Positive credit report highlights conservative budgeting

HALFMOON gt;gt; Three years of cost-cutting measures, a determined effort to eliminate a highway budget deficit and an upturn the economy, has brought the town good news from a highly regarded credit rating firm.

Moodys Investment Services recently removed the towns negative financial outlook and upgraded it to stable. As part of its report, Moodys also affirmed the towns Aa3 credit rating high quality and very low credit risk.

The positive report was good news for Supervisor Kevin Tollisen, his administration, and the town board. It confirmed all his efforts to cut spending wherever possible and to stop using fund balances to balance the towns annual budgets were worthwhile.

Were very pleased with Moodys change from a negative to a stable outlook, Tollisen said. Were taking an aggressive approach to making sure our budget is being closely reviewed. We want to make sure our expenditures are not exceeding our budget revenues.

Moodys noted the towns manageable debt, its stable tax base, improved operating performance and the general stability of its other credit factors in its report.

The fiscal 2013 and 2014 audited financials reflect a two-year trend of positive operating performance that has returned the available operating reserves to a positive position which provides greater operating flexibility, the report stated. The Aa3 rating reflects the towns sound financial position that has improved in recent years and is subject to economically sensitive revenues given the lack of a general town tax.

Because of that aggressive approach of reviewing each expenditure the town has been able to improve its fund balance from $28,000 to $1.2 million. Critical to that improvement was Tollisens determination to eliminate a highway budget deficit of more than $400,000 in two years rather than the three that was planned prior to his taking office in 2014.

Weve done it by conservative budgeting, Tollisen said. I meet with the department heads once a month and the first thing on the agenda is the budget. By staying with our budgeted items and having everyone spending only whats necessary, were on the path for financial improvement and Im very pleased that that will continue.

He noted that the town also is slowly moving toward reducing its dependence on sensitive revenues by considering a town-wide highway tax. Currently, the town gets the bulk of its operating revenue from its share of the countys mortgage and property taxes. Tollisen has held seven workshops in the past two months to discuss how a highway tax will help maintain the towns highway infrastructure.

He has a 20-year highway plan for road maintenance and road improvements but that plan needs a stable source of revenue. A highway tax would do that, but presenting that possibility to a citizenry that has been steadfast and proud for many years that its town had no taxes for the operation of town government is not easy. Continued…

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Creating The Next Generation: The Payment Model We Need From Medicare

Four years of nation-wide testing by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has now proven that the current shared savings payment models do not work effectively for low-cost Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). High-cost ACOs have more room to improve and therefore more opportunity for savings.

For those organizations that have already developed efficient, low-cost care delivery systems, Shared Savings is retrogressive. In this model, inefficiency is rewarded and lower-cost systems are penalized. In fact, we have lost about 40 percent of the members of the first cohort of ACOsthe Pioneer programdue mostly to the payment system design. Even the recently announced Next Generation ACO Model, with its welcome improvements, does not address a number of significant fundamental issues that must be addressed in order to create a sustainable model.

Overview Of Our Model

After being challenged by members of CMS and others to design a better payment scheme, we studied the issues and are proposing a global risk-adjusted payment system that we will detail in this post. At a high level, CMS would pay ACOs a set amount to cover all health care costs for a population of enrollees. This would be a per-member, per-year payment with appropriate adjustments for risk and geography. ACOs would be expected to improve their performance over time while CMS compresses the variation in per-member, per-year payments being made to participating ACOs. While all ACOs would be expected to improve, the least efficient ACOs would be expected to make the greatest improvements.

Non-participants would remain on the Medicare fee-for-service payment system with progressive downward adjustments in fees. In essence, the model would reward provider systems on the path to improvement and reward those that are achieving the goals of the triple aim lower cost, higher quality, and a better patient experience.

Issues With The Current CMS Model

The core fundamental issue is CMS reluctance to pay providers a competitive amount based on the entirety of care delivered rather than the history of payments. CMS payments in all of the ACO models remains tied to historical fee-for-service payments rather than the value of care delivered.

For example, if an ACO can perform a knee replacement and produce a good outcome, it should be paid a risk- and region-adjusted amount for the outcome delivered. Once risk and region are adjusted, the payment should be nearly the same across the country. Under this model, health care systems would simply compete on providing the best outcomes at the greatest efficiency.

In the current CMS models, if an ACO is producing good outcomes and has already developed coordinated care, it is not being rewarded. CMS continues to underpay the advanced ACO while actually paying the less-efficient competitor a higher rate. CMS payment for health services must become more market based and payments should be made for delivering outcomes.

Some may argue that advanced ACOs have already proven that they can deliver care at that low price. This is simply not true and this underpayment is covered by cost-shifting from other patients. What appears as “low cost” in CMS is actually just low total reimbursement and oftentimes an indicator of an advanced-practice model operating in a fee-for-service system.

CMS must develop a competitive global payment that is adjusted for risk and geography and is not linked to prior total reimbursement. Failure to acknowledge historical improvements and the true cost of delivery will eventually drive the best performers out of the market altogether.

Key Components Of A Successful Model

There are six key components of a global risk-adjusted payment system that need to be in place for all to succeed.

  1. Payment should be adjusted for risk, geography, and outcomes, such that it is market competitive wherever that care is delivered. This would set up a competitive market that would drive more efficient and higher-quality care.
  2. ACOs should be expected to put processes in place to improve the health of Medicare enrollees. This will produce savings for the organizations that keep their populations healthy and out of crisis. CMS should not risk-adjust those savings away from ACOs. This will require development of a flexible risk adjustment model that rewards health systems for improvements in care delivery that result in lower-risk scores.
  3. The system must provide flexibility for patient mobility and properly assign accountability to the system that manages the care in a given time period. In certain regions of the country, ACOs lose control over a sizable fraction of Medicare patients every year as they move seasonally. When a patient will be absent from the ACO’s geographic region for three months or more, we must have the ability to transfer that person’s enrollment and accountability to another provider, using appropriate geographic adjustments to the payment.
  4. Patient benefits must also be aligned. Benefits should be aligned using a mechanism such as reference pricing that allows for patient choice and patient responsibility. Payment for a total knee replacement, for instance, should be set at an appropriately adjusted price across markets and regions. Patients who choose to have an elective procedure outside of the ACO at a higher-priced facility should pay the price difference. Patients should also be given benefit enhancements to encourage participation in their health care choices.
  5. CMS will need to continue to act as insurer and provide secondary reinsurance in order to account for catastrophic events to ACOs. Small and mid-size ACOs could be bankrupted by caring for a small cancer cluster and a single rare blood disorder that costs $1 million to treat annually. Even the biggest ACOs need a cushion against events over which they have no control.
  6. Every ACO should be rewarded for efficient management of all patients, including outlier patients. We recommend rewarding the successful management of high-cost patients through an upside-only type mechanism. If we include all patients in the design it will encourage retention and management of outliers.

Risk-Adjusted Payment

Setting the initial per-member, per year (PMPY) payment will be critical for ACOs in the system. Ideally, the PMPY payment would be set around the current national average per-person adjusted for geography and risk of the population with Hierarchical Condition Categories. We may need a stepwise approach toward the ideal system. Initially, the PMPY payments could take into account the current regional average per-person cost, adjusted for risk. Then, in following years, the risk-adjusted PMPY base would be modified to keep in step with the economy (eg GDP plus 1 percent) and establish the year’s new PMPY target for all ACOs. Over time, the variation in payments across the country would diminish.

For those ACOs in the lowest-cost percentile, expected financial improvement would be less than expected financial improvement for higher-cost systems. An ACO with a PMPY cost of $8,000, for instance, might have a 0 percent expected improvement target while ACO’s costing $11,000 PMPY would be expected to improve by 1 percent and an ACO charging $16,000 PMPY might have a 1.8 percent improvement target. Ultimately, payment should only vary across the nation due to risk and region.

For patients, the biggest change would be the required selection of a primary care provider within their ACOs. The primary care physician will be the main point of contact for the patient and will manage the patient’s plan of care and work with the patient to establish a wellness approach. Typically a family practice or internal medicine doctor will take on this role. This relationship will be crucial for improving health of the patient while controlling costs.

During the transition to global payment, we will still need to reference a fee schedule. Since the role of the primary care provider is crucial in managing care, we should immediately establish a case-management fee similar to the recently introduced chronic disease management fees, but applicable to the entire attributed population. This will eventually be a part of the global PMPY payment but should be introduced in the fee schedule now in order to support current and future infrastructure development.

Population Health

Health risk and socioeconomic assessments would be part of the commitment to wellness and coordinated care to identify those at risk before they incur poor outcomes and expense. Wellness visits should not be a separate benefit, but designed into the benefits of all Medicare beneficiaries. Patients may require education on healthy cooking, stress management, or exercise, and providers could seamlessly integrate those elements into a plan of care. If socioeconomic barriers are identifiedsuch as transportation issues or inability to safely store medicinesthose those would be addressed as well.

Further work is needed to improve access to data necessary to improve care. As we transition to systems of care managing a population of patients, ACOs will need complete access to unblinded data held at the Health Insurance Marketplace and state-run Health Information Exchanges in addition to the data provided directly from CMS. Timely data is needed to reduce duplication of services, identify the best interventions in patient care, and to help coordinate overall across organizations and throughout a patient’s life.

In order to compare the effectiveness of health interventions across organizations, we will need a common set of quality metrics that drive all reporting. This is the only way we can provide transparency and comparison data to consumers in a market-driven system. Since we know that what we measure drives behaviorand improvementthese measures must be few and focused. In the absence of a national measurement set, state organizations such as those that participate in the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) could provide comparative measurements for ACOs.

Patient Mobility And Reference Pricing

ACOs will not be working exclusively within their own boundaries, of course. Some percentage of patients will need specialty care or will elect to take certain procedures to other providers. They will get sick while traveling or go south for the winter and have a myocardial infarction. Therefore, CMS needs to create reference pricing and complete definitions of an episode of care that can transcend regional marketplaces.

For example, if the ACO provider reimbursement for a total knee replacement is $28,000 including pre-work, surgery, and four weeks of integrated physical therapy, that should be the patient’s benefit as well. Should the patient decide to seek that knee replacement outside of her ACO and there is a difference in cost or included therapies, the beneficiary would be responsible for the difference.

ACOs should provide bundled services for common episodes of care and publish outcome measures. ACOs could collaborate with CMS and private payers to establish universal criteria for care appropriateness and revisit those criteria as medical knowledge advances. Should a requested procedurea liver transplant, for instancenot be appropriate given the patient’s comorbidities, the ACO would establish a care plan to help reduce a patient’s risk factors and help him qualify at a future date, if realistically attainable. The patient should earn additional credits against his deducible when he follows through on care plans established in these informed or shared-decision-making sessions. This care plan should, of course, be based on clinical best practices.

Reinsurance

Recognizing that the incidence of illnesses in health care is not always predictable, CMS must offer reinsurance. ACOs cannot be expected to act as insurance companies and most will not have sufficient populations over which to spread risk. CMS should retain the risk and carve out those costs when setting the ACO total PMPY fees. Even though the ACO is not at risk for catastrophic loss, it should be eligible for financial rewards for effectively managing outlier cases. This will create incentives for ACOs to stay engaged in efficiently treating these cases.

For CMS beneficiaries whose claims are in excess of the reinsurance threshold, a national average Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) cost per unit should be established. For example, the total of all medical costs over the CMS reinsurance threshold is $2.5 billion and the total HCC units associated with these beneficiaries is 250,000 units. This would mean that the population costs per HCC unit is $10,000. Let’s say an ACO has a beneficiary that incurs $125,000 and the reinsurance threshold is $100,000. The patient’s HCC score is 15. In comparing the ACO’s actual cost ($125,000) to expected costs of $150,000 (HCC score of 15 x $10,000 per unit) the ACO saves CMS $25,000 and should share in that savings.

Patient Management

CMS should also continue working towards having ACOs manage pharmaceutical costs. Pharmacy is an integral component of patient care. And management of this benefit has significant downstream effects on health outcomes and cost of care. Pharmacy information also provides valuable inputs to help identify gaps in care, compliance with medication plans, and identification of disease states.

The top performing ACOs should expect additional credits from CMS and increases in PMPY awards for performers in the top quartile of all ACOs. The ACOs should be in open competition with one another to provide the best patient outcomes at the lowest cost. Incentives can spur this kind of positive competition.

This will require CMS to develop new capabilities of support, but it could also reduce the administrative burden by moving away from a purely claims-based program to one that is focused on overall cost and health outcomes for beneficiary populations. CMS will need to improve real-time data sharing capability and work toward greater compatibility between legacy systems.

We hope that this draft of a global risk-adjusted payment system sparks debate and collaboration, and then significant movement on the part of CMS toward a first experiment. Providers such as Bellin-Thedacare HealthPartners and others are willing to step forward and experiment with these payment changes that ultimately support the very reason we chose this profession to begin with improving the health of our patients.

DoD, GAO disagree on how many financial management goals the agency has met

The Defense Department has made some progress in implementing congressionally mandated financial management strategies, but theres some disagreement over how many goals the DoD has actually met, according to a Sept. 28 Government Accountability Office report.

In 2011, a congressional panel examined the capacity of DoDs financial management system for providing timely, reliable and useful information for decision making and reporting.

The panel, in its January 2012 report, included 29 recommendations addressed to DoD in four areas:

  • Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness strategy and methodology;
  • Challenges to achieving financial management reform and auditability;
  • Financial management workforce; and
  • Enterprise resource planning systems implementation.

GAO determined in its report that the DoD met six of the panels recommendations and partially met the other 23.

In its May 2015 Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness, or FIAR, plan status report, DoD claimed it met more of the recommendations than the GAO has asserted. DoD reported that nine recommendations were met and 20 were partially met.

GAO and DoD continued to disagree over the three recommendations, which included one that requires a testament to audit readiness in each of the FIAR plan status reports.

GAO claims that while each FIAR plan status report is coordinated among FIAR Governance Board members, those Board members did not explicitly attest in the reports to whether DoD is on track to achieve audit readiness in 2017.

For more:
– download the report, GAO-15-463 (.pdf)

Related Articles:
Hale: DoD wont produce full auditable financial statement by Sept. 30
Dodaro: Audit readiness at DoD must overcome decades of unconcern

Positive credit report highlights conservative budgeting

HALFMOON gt;gt; Three years of cost-cutting measures, a determined effort to eliminate a highway budget deficit and an upturn the economy, has brought the town good news from a highly regarded credit rating firm.

Moodys Investment Services recently removed the towns negative financial outlook and upgraded it to stable. As part of its report, Moodys also affirmed the towns Aa3 credit rating high quality and very low credit risk.

The positive report was good news for Supervisor Kevin Tollisen, his administration, and the town board. It confirmed all his efforts to cut spending wherever possible and to stop using fund balances to balance the towns annual budgets were worthwhile.

Were very pleased with Moodys change from a negative to a stable outlook, Tollisen said. Were taking an aggressive approach to making sure our budget is being closely reviewed. We want to make sure our expenditures are not exceeding our budget revenues.

Moodys noted the towns manageable debt, its stable tax base, improved operating performance and the general stability of its other credit factors in its report.

The fiscal 2013 and 2014 audited financials reflect a two-year trend of positive operating performance that has returned the available operating reserves to a positive position which provides greater operating flexibility, the report stated. The Aa3 rating reflects the towns sound financial position that has improved in recent years and is subject to economically sensitive revenues given the lack of a general town tax.

Because of that aggressive approach of reviewing each expenditure the town has been able to improve its fund balance from $28,000 to $1.2 million. Critical to that improvement was Tollisens determination to eliminate a highway budget deficit of more than $400,000 in two years rather than the three that was planned prior to his taking office in 2014.

Weve done it by conservative budgeting, Tollisen said. I meet with the department heads once a month and the first thing on the agenda is the budget. By staying with our budgeted items and having everyone spending only whats necessary, were on the path for financial improvement and Im very pleased that that will continue.

He noted that the town also is slowly moving toward reducing its dependence on sensitive revenues by considering a town-wide highway tax. Currently, the town gets the bulk of its operating revenue from its share of the countys mortgage and property taxes. Tollisen has held seven workshops in the past two months to discuss how a highway tax will help maintain the towns highway infrastructure.

He has a 20-year highway plan for road maintenance and road improvements but that plan needs a stable source of revenue. A highway tax would do that, but presenting that possibility to a citizenry that has been steadfast and proud for many years that its town had no taxes for the operation of town government is not easy. Continued…

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Hospital trust’s cash woes continue to worsen

But he added the trust had revamped the way in scheduled operations and it was hoped this would mean fewer would be cancelled in the future.

Mr Gentle said the trust was also doing “everything possible” to reduce its reliance on temporary staff while maintaining patient safety.

“We will continue to work closely with commissioners to focus on freeing our hospitals’ capacity so we can deliver increased levels of planned care together with financial improvement,” he said.

The trust is putting a number of measures in place in an effort to turn its fortunes around, and is working on securing some additional income in January and March next year which would bring it back to its predicted 31.3 million deficit position.

Puerto Rico Rep. Floats Plan For Treasury Bond Guarantee

By Carmen Germaine

Law360, New York (October 9, 2015, 6:20 PM ET) — Puerto Ricos congressional representative has introduced legislation that would allow the US Treasury Department to guarantee repayment of new bonds issued by the commonwealth, provided that Puerto Rico improves the management of its public finances.

Congressman Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Ricos nonvoting representative, introduced the Puerto Rico Financial Improvement and Bond Guarantee Act of 2015 on Thursday. The bill would give the Treasury Department the ability to guarantee repayment of principal and interest on future bonds issued by government entities in Puerto Rico, as well as authorize…

New report identifies upwards of $1.7 million in savings for Burlington taxpayers

Vermont Business Magazine Resolving the troubled finances related to Burlington Telecom is starting to pay dividends for Burlingtonians. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Bob Rusten has released the Annual Stability Bond Proceed Report, required by 2013 City Council resolution. The report summarizes the role the Fiscal Stability Bond played over the last three years averting possible fiscal crisis and contributing to the citys improved credit rating. In addition, using the same methodology for the Fiscal Year 2015 report as in the first report for FY14, the CAO estimates that the Fiscal Stability Bond has saved Burlingtonians between $418,000 and $1,735,000 over the past two years in local bonding and financing costs.

The estimate is presented as a range to acknowledge that it is not possible to know what would have happened to the Citys credit rating if it had not issued the Fiscal Stability Bond. The upper end of the range of the savings estimate assumes that the City would have suffered a further credit rating downgrade to junk bond status in the last three years had the corrective Fiscal Stability Bond not been issued, as Moodys Investors Service indicated was likely with its negative credit rating outlook in 2012. The report also acknowledges that the impact of the Fiscal Stability Bond cannot be isolated from other elements of the City’s financial improvement in recent years that may too have contributed to these savings.

In November 2012, 72% of Burlington voters committed to rebuilding the Citys damaged finances by supporting the Citys first Fiscal Stability Bond, said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “The CAOs report demonstrates that that commitment is paying off – not only have we avoided a fiscal crisis, but the Citys improved financial standing is now keeping considerable dollars in the pockets of Burlingtonians instead of bond traders.

“The Fiscal Stability Bond was the first and clearly instrumental step that has brought our City’s finances to a place where our bond rating is improving and our fiscal outlook has positive momentum. For the first time in several years, our fund balance is positive. The voters of Burlington can be proud of the decision they made to support this bond,” said Ward 6 City Councilor Karen Paul, who was the original lead sponsor of the Fiscal Stability Bond resolution.

On Monday, October 5, the Board of Finance approved the Fiscal Stability Bond FY15 report and referred it to the City Council.

Please visit this link to view the Annual Stability Bond Proceed Report, dated October 1, 2015.

Colleges with repeated deficits to speed up merger plans after FE Commissioner …

Two Midland colleges that are already in a federation have sped up plans to merge on the advice of FE Commissioner Dr David Collins after he saw how their recurring deficits were hitting finances.

Dr Collins visited North Warwickshire amp; Hinckley College in May and South Leicestershire College the following month over concerns about the colleges’ finances.

The two colleges claim to have made significant improvements in quality alongside cost savings since forming a federation in 2013.

However, these savings have not kept pace with the scale of funding reductions, leading to Dr Collins’ visit, Marion Plant (pictured above), principal of both colleges, told FE Week.

“Quality is good. Financial improvement has not been quick enough,” she said.

Ms Plant said the two colleges had been planning to merge for some time, and that the commissioner had endorsed these existing plans.

“What the commissioner is saying is that there are further benefits, both financial and in terms of simplicity of running a business, for merging,” she said.

The merger is expected to take place by the end of the current academic year, subject to approval.

In his report, which has yet to be published, the college claimed that Dr Collins said: “Since the Federation, the college [South Leicestershire College] has made rapid progress in success rates for both classroom and apprenticeship learning”.

*The commissioner’s reports on both North Warwickshire amp; Hinckley and South Leicestershire, along with letters from Skills Minister Nick Boles (North Warwickshire amp; Hinckley and South Leicestershire), were published on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, which has around 12,000 learners, had a pilot inspection under the new Ofsted framework in January, and was rated ‘good’, according to the college. Ofsted has declined to reveal the results of pilot inspections. In its last published inspection report, in 2012, the college was also rated as ‘good’.

South Leicestershire College, which has around 8,000 learners, improved its rating from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ in its last Ofsted inspection, which was carried out in November.
North Warwickshire and Hinckley College governors’ board chair Dr Peter Lavender OBE said: “We are looking forward to a future as one combined college that will be good for local people and financially stable.”

Toni Fazaeli, governors’ board chair at South Leicestershire College, said: “The financial environment is tough, but the college has a robust recovery plan and is making good progress. We anticipate being in financial surplus by the end of the academic year.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills declined to supply a copy of Dr Collins’ inspection report ahead of its publication, while Ms Plant said the colleges did not have a hard copy to give.

Indian-Americans asked to invest in education in India

Dozens of outstanding philanthropists, non-income, stakeholders and leaders from the South Asian and Indian American philanthropic group attended the dialogue to brainstorm giving.

Lata Krishnan chair of the American India Foundation delivered the 2nd American Bazaar Philanthropy lecture.

While education is necessary in America, the wants are even larger in India and thats the reason I am supporting initiatives in India, Islam stated.

My intent is to use education as a device to enhance the socio-financial standing of the underprivileged in India. My want is those that profit will in flip contribute in the direction of social, political, and financial improvement in India, he added.

Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, born Islam, has introduced a USD 2 million donation to his alma mater, Aligarh Muslim University, which formed my historical past and my journey and decided my future, for constructing the Frank and Debbie Islam School of Management.

The faculty, Islam stated will place emphasis on entrepreneurship and getting ready the scholars at AMU to turn out to be entrepreneurial leaders and have interaction in financial improvement actions that may create jobs and alternatives for hundreds of individuals all through India.

We see our contribution not as a charity however as an funding that may yield exponential returns, he stated.

We not solely help AMU, but in addition give to different instructional establishments as nicely right here in US and in India, stated Islam who was introduced the American Philanthropy award for his pioneering efforts in the fields of education arts and tradition.

Receiving the award from Arun M. Kumar, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, Islam advised fellow Indian-Americans that that they had carried out properly in the US and now it was their flip to do good in India.

Let us collectively change the face of India. One family, one village and one life at a time, he stated. Let us prolong our hope, our assist, and our hand in order that we will collectively change the face of the world.

Apart from AMU, Islam has made main presents and supported scholarships at his alma mater in the US, the University of Colorado at Boulder and his spouse Debbie Driesmans alma mater in Canada, Western University amongst others.

Underlining the significance of strategic philanthropy, Islam stated: I invest in education and promotion of the humanities as a result of these are two of these crucial areas. I refer them as pivot factors -areas that may be leveraged to construct a much bigger and higher future for all.

Education is a pivot level as a result of its the nice equaliser and alternative creator, he stated. Art can also be a pivot level as a result of it educates and advances social causes. Art and tradition transcend all boundaries.

Islam has additionally given $ 1 million to the US Institute of Peace, an organisation devoted to nonviolent prevention and mitigation of battle across the globe, as a result of it is very a lot engaged in curbing violent extremism.

In addition theyre engaged to make the transition to peaceable and secure democracy, he stated.

Washington Headquarters Service Completes Repeatable Process for Audit Readiness

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – October 13, 2015) – Infor, a leading provider of beautiful business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, and TeraThink Corporation, a provider of management and technology consulting services to the federal government, today announced that they have helped Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) achieve a repeatable approach to assist with audit readiness. The Financial Management Directorate (FMD) of the WHS has been working to establish a state of audit readiness, as scheduled by Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR). To accomplish this, WHS has taken a proactive and collaborative approach to help improve management and system controls and progress to an audit ready state. The agency has selected the Infor Approva Continuous Monitoring (IACM) Process Insights (PI) transaction monitoring solution which is currently deployed and operational at the Department of Defense (DoD) Washington Headquarters Service (WHS).

The transaction monitoring solution can be used to monitor the FMDs EBAS-D Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transactions, which is designed to help improve financial governance, help identify accounting errors, and assist in improving the accuracy of financial reporting by identifying exceptions as they occur. The prior WHS governance, risk amp; compliance (GRC) user provisioning compliance release, combined with this transaction monitoring release, can help provide WHS strengthened segregation of duties (SoD) compliance, highlighting inappropriate access and user activity, while this release can help provide WHS GRC users with increased transparency for transaction monitoring to assist with minimizing potential fraud. The solution can help streamline each audit cycle by eliminating certain audit preparation activities, which can provide the auditors with visibility into the EBAS-D source system, and can remove the need to develop manually intensive audit reports that demonstrate compliance.

Washington Headquarters Services second GRC release significantly enhances their transaction monitoring capability enabling WHS managers to ask the right questions at the right time and deploy proactive solutions for financial accountability, said Thomas Byers, CPA and Senior Vice President at TeraThink. GRC, combined with the ERP discipline and enhanced business processes of WHS EBAS-D system, is a game changer in allowing WHS to provide reliable and auditable support to OSD customers.

TeraThinks speed to capability deployment demonstrates how a proven GRC solution can help support audit readiness efforts, and can help reduce the risk of fraud all through an attainable and cost effective approach.

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About TeraThink

TeraThink Corporation is a Native American owned business that strives to blend elite professional expertise and cutting-edge technology in order to be one of the premier providers of financial management, audit readiness, audit compliance, ERP integration, enterprise solutions, and program management to the Federal Government. To learn more about TeraThink, please visit www.terathink.com.

About Infor

Infor builds beautiful business applications with last mile functionality and scientific insights for select industries delivered as a cloud service. With 13,000 employees and customers in more than 200 countries and territories, Infor automates critical processes for industries including healthcare, manufacturing, fashion, wholesale distribution, hospitality, retail, and public sector. Infor software helps eliminate the need for costly customization through embedded deep industry domain expertise. Headquartered in New York City, Infor is also home to one of the largest creative agencies in Manhattan, Hook amp; Loop, focused on delivering a user experience that is fun and engaging. Infor deploys its cloud applications primarily on the Amazon Web Services cloud and open source platforms. To learn more about Infor, please visit www.infor.com..

Infor customers include:

  • 18 of the top 20 aerospace companies
  • 10 of the top 10 high tech companies
  • 10 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies
  • 21 of the 25 largest US healthcare delivery networks
  • 18 of the 20 largest US cities
  • 20 of the top 20 automotive suppliers
  • 17 of the top 20 industrial distributors
  • 15 of the top 20 global retailers
  • 4 of the top 5 brewers
  • 21 of the top 30 global banks
  • 6 of the 10 largest global hotel brands
  • 6 of the top 10 global luxury brands

This announcement reflects the direction Infor may take with regard to the specific product(s) described herein, all of which is subject to change by Infor in its sole discretion, with or without notice to you. This announcement is not a commitment to you in any way and you should not rely on this document or any of its content in making any decision. Infor is not committing to develop or deliver any specified enhancement, upgrade, product or functionality, even if such is described in this announcement and even if such description is accompanied by words such as anticipate, believe, expect, intend, may, plan, project, predict, should, will, and/or similar expressions. Many factors can affect Infors product development plans and the nature, content and timing of future product releases, all of which remain in the sole discretion of Infor. This announcement, in whole or in part, may not be incorporated into any contractual agreement with Infor or its subsidiaries or affiliates. Infor expressly disclaims any liability with respect to this announcement.