Initial planning for the new federal accounting and budgeting system began in the IT Directorate of the Ministry of Finance in 1997. The then head of the IT and Organization of Accounting and Payment Transactions division, Stephan Csoka, had envisioned a new federal accounting and budgeting system based on modern accounting system and budgeting concepts. The vision was for a complete redesign of the way the federal government did accounting and budgeting. This vision was translated into the two following goals:
Use of standard software with appropriate user interfaces.
Complete redesign of the budgeting, budget-execution, and bookkeeping processes as an integral part of an organizational workflow.
Csoka believed that an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution could enable this vision. Such a system could improve and standardize government budgeting and accounting processes. It could also provide a way to unify the multiple and disparate IT capabilities that had emerged among ministries in the last decade. The division conducted a study to assess current ERP software against the Ministry’s requirements for a new accounting and budgeting system. The feasibility study results showed that SAP was the best solution among available ERP options. However, the feasibility study did identify the need for SAP to issue a new release of its ERP software that addressed several requirements of the Austrian government in order to implement the standardized accounting and budgeting process throughout the federal government.
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