Tulsa County strives to serve all citizens with professionalism, integrity, and respect in the most efficient way possible. But its siloed, paper-based systems slowed down the government agency’s ability to meet the needs of the public.
“It was nuts,” says Kathy Burrows, director of human resources. “We were printing out job applications from PDFs for hiring managers. We had so much cumbersome paperwork to manage, it was hindering our ability to respond to the community better and faster.”
Those days are in the past, thanks to Tulsa County’s use of Workday Financial Management, Workday Payroll, and Workday Talent Management. Tulsa County now has a modern, cloud-based process that’s removed the need for 100,000 pieces of paper.
“The move to a fully integrated system with features such as self-service capabilities and real-time reporting means quicker turnaround times and overall exceptional service for everyone we serve,” says Jenn Pottorf, director of financial services.
Speed of service.
Tulsa has also reduced the time it takes to generate reports or respond to last-minute requests for info. Burrows recalls a county elected official asking for a list of those who served in the military to honor them during Veterans Day, which was fast approaching. In the past, providing that list could take days. With Workday, it can be done in just a few hours.
Using a cloud-based suite of applications has let employees cut payroll processing time in half. Employees are using that freed-up time to focus on improvements in areas such as reporting and documentation.
New self-service options enable employees to change their payroll deductions, access data, and run reports without having to ask for help.
“The best part about having all of our information together in one system is the accessibility,” says Burrows. If attending a meeting and someone asks Burrows to share data, it’s easy and fast to access the Workday mobile app for answers. That used to take hours or days.
I love going into a meeting and quickly answering questions on my phone using the Workday app.
Director of Human Resources
Better financial reporting.
Employees can now quickly and efficiently meet stringent rules to receive federal funds, another major improvement since adopting the new system. “We can track specific projects within each grant, especially the $126 million [American Rescue Plan Act] ARPA,” says Pottorf. “It’s critical that we can track all of these at a granular level. The eligibility criteria for receiving these grants are incredibly complex.”
Meeting financial audit requirements is now much easier, not to mention less stressful. Before, audit season meant poring through manual Excel workbooks, then reconciling and painstakingly double-checking the numbers.
“I can’t emphasize enough how much manual work we did to put our financials together for year-end audits,” Pottorf says. “Now we can pull that report from our Workday system, and it will be ready for us.”
We just hired someone who told me she was stunned at how easy the system is to navigate.
Responsive public service.
Tulsa County can also respond to requests from the public quicker. On any given day, citizens, journalists, and others ask for information on a range of matters, such as the number of invoices a certain vendor had or the cost of refurbishing a county-owned piece of property.
“It makes it so much faster to provide that information when you have everything in one place,” Pottorf says.
“I tell my HR team all the time that our customers are the employees as well as the public, and we work together to make the customer experience the best it can be,” Burrows adds. “We’re always seeking to improve, so the best is yet to come.”