The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) collects more than $70 billion per year from 37 tax and fee programs, including sales and use, fuel and cannabis taxes.
In 2018, the CDTFA implemented two large IT systems: its new tax-collection system called CROS, and the FI$Cal statewide accounting information system. Given that the two systems launched at the same time, the department faced unique challenges when it onboarded to FI$Cal.
“Since we were still in the process of transitioning to CROS, entering FI$Cal added a layer of complexity,” recalled Jason Mallet, CDTFA’s chief financial officer. “We worked very closely with FISCal and the Department of Finance’s FSCU (Fiscal Systems and Consulting Unit) team to train our team members, ramp up and work through the changes.”
One challenge of moving to CROS and FI$Cal was loading deposits and remittances into FI$Cal in a way that could work for the State Controller’s Office (SCO). To develop a solution, FISCal facilitated multiple meetings at the FISCal headquarters with the CDTFA, SCO, Finance and CROS teams.
“While implementation hasn’t been easy, the partnership has worked well,” said Amber Viduya, CDTFA’s FISCal liaison. “As we’ve identified issues, such as sending remittances, we’ve worked through them together with our control agencies to find solutions.”
In the fall of 2019, the tax department closed its fiscal year in FI$Cal. “It was an important milestone and a great team effort,” said Mallet. “Our partnership with you (FISCal), Finance and SCO was instrumental. We also found the user support labs, online training and step-by-step job aids very helpful.”