$864 billion – the budget deficit for the United States at the end of June. This record deficit continues to grow as the nation dedicates funds to the CARES ACT relief package, reopening, digital transformation, and social services, according to the Treasury Department. Government agencies are in a difficult position – agencies face budget constraints but must provide vital services to citizens. To deliver these essential services while staying on budget, agencies are implementing innovative cloud-based technologies that improve budget formulation, allocation, and spending forecasts.
“One of the things we’re going through right now is annual planning,” Jamie Holcombe, CIO, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, said in a recent webinar. “You don’t want any type of slush fund, you don’t want anything hidden, but the problem is if you budget so tightly you don’t have room for a crisis that comes up…that’s the big fight with the financial office. You need to make sure your emergency fund is practical, rational — take the emotion out of it.”
For decades, agencies like the Patent and Trademark Office have relied on manual tracking to stay on budget – and these budgets have become even more important during the current crisis. According to a recent study by Huron Consulting, 31 percent of agencies are using spreadsheets to track spending and 88 percent contain errors. In a time when every dollar counts, ensuring data is accurate and reflects real-time information is imperative. By making the switch to cloud-based solutions agencies no longer rely on manual data that can create errors. Instead, these solutions provide insights on real-time data, rate analysis, and cost analysis that will save teams hours – especially during Federal Buying Season.
A streamlined tracking and analysis system supported by cloud technology enables agencies to use their dollars in the best, most decisive way. Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud also integrates with existing systems to make visibility possible for Human Resources and accounting teams. Agencies will not only experience a simple implementation process but will be able to track available resources in a FedRAMP-authorized environment that promotes transparency and security.
“In this environment, scenario planning and strategic modeling have become essential to finance teams as they assess a wide array of possible outcomes, forecast revenues and liquidity, and make iterative short- and medium-term forecasts,” Hari Sankar, Group Vice President, Oracle EPM Cloud, said in a recent blog. “No one knows what a post-COVID-19 world will look like and no two industries or geographies are experiencing the same reality, but the one certainty is that every organization needs to balance urgent and critical short-term needs with long-term strategic priorities.”
Take control of your budget this Federal Buying Season. Get started here.