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State Accounting Systems Called Outdated, Messy

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(Credit: AP)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) – The way the accounting systems for Illinois government work – or don’t work – has some lawmakers up in arms.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports, at a state Senate committee hearing on the subject, Auditor General Bill Holland described his findings of a yearlong investigation. Holland said the accounting systems are, in a word, disorganized.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Dave Dahl reports

“The State of Illinois’ current financial reporting system is comprised of over 260 individual financial systems, ranging from manual spreadsheets to computerized databases,” Holland said. “The majority of these systems are not interrelated, and half are over 10 years old.”

Sean Vinck, chief information officer for Gov. Pat Quinn’s office, also made it sound as if financial reporting in Illinois were a haphazard, ramshackle mess. He said it is composed of myriad systems which are out of date, inaccurate, and don’t communicate with one another. Thus, it’s hard to figure out which dollars are where, he said.

As for solutions, Vinck said: “It’s a management solution and it’s a technology solution. We can put out for bid to identify a vendor who can give us a new accounting system. But it’s not a question of just spending money; appropriating money and buying a new system. It’s a long-term process that carries risks and rewards.”

State senators said they were shocked. They want to start by forming a task force revisiting the problem next month.

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