By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
Accenture Federal Services has secured a 30-month, $73 million contract to complete the Air Force’s financial management system. The Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System (DEAMS) integrates data and processes across USAF, U.S. Transportation Command and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. We talked with Todd Cameron, a managing director at Accenture who leads the firm’s work with the USAF, about the system that is currently operational at over 40 Air Force bases.
The conversation started in familiar airspace with an overview on the importance of IT to business.
“If you go back thirty or forty years, you can see how much productivity IT has put into business,” he says, adding the changes are obvious with DEAMS’ success in managing about $800 million in monthly billings and cash collection for the Air Force.
“All you need to do is look at the systems that DEAMS replaces, an accounts receivable and payable system, for example. There was even a separate general accounting/ledger system that we have integrated.”
Fully implemented DEAMS system
The goal is to have a fully implemented DEAMS system integrating all other legacy Air Force financial management systems into a single package that complies with directives from the Secretary of Defense that all military services be auditable by 2017. Cameron points out that one of the ideas is to mirror business models that have been implemented in the commercial sector.
“DEAMS centralizes and consolidates a lot of the systems, turning them into an enterprise capability,” he says. “At some time if the Air Force decides to go down the cloud path, there’s a way forward.”
One of the other objectives of the upgrade was to improve decision making and DEAMS has made that a reality by centralizing, consolidating and standardizing the data positioning the Air Force to run state-of-the-art Big Data analytics.
Cameron also says the end game is to have the system deployed by the end of next year in preparation for a government mandated audit in 2017.
“A lot of the financial programs in the Department of Defense are being driven by congressional mandates and the Air Force is making great progress towards fully deploying the system,” he said.
Accenture Federal Services has served clients in the intelligence, defense, civilian and military health and public safety fields and the parent company has 358,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.