By: Jennifer Younger, CA DCSS
The California Department of Child Support Services (CA DCSS) and its vendor OpenGov have begun configuring the Budget and Expenditure Claiming Application (BECA). The configuration phase for BECA began in March and will run through the month of May. Together, CA DCSS and OpenGov are collaborating on the design of the Chart of Accounts, and the Reporting and Analysis and Budget Builder modules. CA DCSS has been working diligently to include a tailored Chart of Accounts that will accommodate all local child support agencies (LCSAs) and CA DCSS business needs. In an active and participatory team effort, the BECA LCSA Workgroup also provides CA DCSS with feedback regarding their internal business processes to better understand how, when, and what data LCSAs receive from their counties and use to report to CA DCSS.
The configuration of the Reporting and Analysis module has been a collective effort between CA DCSS and OpenGov. This application will have the standard reports, as well as the flexibility to create ad hoc reports. This module will also have forecasting capabilities not currently available to the LCSAs and CA DCSS. These reports and forecasts will be individualized to each LCSA, by providing them with data in customized dashboards specific to their office. CA DCSS will have the ability to view statewide reports that can be “sliced and diced” in many ways.
Parallel to the configuration of the Reporting and Analysis module, CA DCSS and OpenGov are also configuring the Budget Builder module. The Budget Builder module will streamline the budget workflow process and address real-time business needs. This module will also allow all LCSAs to report expenditures on a monthly basis as opposed to quarterly. This provides CA DCSS with robust actual expenditure data essential for budget drills at the state level. It will also make data available to CA DCSS that is critical for reporting to the legislature when discussing future funding needs for the Child Support Program.
As configuration of BECA continues through the month of May, the testing phase begins mid-May and will run through the month of June. The first step toward successfully implementing BECA is to test user access into the OpenGov platform. In May, those who are involved with fiscal reporting activities will receive an email that will provide them with instructions on how to test user access through single sign-on. The goal for this is to resolve any initial obstacles end users could possibly encounter when trying to access the application before it is fully implemented.
CA DCSS, OpenGov, and the BECA LCSA Workgroup will continue collaborating to fine-tune the application for successful implementation July 1, 2019. An Implementation Preparedness Plan is in development and further information about the implementation process will be provided to all LCSAs in the coming months.
Please watch the following music video the LCSA Fiscal and Administrative Support Section and the Communications team from DCSS prepared for your enjoyment!