July 2008

On the Same Page (at last)

Deborah Kearnaghan’s world changed May 12, 2008.

“When I came to work that Monday, I logged on to my computer as usual, but I was looking at new screens of new accounting programs,” says Kearnaghan, controller for the Nuclear Power Group in Chattanooga. “I took pride in the fact that about 200 other people at TVA were now looking at the same thing as I was.”

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Left: Deborah Kearnaghan is the controller for the Nuclear organization. Right: Betsy Hopson is the eFMS project manager.

Kearnaghan is referring to the May 12 implementation of the eFMS (Enterprise Financial Management System) accounting system that has standardized all the financial-reporting functions in TVA. The eFMS system tracks project costs across TVA in a consistent manner, reducing the number of feeder systems previously used. And it “rolls” everyone’s project costs to the TVA balance sheets in the same way as everyone else’s — including employees’ co-workers, even if they’re located at the opposite end of the Tennessee Valley.

And short codes will become a thing of the past.

Betsy Hopson, the eFMS project manager, works in Knoxville on the general ledger side of accounting in Financial Services. She remembers that on May 12, 2007, she was struggling to collect data from Kearnaghan in Nuclear in a different spreadsheet from the one Hopson had received from the controller in the Fossil Power Group.

“But this new system makes expenses a lot easier to track,” Hopson says. “There’s more detail and better, more accurate reporting.

“There are some issues, as in any new system, and these are mainly in the reporting arena. But we can all see the benefits of standardizing TVA’s accounting processes and reporting. This standardization will help us understand the business across the fleet and help us make the right changes to improve.

“It’s a whole new day!”