After several years of discussion and planning, Amherst County officials have authorized a contract with a company for an overhaul of its financial software in a move the county says will bring efficiencies and much-needed improvements.
Jackie Viar, the county’s director of information technology, said the process for selecting a new vendor began in July 2021 with a budget of $1.2 million. The June 7 board of supervisors approved entering into the contract with RDA Systems, Inc., which was chosen from four companies that submitted bids and, according to Viar, is the best fit for the needs of the county government.
“It’s been a long time coming but we’re finally here,” Viar said.
Viar said the time frame for full implementation of the new software is estimated at two years. The project should fit well within the budget established for the redesign, according to the presentation to supervisors.
Council Chairman David Pugh thanked county staff for their work in moving the project forward.
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“…It looks like we have a good product here at a good price, so hopefully it helps our financial system, because we all understand the complexity of that,” Pugh said.
One of the goals of the upgrade is to implement a robust system with enhanced capabilities for departments and the new system will also have a strong citizen focus, where residents will be able to access tax bills online, perform payments and interacting with county departments in a “contemporary” manner, according to county documents.
RDA Systems, Inc. is aimed specifically at small schools, cities, and counties and is 100% Google Cloud-based.
The county has used the previous provider since 1989 and an overhaul is desperately needed for efficiency, county administrator Dean Rodgers said. Stacey McBride, director of finance, told supervisors about the difficulties with past software which she described as being four generations behind other systems.
Council voted 4 to 1, with Supervisor Tom Martin opposing, to allow a public hearing for its June 21 meeting for a proposed zoning ordinance change that alters Family Division bylaws in the subdivision. The measure would expand the county’s definition of immediate family members to include aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
An immediate family member is currently defined as anyone who is a natural or legally defined descendant, son-in-law, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, sister or brother or relative of the owner or the beneficiary.