Allegheny County’s financial management system – maintained and operated by County Controller’s Office – has been an example nationally for use of innovative, efficient best-practices and smart business processes in municipal government. The system also allows for better intergovernmental communication for services and increased transparency and efficiency.
Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner appeared today in front of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority’s Board of Directors (ICA) to talk about continuing efforts between the County Controller’s Office and the City of Pittsburgh to collaborate on financial management and functional consolidation. Since January 2012, the City’s General Ledger has been live on the system and the City’s Payroll will come on board next year. Wagner addressed the potential for the system, as it grows, to save millions of taxpayer dollars in the immediate future. 
“With further investment, this system can be the answer to the age-old question of how we can save money through consolidation without affecting services to taxpayers,” Wagner stated, “As we continue to work to expand and refine the system for the County and City, we can now begin to look how this system can be used to help other local government organizations, including authorities, municipalities, and school districts.”
Controller Wagner also discussed the opportunities and challenges of the County’s JD Edwards Financial Management System. Since 2002, Allegheny County has used the JD Edwards system to streamline its accounting systems and improve transparency and efficiency. This collaboration between County and City government, housed in the County Controller’s Office, has saved millions of dollars for taxpayers in decreased costs to both governments and growing the system would only save more. The decreased costs come from the phasing out of single vendor contracts, modernized systems that reduce waste, fraud, and abuse, allowing collaboration in shared departments (e.g. purchasing), and economies of scale with regard to decreased costs of maintenance and licensing fees as the system grows.
“Last year, the County and City entered a new era of functional consolidation when the City went live,” Wagner said, “Taxpayers across the County and City will continue to save millions of dollars well into the future thanks to the willingness of County and City officials to work together and look forward.”
Wagner plans to continue efforts to expand and increase investment in the system. The Controller’s Office continues to work collaboratively with City government and meet with stakeholders in authorities, and other levels of governments, about the possibility of joining the shared financial management system.