Option #1: Governmental Accounting
You are an accounting department employee of the State of Wisconsin with a love of all things technology. Because the head of your department knows you are the most technologically oriented person in the group, he has asked you to team up with the purchasing and IT departments to evaluate options for a more efficient accounting software system. The accounting system currently in use by Wisconsin is dated, and the system does not have the capability to perform data analytics. It would also be beneficial to be able to incorporate â€œmachine learningâ€ functionality to streamline the more routine tasks of the accounting function. And even though you didnâ€™t need another reason to evaluate a new system, the software provider called to tell your supervisor that the technical support for your current product is being discontinued at the end of the year! This means you only have a few months to work with the cross-functional team to evaluate and price options.
Overwhelmed with the size of the task, you come up with a suggested plan of attack to present to the team at todayâ€™s meeting. The purchasing process requires that your team solicit bids via a Request for Proposal (RFP). Thereâ€™s a template on the purchasing intranet site which youâ€™ll review in a bit. The biggest challenge in front of the team, it seems, is to narrow down the list of vendors that you will submit the invitation to bid via the RFP. An internet search of vendors quickly informs you that there appear to be endless options in governmental accounting computer software applications. Every option you look at seems to be able to handle the basic accounting functionality, but from your discussion with the accounting department head, there needs to be significant improvements in efficiency and effectiveness for the new software to justify the cost of implementation. While you arenâ€™t sure exactly what he has in mind, you know it will probably require some discussions with your teammates to develop a list of â€œmust havesâ€ and â€œnice to havesâ€ if budget allows. In addition, youâ€™ll need to find out from the IT group what the technical requirements are in terms of system capacity and data security. Purchasing can tell you about the RFP process as well as if there are any preferred/blacklisted vendors with whom the company has worked in the past.
With all this in mind, you head off to your meeting with the purchasing and IT guys. At the meeting, you are tasked with leading the RFP process with the support of purchasing and IT!
And the race has begunâ€¦.
- Locate a short RFP template either within Word or on a governmental entity website (note when you are looking on a government agency website, you are writing the actual RFP, not the entity bidding on the RFP). You are to prepare the RFP document to send to potential vendors.
- Come up with 2 to 3 vendors that can provide what the department says they need in terms of capability (assume for this exercise that price is not a consideration).
- Come up with a list of 4 â€œmust haveâ€ and 2 â€œnice to haveâ€ features for the package based on feedback from your team (which should be able to be done by looking at the governmental accounting software options from different software providers on the Internet).
- Create/research the technical specifications and number of users with the IT groupâ€™s assistance (again, these can probably be found on the software providersâ€™ websites).
- Submit your RFP document and potential vendor list in a 3-4-page MS Word document including introduction and conclusion.
- Please make sure your responses are well written.
- Assignment should follow APA guidelines (Links to an external site.) with respect to use of subheadings, 1â€ margins, and double spaced.
- The required number of pages for the assignment does not include the title page and references page.
- References need to include your textbook plus two additional credible academic references. All sources used, including your textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations and cited per APA guidelines.