The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)

A group of five government workers stand in a line and look out a window. The fourth in the line, a woman with her arms crossed, smiles at the camera.

“We have all public money, and we have to be good caretakers of these funds. Anything that implements stronger controls is a big positive for us.”

Jeri Krajewski
Senior Accountant, SACOG

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is where local government leaders in the Sacramento region come together to advance three strategic goals:

  • ensuring equity for its residents,
  • advancing the area’s economy, and 
  • protecting the environment.

SACOG is unique because it is the only public agency representing all jurisdictions in the region. It is comprised of a team of 60 people, as well as a board of directors, which includes representation from each city and county. 

Together, they tackle tough problems that are too large for any single city or county to handle alone. SACOG assists local governments with various initiatives, including

  • how people and goods move around the region
  • planning and funding large-scale projects, and 
  • ensuring adequate housing for its residents.

Jeri Krajewski is the Senior Accountant for SACOG.

SACOG grappled with disjointed legacy systems comprised of separate modules for various functions like purchase orders, accounts payable, and revenue management. “They were all made of modules that bridged with each other,” Krajewski shared. “No one was an all-inclusive option.”

These fragmented systems led to inefficiencies and a lack of seamless integration. This hindered SACOG’s ability to streamline operations and enhance transparency. Because of this, SACOG sought a comprehensive solution. The goal was to consolidate these disparate processes into a unified platform, facilitating data entry, electronic approvals, and receiving purchase orders.

SACOG began a rigorous RFP process, resulting in proposals from many different software vendors. Seeking a suitable ERP solution, they went through several demonstrations. However, most companies were unable to provide what SACOG was looking for, due to their reliance on third-party add-ons to provide full-service solutions. 

The stand-out competitor was Sparkrock 365, whose demonstration blew the competition out of the water. Krajewski remarked to a student intern, “We are now into the new realm of ERP systems,” after the demonstration finished. 

Drawing from her extensive experience with diverse ERP solutions, Krajewski recognized the transformative potential of Sparkrock 365. Its intuitive, easy-to-use interface and fully integrated functionality resonated with SACOG’s vision of modernizing its operations.

The decision to adopt Sparkrock 365 was driven by confidence that SACOG staff would understand and adapt to its user-friendly design and comprehensive capabilities. 

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Following the rollout of Sparkrock 365 to individual staff members at SACOG, significant improvements were observed across three key areas:

Reduced Errors and Time Savings:

Implementation of Sparkrock 365 resulted in a notable reduction in errors and substantial time savings. With streamlined workflows, staff encountered fewer incorrect entries, reducing the need to make modifications or corrections. The system’s efficiency enabled faster data processing, eliminating the need for manual entries into ledgers. As a result, SACOG experienced fewer general journal entries and corrections.

The system’s intuitive interface has facilitated smoother transitions during staff changes. This has mitigated time crunches. “The system has saved me more than once,” Krajewski remarked. Sparkrock’s accessibility and organization of information have significantly expedited tasks, saving time for SACOG personnel and allowing them to meet deadlines more easily.

Strengthened Controls:

Sparkrock 365 has empowered SACOG to enhance internal controls and ensure greater transparency in financial transactions. Previously, reliance on manual cover sheets for transaction approvals sometimes led to oversight issues. However, with Sparkrock’s integrated features, including contract attachment and electronic approval workflows, SACOG gained better oversight.

“They can see right up front everything they need,” added Krajewski. Strengthened controls provide SACOG with the assurance needed to safeguard public funds and maintain stakeholder accountability.

Improved Audits:

With strengthened controls, the transition to Sparkrock 365 has also resulted in improved audit processes. “There’s good arm’s length transactions,” Krajewski stated, “which is better for audit.” Electronic approvals streamlined audit procedures, providing auditors with clear documentation and reducing the likelihood of discrepancies.

Furthermore, the strengthened controls facilitated by Sparkrock 365 have minimized the need for modifications or corrections. This has fostered confidence in the integrity of SACOG’s financial operations and bolstered its reputation as a responsible steward of public resources.

In addition to addressing core challenges and achieving significant outcomes, SACOG recognized several ancillary benefits in its transition to Sparkrock 365. 

  1. Efficient Implementation Process: A dedicated team spearheaded the implementation efforts, ensuring that all stakeholders were aligned and committed to the same result. Krajewski noted that the Sparkrock and SACOG teams worked together to identify what they wanted the end result to be and worked their way back.
  2. Strategic Migration Planning: The migration was seamlessly executed, thanks to meticulous planning and guidance. SACOG was directed exactly how to proceed with the process before they lost critical content. As a result, SACOG was able to migrate to Sparkrock 265 without any loss of information or disruption to operations. This ensured continuity and data integrity throughout the transition process. 

If you’re considering transitioning to a purpose-built ERP solution for your organization, contact us to discuss your next move.

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