of accountability in its solution to local government finance. The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the city for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 34 consecutive years.

When the department sought to replace its 40-year-old enterprise software, it focused on five essential goals: Streamlining processes, improving efficiency, promoting transparency, implementing advanced analytics and ensuring well-informed decision-making.

“To replace our decades-old system, we needed a solid ERP system with strong reporting and control structures alongside a foundational chart of accounts to serve as the backbone of our entire finance system,” said Finance Director Patricia Song.
Previously, invoices might bypass the Finance Department altogether if routed directly to a department or employee outside of Finance. Employees who received the invoices would manually review and code the invoices before sending them to Finance, bypassing the ability to ensure compliance with budget and purchasing requirements and limiting visibility into the overall spending status.

CentralSquare’s Solution

Garden Grove recently went live with CentralSquare Finance Enterprise™ software. The configurable platform in CentralSquare supports more than data analytics, cost tracking, budgeting and other capabilities. It’s also helping the department to transform its operations by applying best practices for strategically enhancing efficiencies across the organization in its efforts to manage the problems and solutions of local government finance.

“Our recent system upgrade allows us to gather data more accurately,” Song said.

“When we have the numbers to speak to our results, confidence grows because we’re able to benchmark and develop a more performance-driven budget,” she said. “For stakeholders and decision-makers, that’s crucial because they have useful information to make better decisions in allocating scarce resources to address the community’s needs.”

Features and Benefits

With the new system, Garden Grove gains a centralized financial management software suite that combines finance, human resources and payroll into one fully integrated platform. By offering one point of data entry for all information, the system reduces the need for redundant data processes.

Now, invoices can be applied to purchase orders without the Finance team having to find the relevant information from user departments. Not only does this save time and reduce stress, it helps solve a reporting deficiency identified in previous audits.

“In terms of updating our internal control processes, we’re benefiting in three distinct areas: system configuration allows us to design and set up security protocols for ensuring checks and balances; automation removes any manual manipulation, preventing fraudulent activity; and login reports detect user access,” Song said. “Compared to before, management has greater confidence because we’re making sure transactions are monitored and fraudulent activities are prevented.”

Want to learn more about CentralSquare’s public administration solutions? Schedule a demo today.

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