Health tenders to kill 'over-reliance' on Excel

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Health tenders to kill 'over-reliance' on Excel
Piles of coins over chart with stuttering red line.

The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) has tendered for an integrated budget and forecasting system to kill its reliance on manual systems and Excel spreadsheets.

The department has an SAP ECC 6.0 financial management information system that takes manual inputs from a variety of spreadsheets and proprietary systems.

From SAP, the financial data is outputted to a complex array of systems for external reporting and other finance requirements, including a proprietary external budget management system, NetWeaver Business Warehouse 7.0.

The department described its "over-reliance" on Excel for budgeting and forecasting as a "critical risk factor" in a request for tender this week.

"There is currently an over-reliance on division-specific Excel spreadsheets that are used to manage significant levels of funding provided by Government," it said.

"The Department does not have an integrated budget and forecasting system within their existing systems suite and hence has had to resort to Excel workbooks as an interim work-around in order to record and report budget and forecasting information. 

"It is envisaged that an automated forecasting tool would improve the management of one of the department’s key business requirements."

That requirement is for DoHA's chief financial officer to "monitor financial performance, ensure accurate budgets and forecasts for prospective business activities, implement effective financial controls and assist the Secretary in the discharge of the Department’s accountability for prudent financial management."

DoHA wants a budget management system that will automate several manual processes that are required to ensure timely and relevant information is available to support a monthly CFO Report.

The system should have effective mechanisms for establishing, monitoring and maintaining multiple user defined budgets and reporting commitment and expenditure against any budget.

It needs to be integrated with SAP for better “phasing”, forecasting and capital funding management, DoHA said.

It also needs to user friendly - easy to query data and to produce standard and ad hoc reports within a shared service support model.

Tenders close on May 16.

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