Supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs Time and Attendance System

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Supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs Time and Attendance System

Posted on 12.17.22

Time and attendance system must effectively integrate with other systems and run smoothly

The VA Financial Services Center (FSC) provides accounting, financial and administrative services to VA and other government agencies. Ever since VA transitioned from its previous system and fully deployed VATAS in 2018, VA has had to test and update the system with regular enhancements. VATAS interfaces with multiple accounting and pay service software systems, and it’s critical to ensure that all systems work correctly and cohesively to ensure that over 400,000 VA employees are paid accurately and on time.

Twice a year, VA incorporates a full system update without gaps in service. Additionally, VA corrects bugs and update the system to reflect policy changes. To accomplish this, Aptive works with VA as a supporting partner to manage software testing, operations and maintenance.


Managing software updates and user acceptance training: Aptive experts have extensive testing expertise, proper testing methodology and an overall understanding of the software construction process. Aptive functions as the software test manager for VATAS, serving as the go-between for the software vendor and VA. To begin, Aptive worked with VA to understand its testing requirements to best support VA with proper testing procedures.

Coordinating testing performance and communicating results

Aptive coordinates schedule creation for each VATAS upgrade and increment, detailing the test case creation and execution schedule. Before deploying any build into VATAS, Aptive coordinates testing performance, stress and load to create a thoroughly tested build. The test team and project leadership receive regular schedule updates. Throughout each testing phase, Aptive communicates defects to VATAS project management teams weekly.

Testing and verifying software enhancement builds

Each bi-annual upgrade and periodic release requires testing prior to production. Aptive tests each upgrade to ensure it functions before going to the user acceptance training and deployment phases. The test team creates a comprehensive test strategy, including test scenarios and cases for smoke, unit and functional testing. The team documents test reports for each phase and verifies with VA that the application functions as intended. The test team coordinates with the software vendor regarding any defects discovered during testing and communicates expectations for resolution. After the product is deployed, Aptive’s test team conducts a smoke test to confirm application functionality.

Supporting user acceptance testing and training

Aptive supports the VA-led user acceptance training (UAT) with test cases and training materials. Preparations include:

  • Getting the VATAS environment ready for testing
  • Configuring user access and data
  • Designing test cases
  • Designing scripts and use case scenarios
  • Determining the window of environment availability for UAT execution
  • Creating a list of deviations discovered in prior testing phases

Aptive coordinates with the software developer to communicate and find solutions for any defects discovered during testing and facilitates software fixes.


Viable software updates facilitate a stable product with 100% uptime

Providing agile adjustments allows VA to continuously improve its time tracking and payroll capacities. The team has met or exceeded every schedule benchmark throughout the process. For instance, Aptive developed and deployed a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) update for dual testing two weeks before the anticipated delivery date.

In the early stages of the project, Aptive assisted with the successful migration to Amazon Web Services by testing the migration. With thorough testing and responsive fixes, VATAS remains stable and has not experienced any significant issues. Additionally, throughout multiple releases, VATAS has maintained 100% uptime and customer usability within VA. With this consistency and product viability, VA can ensure all employees are paid on time.