Software technicalities delay implementation of new payroll program

Published 10:26 am Thursday, May 8, 2014

Members of the Financial Management committee heard a progress report on the implementation of new payroll software for the county during its meeting on Wednesday and learned that the project to switch systems will be delayed.
Carter County Finance Director Ingrid Deloach reported to the Committee that her department has been working with Skyward, the company producing the payroll software, for several months and has been undergoing training for the new software.
“During training we discovered that there are some changes that will need to be made before we can go live,” Deloach said, adding that Skyward is designed to operate for one financial department and that Carter County essentially has four finance departments operating as one consolidated department. Deloach stated that Carter County has four employer Tax ID numbers that it processes payroll on.
“Skyward is only set up for one (Tax ID),” Deloach said. “They will have to create four databases within our database.”
Deloach said that these changes to the software are the cause behind the delay.
“With these complications we are going to have to be pushed back,” she said, adding that instead of taking the new system live on July 1 of this year they are now looking at going live on January 1, 2015. “Lots of the plans we had have been turned upside down. It will be a bumpy road to get there, but we knew that would be the case with anything we went to.”
Deloach also provided the Committee with a report on how the County’s budget for the current fiscal year is progressing. As part of that report, Deloach stated that there are two debt obligations which will come off the county’s budget this year.
“While this helps narrow the debt service gap it does not close it,” Deloach stated, adding that even with the two debts coming off the books there will still be a gap of approximately 1 million dollars between incoming funds and debt obligations.
During the Committee meeting, Committee Chairperson JoAnn Blankenship updated members of the committee on some legislative rulings to consider as they begin work discussing plans for the County’s 2014-2015 fiscal year budget.
At the end of the committee meeting the floor was opened for public comment. Roy Livingston addressed the committee regarding a question on the debt service issue. Livingston stated that currently 14 cents of the property tax rate was added to the county’s budget in order to cover the costs of a construction bond obligation for Cloudland Elementary School. Livingston stated that it was it was his understanding that the 14 cents would remain on the tax rolls after the bond debt is satisfied.
Livingston directed his questions to Deloach and wanted to know who authorized the continued 14 cents on the tax rolls once the debt is satisfied, how her department will appropriate that money once the debt is satisfied and what departments will be receiving that 14 cents for their budgets.
Deloach explained that the bond debt for the Cloudland Elementary School project will be paid off with this fiscal year’s budget. She further stated that no one has approved for the 14 cents to remain in the budget because the County Commission has not approved a budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year yet.
Following the explanation by Deloach, Livingston presented Deloach with a letter in front of the committee which he stated was a Freedom of Information Act request. Livingston also provided the STAR with a copy of this letter. In the letter Livingston requests answers to the same questions which he posed to Deloach in the meeting. Deloach informed Livingston that she would provide to him in writing the same information which she gave him in answer to his questions during the meeting.

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