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The Road Ahead for DEAMS

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (USTCNS) --- The U. S. Transportation Command, U. S. Air Force and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service have joined forces to implement the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System or DEAMS. DEAMS is a significant undertaking that will provide USTRANSCOM and the Air Force with a single financial system, dramatically changing existing business and financial management processes, improving combat support for the warfighter, and sharpening information accuracy for Department of Defense decision makers. In the longer term, DEAMS has the potential to support other DOD agencies.

This article examines the current status of DEAMS system requirements and concept of operations and provides a brief update on the training and change management initiatives.

Current Status

Commercial Off-The-Shelf Selection
A $22.7 million firm-fixed price delivery order for commercial software was awarded to ORACLE Corporation on June 30, 2005 through the DOD’s Enterprise Solutions Initiative blanket purchase agreement under the General Services Administration schedule.

With this contract, the military will procure 60 developer licenses, 26,650 production licenses, four one-year priced optional maintenance and training periods, and familiarization training. Using the Oracle software, DEAMS will implement modernized, integrated accounting and produce fully auditable financial statements for USTRANSCOM and the Air Force.

Systems Integrator
The Systems Integrator will implement DEAMS requirements including, but not limited to, the System Requirements Document, Process Flows and Narratives, the Requirements Traceability Matrix, and the ORACLE product suite. The program will be implemented through the incremental development approach with versions that leverage commercial “best practices” to reengineer USTRANSCOM business processes. Technical, managerial and functional objectives for this initiative include:
• a single, inclusive, scalable financial management system to support the Transportation Working Capital Fund and general funds for the Air Force by leveraging best value products and services to the government based on an appropriate blend of COTS, commercial practice, innovation, and risk management;
• integrated implementation of commercial and government mandates including implementation of DOD’s Standard Financial Information Structure;
• maximizing interoperability by creating interfaces to allow for legacy system and application integration that results in transparent, user-friendly access to required information and services; and,
• exploiting technologies such as centralized databases, existing data warehouses and modern analytical reporting tools to provide system users with both the ability to provide accurate, timely financial data to decision makers and the ability to drill down through financial data from a highly aggregated level to transaction level detail.

Requirements and Concept of Operations

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.

Budget process
Budget targets will be electronically loaded into DEAMS and authorized users will subsequently distribute targets to a level appropriate for management and control. DEAMS will also track and control actual activity against targets, and export information to data warehouses for use in reporting and budget execution analysis.

General ledger process
The general ledger provides the overall framework for capturing and maintaining accounting data. DEAMS financial management information will be captured and maintained within the general ledger using the new DOD Standard Financial Information Structure. Additional DEAMS benefits include:
• allowing standard general ledger processing across the enterprise; and,
• simplified preparation of financial statements.

Customer Order, Billing and Collection Processes
DEAMS provides a flexible solution for use by general fund and working capital fund activities. Specifically, DEAMS will:
• support the establishment of customer orders;
• track cost activity against orders;
• electronically interface data from feeder systems; and,
• serve as single billing system for USTRANSCOM.

Purchase Request/Commitment Process
The purchase request is the first step in the procurement process, and establishes a business need for goods or services. With DEAMS, the future purchase request process will be streamlined and paperless. DEAMS will provide standard forms, online fund control and commitment identification number/standard document number link to an obligation. The system will edit and validate the data and budget availability at the point of entry and the finance office will no longer enter commitments.

Obligation Process
DEAMS will receive electronic purchase order information from the appropriate external systems. In cases where a purchase order or contract is not utilized, the obligation will be created automatically at the point when the purchase request is approved. As a result of business process reengineering:
• obligation data from contracting and other feeder systems will be electronically interfaced into DEAMS; and,
• USAF and USTRANSCOM will be responsible for obligations, entering them on-line when required.

Receipt and Acceptance Processing
The DEAMS receipt and acceptance process will be fully electronic and paperless. The end user receiving the goods or services will be presented with user-friendly screens to record the receipt. The receipt will immediately be available to the three-way match process or an accounts payable specialist at any location. DEAMS will provide the capability to:
• enter receipt data directly or accept information fed into DEAMS;
• support the automated interface of electronic receipts from other external systems; and,
• provide notification of receipt sent to Wide Area Workflow (WAWF).

Accounts Payable Processing
Invoices will be loaded electronically, using a Wide Area Workflow interface or an electronic feed from vendors. Data will be edited and validated automatically upon entry into DEAMS. An automated process will validate that the purchase order, receipt document and invoice match when appropriate. If the three-way match is successful, the

payment will be approved with no user intervention. If the three-way match is not successful, an accounts payable specialist will review the electronic documents to determine if the invoice should be paid. DEAMS will accommodate the processing of transactions by others and intra-governmental bills received via automated interface or online entry. Transactions by others loaded as disbursement or collection vouchers will use a two-way match. The system will have the capability to manually enter data, based on a hard copy document.

Cost Management and Decision Support
According to Mr. John Senn, DEAMS functional manager, the most significant DEAMS benefit is greatly improved cost management information. The financial manager of the future will know exactly what it costs to deliver a shipment, complete a project or reimbursable order, utilize a specific transportation platform, or achieve specified outputs. To improve cost accounting capabilities, DEAMS will include labor reporting software, which allows users to assign their hours to activities for cost management purposes. DEAMS will also support un-metered access to financial information.

Building up to implement the System

The program is now in the process of selecting the System Integrator. Following the selection, the next step will be confirming the requirements against the ORACLE package. The functional management team will compare the requirements with the COTS package and then initiate system development. During this phase, the team will build interfaces and reports, configure the software and prepare for the testing phase. Once the formal four-to-six month testing process begins, change management activities will be instituted. Documentation will reflect current changes based on the testing results and training.

The first increment of DEAMS implementation, Version 1.1, a technology demonstration to be conducted at Scott AFB, will include USTRANSCOM, Air Mobility Command and Air Force tenants on the base. Version 1.2 will include the remainder of the USTRANSCOM components, the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the U.S. Army’s Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and the Air Mobility Command bases.

As a safeguard during Version 1.1, the Office of the Secretary of Defense will require the DEAMS program to run dual processes using the General Accounting and Finance System, Integrated Accounts Payable System and Automated Business Services System. As DEAMS matures, GAFS will remain the system of record until third party compliance testing validates the existence of auditable financial statements in DEAMS. The other systems will be terminated after DEAMS has been successfully fielded to Air Force operational commands.

Training and Change Management

A robust training component is key to the successful implementation of the DEAMS program, reinforcing a sentiment uncovered in a December 2004 Change Management survey of internal stakeholders. The survey revealed concerns about the deployment of the DEAMS software and a need for training. Financial system administrators, executives, commanders, managers, transaction processors, approvers/certifying officers, and other DEAMS users will be properly trained to ensure acceptance and effective use of the system. The development of a training program is underway by the DEAMS Training In-Process Integrated Process Team. Their initial meeting was held in April 2005 to begin planning a strategy and curriculum for the training program. The DEAMS TIIPT is comprised of representatives from the DEAMS Functional Management team office, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management, 375th Airlift Wing at Scott AFB, DFAS, Air University at Maxwell AFB and USTRANSCOM, including its component commands.

The Change Management process for DEAMS is also in place. Change Management will play a key role in engaging stakeholders and end users in comprehensive dialogue and interaction to facilitate effective and appropriate change. The DEAMS Change Management Team is charged with recognition and resolution of issues associated with a successful DEAMS implementation. The team is responsible for all DEAMS change management activities including oversight, communication support, project management, risk management and project coordination with stakeholders, end users and other members of the DEAMS implementation team.

Conclusion

DEAMS is a joint partnership forming a cohesive team of subject matter experts from USTRANSCOM, USAF, and DFAS to identify comprehensive requirements, prepare for transition to contractor support and software configuration for field deployment. Functional team members have completed requirements and documentation on several key functions, and the team continues the process in preparation for the Systems Integrator selection. With outstanding teamwork and the SI selection, DEAMS will transform business and financial management processes and systems, improve combat support for warfighting forces and improve information accuracy for DOD decision makers.

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

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