By Pamella B. Gray, PEO EIS/GFEBSJuly 24, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, July 24, 2012) -- During a time of increased scrutiny of government spending, the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) steps forward to transform the way Army manages its finance and real property accounting.
On July 1, GFEBS completed the final Wave for Full Deployment and supporting over 50,000 customers world-wide to facilitate the management of nearly $140 billion in the General Fund, and an additional $80 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funds.
Previously, the U.S. Army's finances were tracked by multiple systems that were increasingly inefficient, costly and outdated, some more than 30 years old. In an effort to gain visibility over finances and inventories, many Army commands established their own methods and internal systems. These antiquated and fragmented systems impacted military leaders' ability to make informed decisions because there was no clear picture of full resources. This ultimately affected the Soldier.
GFEBS transformed this approach. The GFEBS solution will subsume 107 legacy systems into an enterprise-wide system integrating financial, real property, cost management and performance data. Leaders have visibility through GFEBS to data that has never been available through a single access point, taking into account the true costs of operations, functions, and organizations when making budgeting decisions in support of war fighting capabilities. GFEBS allows leadership to make smarter, faster decisions, ranging from provisioning troops in the midst of battle to budget planning.
"GFEBS has enabled new financial management capabilities to more than 52,000 end users at 227 locations in 71 countries," said Col. Patrick Burden, the Project Manager for GFEBS. "We have standardized business processes across the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve."
GFEBS is not an update of existing legacy systems, but an integrated, web-based solution replacement of the outdated systems used across the Army and by the Defense Financial and Accounting Service (DFAS).
"GFEBS is an unprecedented leap forward in Army financial management," said Edward Quick, Deputy Project Manager for GFEBS. "It will fulfill the mandates for audit readiness and fiscal responsibility."
GFEBS is the Army's response to the 1990 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act, which mandates federal agencies to centralize their finance systems to better account for their spending, and the 1996 Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA), requiring federal financial management systems to provide accurate, reliable and timely financial management information to the government's managers.
As the largest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Army has more than 550,000 Soldiers on active duty. Along with the more than half million members of the U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, as well as more than 279,000 civilians -- "GFEBS touches everyone in the Department of the Army," Burden added.
In the last three years, GFEBS grew from one million transactions and $1.2 billion in obligations in fiscal year 2009 to 20 million transactions and $30.8 billion in obligations in fiscal year 2011. GFEBS currently processes approximately one million transactions a day and $140 billion of the general fund annually.
"Reaching the Full Deployment in only seven years places GFEBS as the Army's flagship Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system," Burden asserted. "This initiative is unmatched in the Army, and has come to fruition through the efforts of many dedicated personnel."
GFEBS focuses on simplicity and efficiency for the end user. A member of the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems, or PEO EIS family of systems, GFEBS reduces financial complexity and promotes standardization by subsuming legacy systems and driving improved end-to-end processes, improved compliance with congressional directives, audit-ready financials, increased internal and management controls, and, most importantly, provides timely and accurate data to make informed business and mission decisions that support Soldiers.
"GFEBS' achievement of the full deployment milestone will be an excellent example of how the Army is providing cutting edge infrastructure and information management systems solutions to meet today's needs and tomorrow's challenges," said Doug Wiltsie, the Program Executive Officer for PEO EIS. "The GFEBS team and our strategic partners throughout the Army and Department of Defense have worked tirelessly as a team to mark an important advancement in the Army's technology evolution."
System users will realize these benefits, explained Maj. Scott Geary, National Guard Bureau Resource Oversight Branch Chief, because "GFEBS has allowed us to better manage how we execute [these] funds by providing better interoperability with contracting systems, clearer visibility of fund status and reporting tools that allow improved data analysis from previous systems."