Accounting firm still working to fix financial system that’s costing Richmond taxpayers millions

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After spending nearly $20 million, the bills keep piling up in Richmond for a financial system purchased four years ago.

‘RAPIDS’ is a financial data system that manages everything from payroll to benefits and grants. But the city’s roll out of the system was flawed, and taxpayers have been paying the price to get it right. And it’s still not clear when those bills will stop.

City leaders learned Tuesday that an accounting firm is still working on fixing system. RAPIDS costs Richmond $18 million.

A recent 8News investigation revealed that since 2013, the city has spent another $750,000 on enhancements for the system.

Richmond’s Chief Administrative Officer for Finance, Lenora Reid, said the issues with RAPIDS began with the implementation of it and user error.

But 8News learned Wednesday that despite that expense, some billing and payments are still being done with paper invoices and snail mail.

“So what is it going to cost to finish the fix?” Nick Valdrighi, chair of Richmond’s Audit Committee, questioned.

“We don’t know,” Reid replied.

“That’s what my problem is,” Valdrighi said.

Nick Valdrighi (File photo)

Finance leaders say replacing the system would cost another $18 to $20 million, so they’ll stick with the repairs.

They believe RAPIDS will eventually lead to more efficiency and cost savings.

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