By Jennifer Maguire, Acting Director and Chief Deputy Director of FI$Cal

With the completion of the 2022 legislative cycle, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that includes several milestone achievements for the Department of FISCal (FI$Cal). These updates represent an exciting new era for the department, and set the groundwork for a department and system that will support the state of California’s financial management for years to come.

In June of last year, the final project functionality of the FI$Cal system was deployed. Now, this recently passed language codifies this milestone, updating the legal language to reflect the project completion. As of July 1, 2022, the system’s project objectives are deemed complete, recognizing in statute the hard work of the department and its partners. Moreover, the formal recognition of project completion will allow for a shift in the way the department approaches its work, moving from project milestones to ongoing enhancements and improvements. Now, the department can continue its focus on supporting end users and providing streamlined and transparent transactions.

Along with these changes, the new statute establishes a roadmap for the department, laying out a plan over the coming decade. Among these, the roadmap focuses on continued modernization and upgrading to the system, an ongoing priority that will ensure the security of statewide financial management systems, and a dedication to system viability over time. In addition, the roadmap includes onboarding of the remaining deferred departments, and supporting the transition of the accounting Book of Record. Already, FI$Cal is in the process of onboarding several deferred departments, with plans in the works to onboard more.

In alignment with the project completion, the new law makes important updates in oversight to reflect this transition and the defined roadmap activities. The California State Legislature and the California State Auditor will now shift their oversight efforts to a number of new focuses, including the oversight of security, accuracy and efficiency within the system; the State Controller’s Office progress toward transitioning the state’s accounting book of record to the FI$Cal system; and the onboarding of the remaining deferred departments. Earlier this year, the department outlined its approach to security, with an ongoing commitment to align with Cal-Secure, the Governor’s cybersecurity roadmap.

We began this FI$Cal journey as a business transformation project in 2005 slated to replace the Department of Finance’s budgeting system. The focus of the project soon shifted to address the need to modernize the state’s entire financial management processes into a single financial management system. Now, with the completion of the project, we can proudly begin a new chapter, focused on serving state departments and ensuring a robust, secure and modern financial management system across the state.

To view the bill language, visit the California Legislative Information website, Section 11852.