Accenture wins $537M Army financial services contract

The Army is looking to better track its income and spending

The U.S. Army has awarded Accenture Ltd. a 10-year, $537 million contract to build and support new financial system designed to allow the Army to better track its income and spending.

In an announcement yesterday, the Army's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems announced that Accenture was selected from four competing vendors to build the service's new General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS). The other three vendors were not named.

Cherie Smith, project officer for GFEBS, said the new system will replace the 30-year-old Army Standard Financial System, which provides only minimal analysis for spending and revenue. The existing system allows the Army to get funding balances and write checks to pay for purchases, but it doesn't provide any way of looking at overall spending across the entire service.

"There's not a general ledger structure" for the whole Army today, Smith said. The new system will provide those capabilities, allowing Army officials to obtain reliable financial data and do cost management for the service.

Similar efforts to replace the old system have failed in the past, she said. "It's hard to get funding and support for a financial system when you have weapons and soldiers" to support, she said. "The Army needs to replace these old systems."

The contract gives Accenture 30 days to get up to speed for the work, then the company will have nine months to have a system up and running in an initial installation at the Fort Jackson, S.C., Army base. "The effort is to bring a small piece of functionality at one location as a technology demonstration" before deploying the system across hundreds of Army, National Guard and Army Reserve bases across the country, she said.

The first project will involve a demonstration using the Army's real estate property inventory. After Accenture shows its work is successful, the effort will be expanded to integrate other Army bases and departments.

Accenture will provide full life-cycle support services for the project, and it will implement a system that gives the Army commercial enterprise resource planning capabilities.

A spokesman for Accenture in Reston, Va., could not be reached for comment today.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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