New York State
In FOCAS Office of the State Comptroller
Alan G. Hevesi, Comptroller
Future of the Central Accounting System Volume 2, Issue 2
Inside this Issue
Oracle/PeopleSoft Contract Executed Contract Executed 1
On May 3, 2005 the State Comptroller’s bring greater transparency, accountability
Office FOCAS Project (Future of the and control of finances. OSC is eager to Official Acceptance 2
Central Accounting System) released a utilize PeopleSoft to make it easier to
Request for Proposals (RFP) to obtain an share data across State agencies so that
integrated financial information system users will have the ability to monitor per-
using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) formance, shift resources where they are
software to satisfy its responsibility of needed most, and facilitate best practices. Successful Installation 3
operating and maintaining the State’s
Central Accounting System (CAS). With the assistance of Oracle, the People-
Soft System and Demo environments were Stakeholder Involvement 4
implemented at OSC in August 2006.
These environments will be used for test-
ing, product acceptance and demonstra- ESI Business Analysis
Certification Training 6
tion/development purposes. Oracle will
deliver both PeopleSoft technical and func-
Inside FOCAS - Q & A 7
tional training to FOCAS and selected
Next steps include issuing an Integrator/ BITS - Bureau of Information
Developer (I/D) RFP. By Winter/Spring Technology Services
2007, an I/D Consultant should be on CAS - Central Accounting
board to assist the FOCAS Team with the System
implementation of PeopleSoft. FOCAS - Future of the Cen-
On August 9, 2005 FOCAS sent the No- tral Accounting System
tice of Intent to Award the Software and ERP - Enterprise Resource
Consulting Services contract to Oracle/ Planning
PeopleSoft; software contract negotia- I/D - Integrator Developer
tions commenced shortly thereafter. IVT- Installation Verifica-
As a result of dedicated efforts and hard
work on the part of many FOCAS Pro- JAD - Joint Application De-
ject Team members and OSC staffers, sign
the software contract for the new CAS NYFMS - New York Financial
was finalized and approved on Friday, Management System
July 21, 2006. Oracle/PeopleSoft will OSC - Office of the State
supply OSC with the software and initial Comptroller
installation services needed to provide a RFP - Request for Proposals
new CAS that meets the financial proc-
SMEs - Subject Matter Ex-
essing and information requirements of
the State. perts
SFSG - State Financial Ser-
Implementation of the PeopleSoft finan- vices Group
cial suite of software is expected to Vanilla - Preconfigured “out-
Volume 2, Issue 2 In FOCAS Page 2
Official Acceptance of Installation and Software!
On August 29, 2006 Diana Jones Ritter, OSC Ex-
ecutive Deputy Comptroller, met with
Oracle representatives (from left) Kevin Curry,
Ed Petillo, Wayne Bobby, Bob Sabo, and
J.D. Williams to sign the official acceptance of the
Installation and software.
Business Users will Receive Training on
Oracle/PeopleSoft Financial Application
Major Training Effort Application is configured and tested, and before it is
The FOCAS Project is ready to kick off its first major rolled-out to OSC business users, there will be a sub-
training effort – the “vanilla” software training. This stantial end-user training effort. At that time, every CAS
training is intended to give FOCAS team members and user will be trained on how to use the new CAS to per-
OSC staff a working knowledge of what the Oracle/ form their specific job functions. Training for OSC users
PeopleSoft Financial Application looks like, and what the will begin on September 18, 2006.
“out of the box” version of the software is capable of.
With knowledge of the software’s potential, we can begin
to assess where OSC’s various financial management and
reporting processes can be accommodated without spe-
cial configurations to the software, and where modifica-
tions may be necessary. The training will allow us to bet-
ter assess what will be required to convert from our cur-
rent CAS and associated shadow systems, to the new
This will be the first of several rounds of training, and is
not intended to prepare OSC users to actually utilize the
software to complete their day-to-day tasks. Rather, it is
intended to give FOCAS Team members, and OSC staff Oracle training for the FOCAS team has begun. Two Oracle
who will participate in system design activities, a sense of courses were presented: 1) PeopleSoft Server Administration and
what is possible so they can effectively design and config- Installation which covers the installation, setup, and initial configura-
ure the new software to perform the required business tion of the PeopleSoft Internet Architecture and related processing
objects, and 2) PeopleTools I which introduces the PeopleSoft meth-
functions. As such, not all OSC business users will re-
odology of application development. Each course was five days long.
ceive “vanilla” software training. After the PeopleSoft
Volume 2, Issue 2 In FOCAS Page 3
Successful Installation of Oracle/PeopleSoft
The FOCAS team has successfully installed the Oracle/ FOCAS and BITS staff received installation training to
PeopleSoft software. There are many aspects to con- prepare them for software installation and the Independ-
sider when laying the groundwork for the new system. ent Verification Tests that will be run on the software
The past several months have included a thorough re- after it is installed. The training prepared staff to under-
view and completion of Oracle’s Pre-Install Checklist, stand and test the installation. The training courses con-
extensive preparation of the technical environment for ducted were PeopleSoft Server Administration and In-
the system and demo installation, installation training for stallation, and PeopleTools 1.
FOCAS, OSC and BITS staff, and testing preparations.
FOCAS Project staff used the installation to verify the Testing
capabilities of the software and create a baseline for the As early as January 2006, the FOCAS Testing Unit began
creation of other environments. Oracle’s deliverable developing the master test plan to verify proper installa-
concerning the delivery and installation of PeopleSoft was tion of the PeopleSoft software. OSC had a small win-
satisfied and normal product maintenance has begun. dow of time to complete testing on the software, and
The FOCAS installation team (members of our Software provide formal notice of software acceptance to Oracle.
Administration, Control Table, and Architecture teams)
accomplished their goal. Installation
After the contract was executed, Oracle and FOCAS
had 60 days to complete installation and testing of the
software. This 60 day period included:
servers at RTP 2 • Installation of the PeopleSoft tools and purchased
are part of the components;
structure for • Installation of any related third-party software;
the new CAS. • Application of all patches and fixes so that OSC’s
working version of the software is up to date; and
• Testing of the basic software Installation Verifica-
tion Tests (IVTs).
To ensure that the installation met defined functional
The FOCAS technical environment is tightly integrated
requirements, the FOCAS staff conducted additional
with the existing environment at OSC. During the past
testing after the base installation was accepted. Under
six months FOCAS provided server, storage, and net-
the terms of the contract, FOCAS had up to seven days
work requirements to the OSC BITS Technical Infra-
after base installation acceptance to complete testing.
structure group. BITS delivered the initial environment
in January 2006. Since that time, FOCAS and BITS re-
The FOCAS Project’s testing strategy served to validate
sources have refined the environment, created and allo-
that the software had been installed properly and the
cated space for PeopleSoft databases, and prepared the
servers are communicating/interfacing correctly with
backup schedule and scripts; in short, done all that they
printers, other software, and operating systems on OSC
could to prepare for the installation. Currently, FOCAS
computers. Testing also verified whether each module
technical staff has grown to the point that most server,
within the software is visible, can be accessed and all
database, and security administration can be completed
patches and fixes have been properly installed.
in-house with support from BITS resources as necessary.
As the project moves forward, BITS and FOCAS re-
Based on the results of the testing effort, FOCAS staff
sources will work together to make additional infrastruc-
recommended acceptance of the installation. After satis-
ture resources available to the new CAS according to
factory resolution of issues identified in the testing ef-
the needs of the Project. To date, the partnership be-
fort, FOCAS signed off on the installation and accepted
tween BITS and FOCAS has been successful and excep-
Volume 2, Issue 2 In FOCAS Page 4
The FOCAS Stakeholder Involvement
available from their functional areas, and that the plan is
appropriately reviewed and approved by all of the af-
fected parties. The ESC is responsible for analyzing pro-
State Financial Services Group (SFSG) Bureau Directors
are the system owners. Their participation includes pro-
viding input on functional impacts, defining business re-
quirements and changes to the system, assessing system
changes, testing, training, and providing information ex-
change in support of the upgrade, and other initiatives
related to the Project.
Dictionary.com defines a stakeholder as “One who has a The very first stakeholder workgroup to contribute was
share or an interest in an enterprise.” The success of a the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who worked on the
project hinges on involving the right stakeholders at the Business Process Modeling. Also, during the Initiation
right time--from planning through implementation and Phase of the Project, various agencies participated in the
beyond. All stakeholders have a common goal: To im- generation of the Maximus Report. The report helped
plement an efficient and cost effective solution to serve OSC determine the scope, examine alternative solutions,
all stakeholders, while standardizing, integrating, and and develop a business strategy. As the project has
streamlining the financial management functions of State grown and progressed, additional workgroups have been
government. Project stakeholders are at every level of formed. Below are brief descriptions of the most re-
government: from the Division of the Budget (DOB) and cently formed stakeholder groups that are involved in
the Legislature to OSC Executives and Bureau Directors the project.
to various workgroups. Since the inception of the FO-
CAS Project, stakeholders have been involved.
DOB and the Legislature are strategic partners; keeping
them informed of the project’s progress is critical during
the planning, development, and implementation phases.
They aid in the identification of stakeholders as well as
provide input into the development of an approach to
elicit stakeholder needs. DOB and the Legislature add
insight into current agency activities and shared concern
about the proliferation of independent Financial Manage-
ment Systems (FMS’s) in the State.
The FOCAS Executive Steering Committee (ESC) con-
sists of executive level staff at OSC. Project oversight is The CAS Stakeholder Workgroup is comprised of large,
provided through the ESC, which provides decision and medium, and small agency representatives as well as the
approval authority over all matters relevant to the pro- Legislature, DOB, Treasury, OFT, and OCIO. Its pur-
ject. The purpose of the ESC is to clarify goals, set pol- pose is to review CAS/FMS issues and provide a forum
icy, monitor progress against schedules, secure and co- for advice throughout the various phases of the project.
ordinate financial and personnel resources, respond to
high-level issues, and ensure coordination with related The Agency Stakeholder Workgroup members directly
initiatives. The ESC is responsible for making sure that participate in use of the current system. They contrib-
the customers and stakeholders are adequately repre-
sented in the planning process, that resources are made continued on page 5.
Volume 2, Issue 2 In FOCAS Page 5
The FOCAS Stakeholder Involvement cont’d.
continued from page 4. gaps that must be accommodated either through busi-
ness process redesign or through modifications to the
ute to the new CAS by providing guidance and support. software.
They are involved in input and information exchange
regarding the new CAS. The Agency Stakeholder
Workgroup is an integral part of managing the change to
new business processes for their respective agencies.
Throughout the planning phase of the project, the
FOCAS team has been working with the various bureaus
within the SFSG to identify staff to act as Change Agents,
SMEs, Super-Users, System Testers, and Trainers. These
stakeholder groups will join the already existing Agency
Stakeholder Workgroup in charting the course for the
FOCAS design and implementation.
Change Agents represent the various divisions and bu-
reaus within OSC, and are charged with facilitating and Super-users have been identified in each of the major
advocating the implementation of the new CAS within business units within SFSG. Super-users will become the
their organizational areas. The Change Agents meet operational troubleshooters and day-to-day coaches for
monthly and strive to keep lines of communication open business users after the system is configured and rolled
between the FOCAS Project and the business units they out to the business units. They will receive extensive
represent. Their objective is to improve communication training on the configured software and will be available
and share information. They are particularly helpful in to support the business users in the weeks following go-
identifying communication gaps and dispelling rumors live.
that can inhibit their colleagues’ readiness to adopt new
technology and business processes. System Testers identified from each of the business units
will test the application to determine whether required
functionality is present and operating as it was designed.
Pre-testing training will be conducted with the Testers
to prepare them to read test scripts, navigate the soft-
ware, and document testing results.
In order to reduce long-term dependency on contracted
trainers, the FOCAS project will employ a “train-the-
trainer” approach for end-user training. Staff have been
identified in each of the business units to be “trained-as-
trainers” for the new CAS. After the system is installed
and goes live, they will become the primary trainers for
staff who are new to the system and for future releases
of new functionality or modified processes.
SMEs are individuals with significant knowledge of the
business processes that must be provided for in the new These stakeholder groups will continue to support the
system. They act as consultants to the project by FOCAS project through implementation. Communica-
actively participating in Joint Application Design (JAD) tion with stakeholders, knowledgeable staff, and expert
sessions. In order to fully participate in JAD sessions, trainers will help to make the new Central Accounting
SME’s will receive training on the “vanilla” version of the System one the State can depend on.
software so they can assess the business needs that can
be met by the software’s original configuration and the
Volume 2, Issue 2 In FOCAS Page 6
FOCAS Staff Obtain Business Analyst Certification
Newly Certified Business Analysts:
(Back row from left): Lisa Richardson, Aslam Sul-
tan, Pat Slavick, Judy Lau, Kellie Waters, Sara Leo-
nard, Alison Pingelski, Suzanne Trzcinski, Shinoj
Kurian, Andrew Marriner.
(Front row from left): Kyla Scott, Mary Hayden-
Cook, Mary Eileen Barret, Stephanie Byrne, Dar-
lene Shepard, Nicholas Ladopoulos.
Throughout the months of May and June, a number of Business Analyst Mary Eileen Barret added that while
FOCAS Project staff members participated in ESI’s Busi- this training was an asset to them not only on a personal
ness Analyst training. Students received their Profes- level, it was also immensely beneficial on a Project level
sional Certificate in Business Analysis. and to OSC as an organization.
Participating project staff members mastered the distinct “Many people from OSC have already gone through this
skills and competencies needed to determine project or training,” said Mary Eileen. “By [FOCAS staff members]
system requirements, control scope and manage these participating in this training ourselves, we build a com-
requirements throughout the software development life mon knowledge base across OSC as a whole. Now we
cycle. These skill sets are critical to the success of the all share a common platform of tools and techniques.”
implementation of the new CAS.
FOCAS Business Analysts attended the training, as well
as staff from the Application Development, Help Desk,
Testing, and Control Table work units, and staff from the
Vendor Management Unit. This cross discipline educa-
tional opportunity highlighted the interdependence be-
tween Project members and increased their understand-
ing of the responsibilities of each work unit.
“This [training] will enable us to show and explain things
to [other OSC staff] pictorially,” said Implementation/
Help Desk Manager Mary Hayden-Cook. “We now have
the ability to create great models that will allow us to
translate our processes and share our ideas with others.
We will be able to better work with our Subject Matter
Experts to determine what they need. We need to un-
derstand what they need and want and what our new
CAS can do so we don’t end up spinning our wheels.”
Volume 2, Issue 2 In FOCAS Page 7
Inside FOCAS - Q & A
This Q & A is for State Agency personnel seeking addi- it to the new CAS data structures for processing.
tional information from the FOCAS Project. State However, this is a temporary measure for agen-
Agency staffers who attended NYFMS JAD Sessions cies. All agencies will eventually be required to
provided the following questions. They relate to the change their systems or use the NYFMS.
new Central Accounting System’s structure and func- 3. Certain agencies will begin processing their transac-
tionality. FOCAS appreciates the opportunity to ad- tions using NYFMS which will interface to the new
dress the concerns of stakeholders. CAS as CAS “goes-live”. Additional agencies will
be added in the future in accordance with the
Will an agency lose its ability to directly enter NYFMS plan.
transactions into CAS?
No. OSC must receive every transaction from agencies Will object codes be used in the new CAS?
in order to process payments, record revenues and Yes. Object codes are a critical element of the chart of
post accounting transactions. OSC will work with the accounts that classify transactions for financial reporting
NYFMS team to identify the best alternative to today’s purposes. We hope to improve on the coding struc-
direct entry so that agencies can process all of their ture that exists to make it more user-intuitive and de-
transactions. fined to a more useful level of detail.
Is the new CAS going to be phased in and allow Are subfunds being eliminated from the new
the old CAS to be phased out? CAS accounting structure?
No. It is planned that at the time the new CAS goes The functionality provided by the use of subfunds in the
live at the beginning of a fiscal year; the old CAS will old CAS will not be eliminated and will be carried over
retire as a transaction processing system. The closeout into the new CAS.
of the fiscal year prior to the “go live” fiscal year will
occur using the old CAS. The new CAS will take over
for the new fiscal year. All agency accounting transac-
tions will be directed to and processed in the new CAS.
New York State
The old CAS data will remain available so that historical
Office of the State Comptroller
accounting information can be accessed for reporting
Alan G. Hevesi, Comptroller
purposes. New accounting data will be maintained and
accessible in the new CAS from the date of the “go
live” fiscal year and into the future. FOCAS Project
90 State Street, 1st Floor
If the old CAS is going to be retired at the time Albany, NY 12236
the new CAS “goes live,” how will transactions
get to the new CAS? Phone: 518-408-3125
There are three potential options for agencies to Email: FOCAS@osc.state.ny.us
choose from depending on their systems and implemen-
tation date in the NYFMS project.
1. There will be new electronic file layouts to load
transactions into the new CAS. The FOCAS Team
will be providing agencies with the new transaction
formats as soon as they are developed to allow
agency functional and technical staff time to make
changes to their systems.
2. FOCAS will provide a temporary interpreter pro-
gram to accommodate those agencies who cannot We’re on the web
have their new transaction files ready at the time of
the new CAS go-live. This bridge will accept old www.osc.state.ny.us
CAS transaction data from an agency and translate