The lowdown on financial apps

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What is it? The financial apps in this guide are enterprise-level tools, often part of an enterprise resource planning package, that can gather data from thousands of sources into a single ledger. They are designed for government use. All the programs listed except Axapta run on Linux, Unix and Windows.

Why do I need one? The President's Management Agenda, the push toward e-government and a number of legislative mandates require accountability and have made integrated systems a necessity.

Price? Prices vary widely, depending on the extent of the application. Sample prices for some of the tools in this guide run from $140,000 to nearly $600,000 per site license, with per-user fees of $1,500 up, and additional fees in the tens of thousands of dollars for optional modules.

Must-know info? The move toward ERP and financial tools, combined with Web services and the common Federal Enterprise Architecture, could lead to consolidation of multiple agencies' financial programs, with one agency hosting the financial data for several others. Tools must be certified by the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program.

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