Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) pushed ahead with the automation of central-governmental budget accounting affairs since 1990. Software packages such as “Budget Preparation System”, “General Accounting System”, “Departmental Accounting Compilation/Consolidation System”, “Cashier System” developed by
Facing rapid changes of IT environment and the expansion of operation demands, the Center decided to redevelop the software packages mentioned before and aimed to improve the quality of software. Hence, the Center initiated “Government Budget Accounting (GBA) Information Consolidation Project” in 1998 to redevelop GBA package for DGBAS and other offices.
II. Development Process
Because of the support from DGBAS and lower-level offices, GBA package was successfully redeveloped through 3 years. GBA 1.0 became available in May 2001, offering budget preparation and distribution functions first. GBA 1.4 became available in January 2003 with budget execution and control, general accounting, cashier and final accounts preparation functions added. The functions of GBA steadily expanded continually and GBA 1.5 and 1.6 became available respectively in May 2004 and April 2007.
Due to the joint efforts and fully support of accounting staffs and the attendance of them to GBA training courses, all difficulties and obstacles had been overcome. In fiscal year 2004, GBA packages had been installed and used by over 800 central- government offices. All of the Budget preparation, budget execution, general accounting and final accounts preparation affairs of these offices were processed by using GBA package.
IV. System Functions
GBA package is composed of functions as budget preparation, budget execution, general accounting and final accounts preparation. It could be used to support affairs of different levels of accounting offices including supervisory offices, offices with or without built-in sub-budget and sub-budget offices. The system architecture is as Figure 1.
V. System Environment
The system is an integrated system and may be used between departments. Therefore, the system is mainly used in a networked environment. All offices may set up one or more workstations according to practical requirements. Internal users can connect to the database server through LAN or the Intranet, enabling concurrent operation and resources sharing. Outbound data transmissions can be done through the Internet connections. As for offices with simpler operations, the stand-alone operating environment is recommended.
The use of GBA package had made the accounting affairs of each office more flexible and efficient. The specific benefits are listed as follows.
1. With the centralized planning, development and maintenance of GBA, each accounting offices could benefit from computerization without expensive expenses. Furthermore, repetitive investments in accounting system development by each office could be avoided.
2. By using GBA, the accounting affairs of each office could be simplified. It can also bring healthier internal control and administration and lessen the workload of auditing.
3. GBA can not only print budget reports, accounting reports and final accounts reports, but can also produce electronic files, enabling rapid transmission these files through Internet to upper-level offices for compilation/consolidation, analysis and application. Therefore, the efficiency and quality of governmental accounting affairs can be improved.
4. GBA promotes exchange of information, which makes easier information exchange between accounting offices and other business units within the same agency as well as Disbursing Office, the Legislative Yuan and Minister of Audit. For example, GBA has an interface with E-payment system. Payment certificates prepared with GBA can be imported into E-payment system, then be transmitted with corresponding digital signature to Disbursing Office through Internet for payment operations. Due to the interfacing between GBA and E-payment system, the amount of processing time required is largely reduced.
DGBAS entered “Excellent Recommendation for Institutions in
VII. GBA Reengineering and the vision
Recently, in order to fulfill the requirement of modern accounting management and integrate to international practices, DGBAS has promulgated a new version of governmental accounting standards and revised the accounting systems in succession. According to the schedule specified in “Implementation Scheme of Governmental Accounting Standards & Related Accounting Systems- including Information Systems”, the new accounting system will have a pilot-run since middle of fiscal year 2009, and will be formally implemented since fiscal year 2010. Based on the schedule, in April 2007, the Center initiated “Reengineering Programs of Central Government's Government Budget and Accounting Information Management System” and make an all-out effort into the GBA system reengineering. The new accounting system requires that the transactions must be recorded at source, that is, personnel of business units other than accounting offices will be the user of GBA. For this reason, new version of GBA will be designed as WEB-BASED architecture. Furthermore, technologies and innovations such as Digital Signature and Electronic Document Management will also be introduced into new GBA, making the use and exchange of budget accounting information more convenient.
GBA reengineering has completed in June 2009. According to the “Trial Project of New Accounting System & Related Information Management Systems for General Fund”, the schedule is composed of 2 phases in which there will be totally 34 offices to be encompassed in the pilot-run of new GBA. That is, DGBAS will test new accounting system via using new version of GBA, and will review and revise the accounting system as needed. The formal implementation date of new accounting system will depend on the state of pilot-run. Once all central-governmental offices have installed and used new GBA, the new “Accounting System of Ordinary Government Activities for Central Government General Fund” will be implemented in these offices. The usage of new GBA will make the accounting affairs simplified and uniformed, and it can also bring healthier internal control and administration and lessen the workload of auditing. Besides, new GBA can not only print various types of accounting reports but can also produce electronic files, enabling rapid transmission these files to upper-level offices through Internet for compilation/consolidation, analysis and application. Therefore, the efficiency and quality of governmental accounting practices can be improved.