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Business Matters January 2017

January 9, 2017

Quarterly Business Forum

The next Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in HRTC 141-145. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: February Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Communication & Training at

2017 Tax Changes

On Jan. 1 the Athens City income tax increased 0.2 percent, after approval of the measure by voters on November 8. The City income tax increased from 1.65 percent to 1.85 percent. This rate increase impacts all individuals working or living in the Athens city limits. The University’s Payroll Department will adjust tax withholding accordingly for all University employees and no action is required for OHIO employees.

For more information about Athens City income tax, please visit the Athens City Income Tax web page.

Also beginning Jan. 1, Ohio University has discontinued its practice of courtesy tax withholding for municipalities. This change will affect any employee who currently has a local tax withheld in addition to the tax for the municipality they work in.

This information was shared via email to Ohio University employees on Sept. 30, published in the October Business Matters and published in Compass on Oct. 4.

Questions? Contact Payroll at or 740-593-1860.

Winter Weather Emergency Procedures Shared

With winter weather upon us, Ohio University Human Resources has shared the University's policy on emergency closings. This information was communicated in the December Business Matters and published in Compass on Dec. 8.

Questions regarding regional campus operations should be referred to the appropriate regional campus’ dean. Employees should ask their supervisors if they have any questions about these procedures.

Student Work Hour Limit Increases

As communicated in last month’s Business Matters and in a November Compass article, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the limit on hours worked for student employees (without graduate appointments or F or J visas) has increased from 20 hours per week to 25 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. The limit for summer semester and all academic breaks remains at 28 hours per week.

For students with graduate appointments or with F and J visas, the limit on hours worked will remain at 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters and 28 hours per week for the summer semester and all academic breaks.

For more information, visit the student employment web page.

Reconciling W2s to Final Pay Slips

W2s for 2016 will be available online and mailed to employees who have not requested electronic delivery no later than Feb. 1, 2017. All employees will be notified when they are available online. 

Employees are occasionally confused when their gross earnings on their W2 do not match the gross earnings on their final pay slip.  The following steps will help you to reconcile the two forms.

  1. On your pay slip, locate your YTD Gross Amount
  2. Find your Pre-Tax Deductions
  3. Subtract all Pre-Tax Deductions from your YTD Gross Amount

  4. The amount calculated above will equal Box 1 on your W2

If these amounts do not match, contact the Employee Service Center at 740-593-1636.

I-9 Updates: Electronic Solution Timeline and Training for Changes to Paper Form

As discussed in previous Business Forum and HRMG meetings, Human Resources is working to implement an electronic I-9 solution for campus. Initial project plans had slated a tentative rollout date of mid-January 2017. Several factors have led to a reevaluation of that timeline and UHR anticipates it will be able to announce a revised timeline soon. More information regarding training and process will be released as a concrete go live date is identified.

Relatedly, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a new version of the I-9 form that is completed by each new employee to prove and document their identity and authorization to work in the United States. HR will offer training sessions to help stakeholders across campus understand the changes to ensure continued institutional compliance with this important step in onboarding new faculty, staff, and student employees. Individuals responsible for hiring within student hiring Centers of Excellence will be required to participate in this training. HR encourages other individuals who might complete I-9 forms with other employee types to attend.  

An Adobe Connect session will be available for members of the OHIO community who are unable to attend a training session on the Athens campus. This Adobe Connect training will be recorded and available for future reference and for those who are unable to attend one of the live events. HR encourages employees to attend a live event (either in person or via Adobe Connect) to allow for real-time questions and answers that may arise during the session. Individuals who have been trained as student hiring managers in Centers of Excellence and have access to the related Box account will be contacted directly regarding these training sessions. Others who are interested in this training or wish to receive a recording of one of the sessions can sign up via this link. Those who wish to participate via Adobe Connect should register as well (a link to access the training will be sent to registrants).

Training will be offered as follows:

Date Time Location
Thursday, Jan. 5 10-11 a.m. HRTC 150 (Also broadcast via Adobe Connect)
Friday, Jan. 6 2-3 p.m. HRTC 150
Tuesday, Jan. 10 3-4 p.m. HRTC 154

Questions? Contact Human Resources at or 740-593-1636.

Student Hiring Reminders

Individuals who will be hiring undergraduate or graduate student employees should find student employee onboarding procedures on the Student Payroll Hire Info web page. Appropriate paperwork must be completed by new student employees before they begin working. Since student hiring procedures changed greatly during fall semester, Human Resources encourages hiring staff to review changes to ensure a smooth hiring process.

Questions? Contact Human Resources at or 740-593-1636.

IRS Standard Mileage Rates Drop in 2017

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2017 standard mileage rates that can be used to calculate the tax deductible costs of operating a vehicle for purposes such as work and medical. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, Concur reflects the new standard business rate of $0.535 per mile (down from $0.54).

Questions? Contact or 740-597-6446.

Mail Services Consolidates Pickup and Delivery Routes

Mail Services has announced the consolidation of afternoon pickup and delivery into the morning mail routes. This change went into effect on Dec. 19 and was communicated by direct email and in Compass on Dec. 12.

Questions? Visit the Mail Services website or contact Adam Bower at or 740-593-1850.  

FY18 Budget Planning

A revised spring budget process timeline was presented at the December Budget Partner Group meeting. Important upcoming dates in the Budget Process include:

  • Jan. 31: Republish planning assumptions and allocation models
  • Feb. 17- March 3: Spring submission of revised Budget materials
  • March 1 – 24: Spring Financial Review meetings
  • March 27 – April 7 : Finalize Budget decisions

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

Financial System Enhancements: Impacts and Go Live

The Financial System Enhancements (FSE) project represents a combination of initiatives including the Chart of Accounts Redesign (COA), a new Financial Approvers tool and the new Oracle Grants Accounting Module. Each of these building blocks will be supported by detailed reporting capabilities within Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) and thorough training.

The FSE project is planned to go live in early November 2017. The finalized rollout plan is being developed and will be thoroughly tested in the spring and announced soon after. Wherever possible, the project team is looking for opportunities to release some of the enhancements before the November 2017 FSE launch. Enhanced HR/Payroll OBI dashboards are in development and are planned to be available in spring 2017.

The project team has finalized Object Code values and initial mapping for the General Ledger. Object Code values and Activity segment values will be reviewed with the COA Partner Group and released to campus for broader review and comment in January. Mapping for Oracle Grants Accounting will be completed in early 2017.

OBI Reporting Dashboard development will pick up again in January and there will be a series of pilot groups established throughout the remainder of the project to vet usability and to ensure that the reporting dashboards meet campus needs.

If you are unsure of how and if you will be impacted by the FSE Project, below is a description of some of the activities that will be impacted.

Chart of Accounts Redesign

Impacts activities involving an accounting string, including purchasing in BobcatBUY, travel and PCard transactions in Concur, Workforce timesheet entry, any accounting forms, and transactions with campus service providers. All account strings will change when the new Chart of Accounts launches.

Enhanced Reporting in OBI

Impacts reports available through the Report Distribution Module (RDM) including current FMS reports. Funds Available View will be accessed via OBI dashboard. There will be an improved HR/Payroll Dashboards and P2P Dashboards as well.

Oracle Grants Accounting Module

Impacts reviewing or reporting on accounting activity including sponsored projects, capital projects, and internal awards such as faculty startups, faculty development, incentive funds, etc. The new Chart of Accounts introduces two unique account strings, one for general ledger, and a separate one for grants. That new grants string supports the tracking and viewing of internal awards, sponsored projects and capital projects.

Financial Approvers

Impacts setting up BobcatBUY and Concur financial approvers by Planning Unit to more appropriately align approvals for financial related transactions.

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