Integrated Financial Management Information Systems
An FMIS is defined as an information system that tracks financial events and summarizes financial information (Acevedo 2009, USAID report 2008 , Dorotinsky 2003)’.
‘Most organization implement FMIS to improve budget planning and execution by providing timely and accurate data for budget management and decision making (Khemani, 2005)’. According to both Dorotinsky (2003) and Rozner (2008) “an FMIS is an information system that tracks financial events and summarizes financial information. It supports adequately management reporting, policy decision making, fiduciary responsibilities and the preparation of auditable financial statements’. In its basic form, an FMIS is little more than an accounting system configured to operate according to the needs and specifications of the environment in which it is installed Rodin-Brown (2008).In the public sector, it can also refer to the automating of financial operations that enable governments to plan, execute, and monitor the budget by assisting in the prioritization, execution, and reporting of expenditures, as well as the custodianship and reporting of revenues. FMIS solutions can greatly contribute to the efficiency and equity of government operations. Modern FMIS platforms help governments comply with domestic and international financial regulations and reporting standards and support decentralized operations through centralized Web-based solutions, providing access to a large number of authorized budget users at all levels).
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An FMIS is a standardized monitoring and reporting system, which consolidates all the information needs of a government into one information database. It facilitates consistent recording and reporting of information, to enable a government to take macro decisions that affect the country as a whole. (Ernest and Young 2014) .As the name FMIS suggest there are and should be, three guiding characteristics for any designed FMIS it should be a management tool, it should provide financial and non-financial information and lastly, it should be a system. (Diamond and Khemani 2005) As a management tool should support the management of change. It must be viewed as an integral part of budget system reform hence not be designed just to meet present requirements, but also to support those needs that are likely to arise as parallel budget reforms are implemented. Secondly, FMIS provides decision-makers and public-sector managers with the information they need to perform their managerial functions.
Reform hence not be designed just to meet present requirements, but also to support those needs that are likely to arise as parallel budget reforms are implemented. And lastly it is a system and its role is to connect, accumulate, process, and then provide information to all parties in the budget system on a continuous basis. All participants in the system, therefore, need to be able to access the system and to derive the specific information they require to carry out their different functions. The converse is also true, if the FMIS does not provide the required information that is, has not the right functionality it will not be used and will cease to fulfill its central function as a system.