County of Marin - News Releases - ATOM Project Update

For Immediate Release
June 22, 2016

Finance System Ready to ‘Go Live’

Board receives a positive update on software system replacement’s first phase

San Rafael, CA – With formal training completed, the County of Marin is poised to “go live” with the first phase of a new software system that will streamline the way the County’s administrative staff handles its business operations, including budgeting, accounting, and purchasing.

ATOM logo with the words finance, payroll, budget and HRPhase 1 of the ATOM Project goes live July 5.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors received an update on the Administrative Technologies of Marin, or the ATOM Project for short, during its June 21 meeting. Enterprise Systems Manager Tim Flanagan said the ATOM Project is on time, $1 million under budget for Phase 1 and ready for its debut on July 5. Phase 1 involves the finance component of the software module, which will be used by more than 300 County employees, or about 10 percent of the workforce. A human resources and payroll management component of the ATOM Project is planned for a summer 2017 launch.

“Given that many projects like this are either over budget or over schedule, we are happy to announce that we are on-time and on-budget,” Flanagan said. “We applied many of the lessons learned from our last implementation to assure our readiness, such as user engagement and effective project oversight and accountability. Over 150 employees were involved in system selection and implementation.”

The Board approved a $14 million project budget in December 2014 and entered into a contract with vendor Tyler Technologies. The project is aligned with the County’s 5 Year Business Plan and provides chances for innovation on how the County can best use its limited resources to provide quality service to residents. The ATOM project is designed to enhance and standardize business processes and to save the County money over the long run relative to continued use of its existing software system.

Roy Given, a member of the ATOM Executive Steering Committee and the County’s Director of Finance, said this is an exciting time for the employees. “The partnership between the County and Tyler is working very well and contributing to the project’s success,” he said. “We had more than 100 training classes for employees with an excellent attendance rate, and now the end users tell us they’re ready.”

Flanagan said Phase 1 is coming in about $1 million under budget because of the savings of staff time and backfill costs. Tyler Technology’s scope of work was reduced during the discovery phase because “there were things we decided we didn’t need to do.”

A key installation milestone took place last fall with the completed design of a new chart of accounts, the foundation of financial reporting that allows for the accurate recording of a transaction. The new chart of accounts enables streamlined reporting and data entry that will lead to a welcomed elimination of so-called shadow systems – the use of supplemental software (such as the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program). The shadow systems have been used by necessity because of shortcomings of the current system.

ATOM’s implementation will allow for easier cost tracking of countywide initiatives that cross departmental lines. For example, it’s been a challenge for the County to answer questions about the costs of initiatives on homelessness prevention, mental illness or climate change because the subject involves multiple departments, government jurisdictions and community stakeholders.

“You’ve taken the time to get it right,” Supervisor Judy Arnold, who served on the Board’s ATOM Project subcommittee with Supervisor Kate Sears, told the ATOM team during the meeting. “You’ve been inclusive and patient.” 


Tim Flanagan
Enterprise Systems Manager
Information Services and Technology

371 Bel Marin Keys Blvd.
Suite 100
Novato, CA 94949
(415) 473-4395
Email: Tim Flanagan