Delayed US tax system to go live in October

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects its new financial accounting system to go live in October after the project overran...

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects its new financial accounting system to go live in October after the project overran by a year.

The new Integrated Financial System project is part of the IRS' business systems modernisation strategy.

Computer Sciences is the prime contractor and integrator for the project, which includes the IFS deployment. The new general ledger and accounting system, which will be used to generate annual financial statements, is based on software from SAP AG.

Jim Sheaffer, CSC's programme manager for the IRS modernisation effort, said the delays occurred because what should have been a 24- to 30-month project was compressed into a 12-month time frame.

"We undertook an aggressive schedule that everyone has since determined was probably too aggressive," he said.

One of the problems was the complexity of the project, which was "probably not understood well", Sheaffer said, when it was initially planned.

The IFS project is now on track to go into operation in October. "We set a very detailed schedule to make that date," he said.

Currently, all the software is in place and workers are in the final stages of data conversion practice runs to ensure proper operation of the system.

CSC said 150 to 190 of its IT employees as well as subcontractors have worked on the project.

Margaret Begg, assistant inspector general for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, said her agency continues to monitor the project. "The testing is going well, and all indications are they will be able to meet that timeline," she said. "I hate to say this, but we've heard that before. We are hopeful that it is on schedule."

Todd R Weiss writes for Computerworld

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