Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

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Financial System Enhancements- HR Dashboard and training planned

The Financial System Enhancements (FSE) project represents a combination of initiatives planned to be available in November 2017 which includes the Chart of Accounts Redesign (COA), a new Financial Approvers tool and the new Oracle Grants Accounting Module. FSE is supported by enhanced reporting capabilities within Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI).

The Human Resources (HR) OBI Dashboard has been developed and was demonstrated to the FSE Change Network on May 2, in preparation for release to Campus in late May or early June. The HR dashboard has multiple pages for various inquires and reports including Employee Information, Absence Management, Appointment Information & Costing, and several other dashboard pages that were vetted with a Pilot Group comprised of representatives from across campus. Training for this dashboard will be offered through videos and a reference guide. Access to the HR Dashboard will be determined by each Planning Unit and communication regarding training resources and availability will be distributed to impacted users once the dashboard is live.

The Budget Planning and Analysis Office will facilitate an optional training opportunity in May to help units that want to participate to think about how they could budget differently in the current COA to prepare for a smoother transition to the new COA come November. In addition, the training will provide an opportunity to discuss the FY19 budget process, and help the Budget Office determine how to adjust templates, tools, and guidance to support the FY19 planning process. An invitation to register for participation was sent to representatives from each Planning Unit on April 26.

Each month, a feature of the Financial System Enhancements will be highlighted in order to help prepare for the upcoming changes.

FSE Highlight: COA Structure, Segments, and the Source Segment

Chart of Accounts Structure: The COA Structure identifies how you will account for transactions. There will be two structures: one for the General Ledger and one for “Grants”, which will encompass Internal Awards, Capital Projects, and Sponsored Projects.

Segments: Segments are components of an account string. Each segment has a name and defined length. Natural Account is six digits in the current structure. The new COA Structure will be comprised of six segments, each with a defined segment length and set of possible values.

COA segments

SourceThe Source Segment

The Source segment is a six digit value that identifies how the transaction is funded, classified by restrictions. Source values used by Planning Units will generally belong to one of two categories: Unrestricted Operations and Restricted Expendable. For sources, it is important to note that restrictions are imposed by external parties like donors or sponsors. Source segment values will be the same across all Planning Units. Examples are shown on the next page. Some sources in the examples are shown with XXXX as part of their number; the XXXX represents uniquely named values for specific gifts, scholarships, award programs, etc.

Unrestricted Operating funds are University funds from operations that have no “external” restrictions that limit spending. Other examples include:

  • Endowment earnings on funds the University have placed in the quasi endowment are treated as Unrestricted Endowment Distributions.
  • University cost allocations are collected and distributed through unique unrestricted sources (e.g., Subvention, Depreciation, Admin Cost Allocation).
  • Designated funds are unrestricted funds that departments chose to designate for specific designated spending purposes. These funds are sometimes referred to as "internally restricted." Designated funds are categorized by purpose or use (e.g., workshops, startup funds, internal awards, etc.). Operating reserves (aka carryforward) are also considered designated funds.

Unrestricted Funds




Designated Funds








Restricted expendable funds represent funds received from external parties with specific spending restrictions. When donors contribute to the foundation, they often specify how the funds should be spent:

  • Restricted Funds tableIf a gift is specified as endowed, the gift is to be invested in perpetuity and the endowment distribution/earnings can only be spent for the donor’s intended purpose.
  • An outright gift can be spent in its entirety, but must be spent in accordance with donor purposes. 

When sponsors engage the University in agreements, the scope of the project and restrictions on spending are specified in the sponsored agreement. Sponsored funds are categorized by source of funds (e.g., Federal, State, Local, Private Sources, etc.)

Questions? Visit the COA Website for information, reach out directly to your Planning Unit’s Change Network member(s) to share feedback or ask questions, or contact the FSE Project Team at coa@ohio.edu.