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Business Matters April 2017

April 10, 2017

Quarterly Business Forum

The next Business Forum will be Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Baker University Center 240. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: May Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Change Management and Communication at

Signature Authority Updated

Pursuant to Resolution 2011-3245, which was passed by the University’s Board of Trustees on Nov. 18, 2011, the President was authorized to sign, on behalf of the University, all contracts and other documents in which the University incurs or discharges a legal obligation. In an amended and restated directive dated Feb. 15, 2017, the President delegated to the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA), as cosigner with the President, authority to sign all agreements in which the University pays or receives money or other consideration and all contracts involving the payment or receipt of amounts greater than $1,000,000 that were not previously approved as part of a University budget. The updated VPFA Signature Authority Subdelegations [PDF] are available online.

Benefits Open Enrollment

OHIO’s annual Benefits Open Enrollment period begins April 10 and closes May 5.

The open enrollment period provides employees the opportunity to enroll in benefits, or make changes to their current benefits. Benefit options include medical, vision, dental, and short-term disability insurance and flexible spending accounts. Open Enrollment is also the time when Athens Campus employees can opt out of the parking program.

Elections made during Open Enrollment are effective July 1, 2017.

Health Insurance and other benefit changes for 2017-18 were announced March 29 and can be found on the HR website.

Enrollment will be offered online via My Personal Information (MPI): Self Service Benefits. The Benefits Office will also conduct detailed open enrollment presentations during Open Enrollment.

Flexible Summer Hours Guidelines

To further support the work/life balance of Ohio University staff members, many departments are able to provide flexible options for staff during the summer term. Departments are reminded that flexible options should be implemented under the guidance of Policy #40.053: Flextime and Flexplace Scheduling and Policy #40.063: Flexible Work Schedule, Flexible Hours, and Flexplace for Administrators.

Closing Calendar Published

The FY17 Yearend Closing Calendar has been released and is available on the Finance website.

Questions? Contact the Change Management and Communication Office at

Finance Website Redesign

The Finance website is undergoing a redesign and the new site will be available to users before the end of FY17. The process for redesigning the website has been highly collaborative and is based on user feedback. A February user survey provided feedback on how users interact with the Finance website. Feedback gathered through the survey guided focus groups and one-one one interviews held throughout March with representatives from most Planning Units across campus. The feedback received shaped the new site design and navigation, which will be based on function, rather than department within Finance. Now that the designs are complete, the project team is working to build the site with hopes of testing and training editors during the month of May with a go-live planned in June. Thank you to all who have shared valuable feedback to help influence a more user-friendly design.

Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Change Management & Communication at

Contract Extensions

As fiscal yearend approaches, please review your major contracts for end dates and any available extensions to exercise. May 1 is the deadline to request contract extensions for contracts ending June 30, 2017. If there are no extensions available, the work may need to be bid. 

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at or 740-597-6446.

New RFPs

May 1 is the deadline to request an RFP from Procurement for service to commence with the new fiscal year. If you have money budgeted for a vehicle or large piece of equipment, your request for RFP must be submitted by May 1. Note that goods must be received by June 30, 2017 for FY17 funds to be used. Please see the RFP Customer Guide if you are considering a new RFP. 

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at or 740-597-6446.

Petty Cash & Change Fund Management

Internal Audit conducts cash counts and discusses account handling across campus to ensure that funds are intact and used as intended and to identify ways to strengthen controls. The following information is intended to help guide and remind Planning Units of proper handling of these funds.

Each account must have the following assigned:

  1. Custodian: This is the employee who operates and maintains the fund on a regular basis. The Custodian is responsible for day-to-day handling of the fund and ensuring deposits or replenishments are prepared timely. The designation of a Back-up Custodian is encouraged to fulfill these duties in the absence of the Custodian.
  2. Fiduciary: The department head or budget person authorized to approve expenditures from the department’s accounts. This individual is responsible for the proper handling of these funds and should conduct periodic unannounced cash counts.

These individuals must be assigned and reported to General Accounting and Financial Reporting (GAFR) on the Petty Cash/Change Fund form [XLSX]. Any changes should be immediately reported on a new form. Only these assigned individuals should have uncontrolled access to the funds.

Handling and Storage

  1. Funds should be secured in a safe or locked up in a secure manner. The combination or key location should be changed annually or whenever someone with fund access leaves the Planning Unit.
  2. Change funds should be balanced at least once per week and on days of use. Petty cash funds must be balanced at least monthly. Keep records of these reconciliation as they may be requested for review by auditors.

For further guidance, refer to the below listed links:

Questions? Contact General Accounting and Financial Reporting at or 740-597-3133.

Purchasing Card (PCard) Reissuance Reminder

This month, most University PCard holders will receive new purchasing cards. This transition will be complete by the end of April. 

As you may recall, we did go through a card reissuance in May 2016. That reissuance was to change our PCards from magnetic stripe technology to the newer chip technology. This reissuance is due to OHIO’s Commercial Card provider, J.P. Morgan, moving our card program to a new transaction processing system. While this will improve service to our card program and increase card security, unfortunately it will require us to reissue PCards. 

Here is what you need to know about the transition to your new card:

When will I get my new card?

  • All cardholders will receive a new JP Morgan Commercial Card to replace their existing card.
  • Cards will be replaced based on the expiration date of your current pcard as follows:
Card Expiration Date Card Reissuance Date Card Pickup Instructions
10/2017 May - September 2017 Cardholder will be contacted to arrange for PCard pickup by the Purchasing Card Office
05/2018-12/2019 April 2017 See Distribution Chart Below
01/2020 or 02/2020 May - September 2017 Cardholder will be contacted to arrange for PCard pick-up by the Purchasing Card Office

When will my new card be available for pickup?

  • New cards distributed in April will be available for pickup beginning April 17.
  • Cards with expiration dates of 10/2017, 01/2020, and 02/2020 will be reissued between May and September. The Purchasing Card Office will contact the cardholder directly to arrange a time and location for new card pickup.
  • These card reissuance dates were established by J.P. Morgan.
  • If there are any special circumstances with your individual card you will be contacted directly by the Purchasing Card Office to arrange a time and location for your card pickup.

Where do I pick up my new card?

Finance worked with Planning Unit CFAOs to determine the most effective way to distribute new PCards. New PCards will be available for pickup beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, April 17 at the following locations.

Planning Unit or Department Location for PCard Distribution
Airport Distributed by department, cardholder will be contacted to pick up new card
Campus Recreation, Ping Center Ping Center 140M
College of Arts and Sciences Bobcat Depot
College of Business Copeland 601C
College of Fine Arts Jennings House
Culinary Services/Retail/Bobcat Depot Distributed by department, cardholder will be contacted to pick up new card
Division of Student Affairs Bobcat Depot
Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education WUSOC 213A
Global Affairs and International Studies Yamada International House 203
Health Sciences and Professions Grover Center W375
Heritage College of Medicine Grosvenor 324
Honors Tutorial College 35 Park Place
Housing and Res Life Distributed by department, cardholder will be contacted to pick up new card
Information Technology WUSOC 380
Intercollegiate Athletics Convo S124
Library 422A Alden Library
Mail, Moving & Surplus Distributed by department, cardholder will be contacted to pick up new card
President's Office Cutler 008
Printing Services Distributed by department, cardholder will be contacted to pick up new card
Provost Cutler 008
Regional Dean’s Office Haning Hall 128
Chillicothe Campus Distributed on campus, cardholders will be contacted
Eastern Campus Distributed on campus, cardholders will be contacted
Lancaster Campus Distributed on campus, cardholders will be contacted
Southern Campus Distributed on campus, cardholders will be contacted
Zanesville Campus Distributed on campus, cardholders will be contacted
Russ College of Engineering and Technology Stocker 157
Scripps College of Communication Schoonover 105
University Advancement and Foundation Bobcat Depot
University College Chubb Hall 140
Vice President for Research and Graduate College Research & Technology 120
Vice President of Finance and Administration WUSOC 213A
Voinovich School Building 22, The Ridges Room 109

What information on my new card changes/what information remains the same?

  • Your account number will remain the same. If you have set up a PIN, that number will also remain the same.
  • Expiration Date - Your card expiration date will be extended by one year (e.g., if your current card expires November 2018 the expiration date on your new card will be November 2019).
  • Customer Verification Value (CVV) – The CVV number (the three-digit code on the back of the card) will be new.

Do I need to activate my new card?

  • Your old PCard will no longer be active when you pick up your new PCard. Cardholders need to activate the new card by calling the number listed on the card. Please refer to documentation you receive with your new card for more information. 

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at or 740-593-6446.

Affordability and Efficiency Purchasing Work Group Established

As communicated last fall, the Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency has directed that Ohio University comply with various mandates and directives to maintain high quality education while decreasing institutional costs. There are several initiatives underway on campus that support these mandates. 

Along with the state, Ohio University is collaborating with the Inter-University Council Purchasing Group (IUC-PG), a long-standing consortium of purchasing officers at State of Ohio institutions of higher education. The goal of this group is to achieve standardized contracting requirements, standard methods of operation, and to buy at optimum quantity discounts. The creation of Price Agreements for use by members of the IUC-PG has been a charge of the group. Ohio University will utilize those Price Agreements, as well as agreements created by other consortia and our own agreements awarded via RFP to create a preferred vendor list that must be used by University employees. 

Representatives from across the University were recruited to participate in the Affordability and Efficiency (AE) Work Group to create a roll out plan of the preferred vendor list for the institution. The AE Work Group is using a common sense approach to implement these state-issued mandates.

To comply with the Task Force mandate, the AE Work Group has separated commodities (also known as goods and services) into the following timelines for review beginning May 1:

  • 0-3 months – office supplies, computer supplies, janitorial supplies and services
  • 6-12 months – travel, printing and copier supplies and services, web supplies and services, graphic design, and videography services
  • 12-18 months –specialized research supplies, facilities management, safety supplies, and international procurement 

While the institution must use preferred vendors as part of the mandate, the AE Work Group recognizes that there are times when exemptions are necessary. An exemption process is underway for specialized items that cannot be purchased through preferred channels. The AE Work Group will share additional details regarding policies and process as it progresses with its charge.

Below is a list of the AE Work Group members who are collaborating on this initiative:

Name Planning Unit
Heather Krugman, co-chair Provost, Communication
Laura Nowicki, co-chair Procurement and Contracts
April Ritchie College of Arts and Sciences
Becky MacCombs Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Gwyn Scott Auxiliaries
Mike Finney Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
Shelley Ruff Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Steve Wood Facilities Management and Safety
Tim Knavel Athletics

Questions? Contact one of the work group members listed above.

FY18 Budget Calendar and Timeline

Final FY18 budget decisions are being made based on the results of the Spring Financial Review Meetings. Final submissions of THE Budget sheets are due no later than April 18, 2017.

Please reference the Budget Planning and Analysis website for the updated FY18 Budget Timeline.

Questions? Contact your Budget Planning & Analysis contact or e-mail

Financial System Enhancements: COA Structure and Segment Highlights

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

In March, the FSE Project team reached a major milestone as the first fully converted instance of the General Ledger (GL) was completed. This enabled the project team to begin testing and interacting with real data in the new COA structure. In addition to converting the GL data, the project team also set-up a sub-set of sponsored awards (grants) data for testing purposes. With the conversion, the COA Partner Groups will begin to see how the data will be mapped in the General Ledger and the Oracle Grants Accounting Module. The COA Partner Group met in late March to share feedback regarding the best way to review the converted data and will continue to provide guidance on how to best assist planning units in reviewing their data. Planning Units will have the opportunity to review initial mapping data and provide feedback during April.

Enhanced HR/Payroll OBI dashboards are in development and are planned to be available in spring 2017. Employee Information, Absence Management, Appointment Information & Costing, Payroll Forecasting, and several other dashboard pages are being vetted with a pilot Group comprised of representatives from across campus. Releasing the HR/Payroll dashboards prior to the release of the other Financial System Enhancements will allow users to become more familiar using dashboards within OBI, before leveraging them more heavily when the Financial and Grants Dashboards are released with the updated COA and Oracle Grants Accounting Module in November. Each dashboard will have multiple pages for various inquires and reports and will replace the current FMS Reports.

The FSE Change Network met in March to review a draft training schedule and provided valuable feedback to help accommodate the diverse training needs as well as help determine the most feasible training windows for all impacted users. The training schedule will be published in late spring.

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

FSE Highlight: COA Structure, Segments, and the Entity 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.

The Entity Segment

The Entity segment identifies how the transaction is summarized for financial reporting. It represents major components of the University that require a separate balance sheet/external reporting (legal entities, auxiliary operations, etc.) such as Ohio University or OU Foundation. The entity segment values will be the same across all Planning Units.

Entity Segment Examples
Segment Value Associated Entity
10 Ohio University General
14 Century Bond
21 Culinary Services
50 Foundation General
80 University Agency Funds

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