By Tony A. Archuleta
The City of Truth or Consequences finance department is going the way of the City of Elephant Butte and the Village of Hatch.
At the recommendation of City Manager Juan Fuentes, the City Commission on Friday, Sept. 26, authorized the purchase of financial management software currently utilized to great reviews by several municipalities statewide, including Elephant Butte and Hatch.
The commission unanimously authorized the expenditure of approximately $98,000 plus $37,000 in annual fees over a six-year contract to purchase the financial system software from Lubbock, Texas-based Tyler Technologies.
Fuentes said the purchase is being facilitated in part by the recently vacated financial director’s position ($30,000 annual salary, plus benefits).
Commissioner Kathy Clark recently attended a workshop during which the software’s capabilities were demonstrated, and she came away impressed, calling it “absolutely fabulous.”
Since 2000, the city has contracted with American Data Group for financial system software.
“Over the years, there has been an increased demand for accountability of public funds, detailed financial reporting, and public transparency,” Fuentes wrote in his recommendation to the commission. “In addition, the NM State Auditor and the NM Department of Finance and Administration/Local Government Division have placed a higher bar for public entities to meet accounting and reporting standards.”
Sonya Williams, the city’s utilities clerk, also attended the Sept. 16 sales presentation. “Tyler seems to have everything we need for running reports, billing and cashiering in the utility office,” Williams wrote in a Sept. 22 letter of recommendation. “I would love to see an updated program that gives us more options on the reports we are able to run. It also seems more up to date on the daily work orders we write… I was also impressed to see that places such as Las Cruces, Doña Ana and Socorro are also using Tyler Technologies.”
The new software will also help the city get a handle on its fixed assets accountability, a recurrent finding during the city’s annual state-mandated audits. It includes several other features, including purchasing and personnel management.
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