The FI$Cal system is providing a more granular level of detail in procurement data that continues to improve the state’s purchasing decisions. The transition to FI$Cal has helped to provide insights into what the state is buying, from whom and at what price. Having real-time data reduces burdensome reporting requirements and allows the Department of General Services (DGS) to be more strategic in where it focuses resources on statewide contract and sourcing efforts.
Through the FI$Cal system, California has a single platform that allows real-time, accurate reporting for FI$Cal departments. The system tracks a purchase from the moment it was requested, through procurement, invoicing and receiving, all the way to payment (also known as Req to Check). A few examples of how this is advantageous for departments:
- Procurement data reflects real-time purchase order and changed order amounts. Before FI$Cal, these amounts were self-reported by departments. This provides more accurate data for reporting and analysis.
- Procurement item descriptions are standardized when using catalog items, which improves reporting capabilities.
- FI$Cal enables additional purchase order details such as linking to contracts, subcontracting information and environmentally preferable purchasing information. This provides greater flexibility and ability for departments to search and report their data.
- Procurement records can be audited more effectively using the system’s capabilities, greatly reducing the need to make copies of paper files.
FI$Cal’s centralized data is used not only to make better decisions—we’re also sharing it with the public. That has created opportunities for Small Businesses and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (SB/DVBE) to do business with California. DGS has built public-facing SB/DVBE spend dashboards using the procurement data from the FI$Cal system.
We’re also now able to track state spending with SB/DVBE in real time. Before FI$Cal, departments submitted paper-based annual reports. They often did not know their own SB/DVBE annual spend until the end of the year, unless they had their own internal method for tracking. Departments are under an executive order to meet goals and support growing the SB/DVBE community. This better enables them to meet those goals and fill their need for goods and services that suppliers can deliver.