If you planned to build your dream home and ended up with a bigger, better, house than you expected, and you received it on time and under budget, you would be pretty happy, right? That’s how the judges at the 2011 Best of California contest felt about the Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Automated Collection Enhancement System (ACES) Project, which received an award for the Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs. ACES is an integrated system that automates the collection and accounting of payroll taxes while replacing old, outdated systems.

ACES provides a number of benefits to California’s 1.2 million employers and to the state. Employers benefit from ACES through expanded e-services, which allow them to manage their own payroll tax accounts as easily as they manage their online banking. This includes filing forms on-line, paying, and viewing account status 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The project has streamlined return and payment processing, revenue accounting, refunds, offsets, and compliance processing while improving the collection of revenue.

It was initially intended to replace a collection system but ended up replacing 20 systems, including a 24 year-old COBOL-based legacy system. Replacing these systems has streamlined EDD’s processes while making it easier and less costly to maintain the system.

The system has already enhanced revenue collection of $ 29.6 million during Phase II of the project, while helping EDD staff to perform their jobs more effectively. To accomplish all of this, ACES was the first major project to use a new procurement approach provided by SB 954. Using this new approach, EDD was able to get a complete tax system for the cost of the single collection system they initially planned to replace.