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Business Matters July 2017

July 11, 2017

Quarterly Business Forum

The next Business Forum is scheduled for Monday, August 7 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: August Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Beginning with the August meeting the Business Forum will transition from a quarterly meeting to a bimonthly meeting. Each Partner Group will still present twice a year. The majority of the time will be dedicated to Partner Groups, but there will still be time set aside for key announcements. With the Forum occurring more frequently, each Partner Group will have time to allow for more questions and answers and discussion.

Questions? Contact

Business Matters process to change

This summer a newly redesigned Finance website will go live. The new website will include a news feed that will provide an opportunity to modernize the Business Matters tool and transition it away from a PDF document to the web-based news feature. After the website goes live a few more issues of Business Matters will be published in the PDF format with a link sent via email, then the PDF version will be discontinued and users can obtain the most current Finance news from the website. More information will be provided around the time of the website launch.

Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Change Management and Communication at

Finance website launch delayed

As communicated above, the Finance website is undergoing a redesign in order to provide a more user friendly website for campus. The website redesign was originally scheduled to be completed in June 2017, but due to the complexities of being part of the pilot group to move into Drupal, the University’s new content management system, the website launch will be delayed.

The new Finance website is still planned to go live this summer, with a target launch in early August. When a go-live date is set, a message will be published in Business Matters and in Compass.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Cochran at or 740-593-9643.

Prescription plan changes

In early May, Express Scripts began mailing letters to the homes of employees impacted by the University’s prescription drug Advanced Utilization Management programs. The Advanced Utilization Management program includes Drug Quantity Management, Step Therapy, and Prior Authorization. These programs require additional information from a prescribing physician in order for certain prescriptions to be covered and paid for by the University’s health plans. If you received a letter, and have not yet contacted your prescribing physician to request that they reach out to Express Scripts and provide the information required for your prescription, please do so as soon as possible. Failure to respond or take action results in a prescription not being covered by the health plan starting July 1.

Payroll accounting corrections

Payroll Expense Accounting Corrections for fiscal yearend should be submitted to Payroll no later than July 14. If the correction is past 60 days, an Exception Request Form must be completed in order for Payroll to process the request. Forms submitted without the Exception Request Form will be returned to the originator. Payroll Expense Accounting Corrections forms are on the HR Forms web page. Choose Payroll Expense Accounting Correction (PEDS). The 60-day exception form is on a separate tab within the same document.

Questions? Contact Payroll Services at or 740-593-1858.

Accounts Payable yearend reminders

Concur/PCard Transactions

All Concur transactions with a transaction date of June 15 or prior should already be submitted to supervisors and approved. 

Transactions with a transaction date between June 16 and June 30 must be submitted and approved by the supervisor by July 7. After July 7, the PCard administrator will suspend all cards that have outstanding transactions with a transaction date prior to June 30.

If your card is suspended, please contact the PCard administrator at upon completion of your reports. If you do not notify the administrator, your card will not be released for use.

As in past years, Concur will hold FY18 card transactions until after second close. If any July transactions come into your Concur account in error, please do not process them until July 24. All FY18 transactions will be released on July 24.

Invoices, Direct Payment Forms, and Paper Travel Reimbursement Forms

Any paper forms, such as Direct Payment Forms and paper Travel Reimbursement Forms must be submitted with appropriate approvals to Accounts Payable by 5 p.m. on July 18.

All invoices must be submitted for processing to no later than 5 p.m. July 18. Please include the PO number with invoices for proper processing. All BobcatBuy invoice approvals must be completed by 5 p.m. on July 20.

If you received goods or services prior to July 1, but either have not received the invoice, or were not able to process the invoice before the submission cutoff of July 18, you must contact Kris Sano at to discuss a possible accrual entry for FY17.

Questions? Contact Accounts Payable at for questions about invoices, direct payment and travel forms. Contact with PCard or Concur questions.

Procurement updates

POs and Invoices

FY18 is here, but we still need to button up FY17. Here are some things to consider for the next couple of weeks. 

If you have an invoice for goods or services received on or before June 30, FY17 funds must be used:

  • If you have a PO created for these goods or services, send the invoice to before July 14.
  • If you do not have a PO for these goods or services, create a Direct Payment requisition attaching the invoice before July 14.  Use accounting date June 30, 2017 on the requisition.

If you have an invoice for goods or services received on or after July 1, 2017, FY18 funds must be used:

  • Follow normal Procurement processes to create a PO using accounting date of July 1, 2017 or later.
  • Send invoice to referencing your PO.

Remember, due to Chart of Accounts Redesign Project, FY17 blankets are not closing until November 2017. You can continue to add money to cover FY18 expenses for July-November. Submit a change order request form to add funds. 

Procurement and Contract Services Supplier Fair-save the date

Procurement and Contract Services will host their second annual Supplier Fair on Wednesday, September 20 in the Baker University Center Ballroom. Come meet and greet many of Ohio University’s preferred suppliers. The Hawaiian-themed fair will have goodies, refreshments and drawings.

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

Procure to Pay Improvement Project underway

In response to campus feedback, Finance initiated the Procure to Pay (P2P) Improvements Project, with a focus on improved efficiency in business process and technology for P2P services. The project kicked off in January with academic representatives as well as Finance functional leads on the newly formed P2P Business Operations Work Group. The overarching goals of the P2P Improvements Project are to improve purchasing efficiencies, decrease overall processing time, and implement industry best practices while focusing on providing transparency and empowerment to campus business units.

The P2P Improvements Project will have far-reaching impacts to the University. The scope of this Project includes procurement, accounts payable and help desk processes. Planned changes will streamline the supplier onboarding and maintenance process with more transparency; increased clarity in processes and procedures; improved payment processing time; and improved transparency to the status of payments and purchases. Through the planned restructuring and redefining of Finance Customer Care, the new help desk will support campus with a central help desk for finance-related questions and system issues.

There are three major phases in the P2P Improvements Project established in January 2017. The Short Term phase (3-6 months) focuses on changes that streamline existing processes and infrastructure. The Medium (6-12 months) and Long Term (12-18 months) phases focus on rethinking and redesigning processes to implement more fundamental changes in operations. Expect additional communication regarding the changes in each phase along with training opportunities for those impacted by the changes.

The P2P Improvements Project has made significant progress to date. Some milestones that the project has reached include:

  • The new Payment Request process simplifies entry of new suppliers and payments for certain types of transactions.
  • The Standard IRS W9 form and the new Supplier/Payee Information form will replace the OHIO Sub-W9 form. Implementing the Supplier/Payee Information Form and IRS W9 form will make it easier for suppliers to get the necessary information back to supplier management in order to expedite purchases and payments processes. Since most suppliers will have the standard IRS W9 on file, eliminating the OHIO Sub-W9 will alleviate some of the confusion suppliers experienced in the past.
  • A streamlined requisition workflow eliminates many back office approval steps resulting in faster processing times.

As the project continues to progress toward implementing these changes, the project team is planning more updates to P2P processes. This fall, the project will implement signature sub-delegation changes in tandem with the new Chart of Accounts. More information relating to the P2P Improvements Project, including training plans and job aids, will be published in the coming weeks in Compass and Business Matters.

Questions? Contact: Julie Allison at

Internal billing authorizations and accounting corrections

Key upcoming dates:

  • Noon, Thursday, July 6, 2017: Final FY17 Internal Billing Authorizations due
  • 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 19, 2017: Final FY17 Accounting Corrections/Journal Entries due

Finance periodically updates forms used by campus. Current forms can be downloaded from the Finance Forms webpage. Examples of commonly used, recently updated finance forms are the Accounting Correction/Journal Entry, Internal Billing Authorization, and the Equipment Status Change Form (formerly EI-8 form). Using the most current forms will help save time and avoid possibly having to re-submit forms.

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

Budget updates

The Budget Office continues to reconcile budget packet submissions and will contact Planning Units with questions as appropriate. The draft FY18 Budget Book presented at the June Board of Trustees Meeting is available on the Board of Trustees website. The final FY18 Budget Book will be available in July on the Budget Planning and Analysis website along with Budget Books since FY15.

For additional information related to the FY18 budget process, visit the Budget Development Tools web page.

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

Individual Compensation Distribution (ICD) Module to replace EMS

During November 2017, in coordination with the Financial System Enhancements project go-live, the new Individual Compensation Distribution (ICD) module will be implemented in Oracle to replace the additional compensation and contract processes currently handled within EMS (Employee Management System).

This will impact the following processes currently handled in EMS: Academic Term Pay, Instructional Overload, Non-Instructional Overload, Part-Time Contract Pay, Summer Research, Summer Term Pay, Contract Pay, and Early Retiree Pay. New functionality will be implemented allowing Additional Salary, Additional Pay, Fiscal Increments, and Bonuses to be processed using ICD.

The decision to replace EMS with ICD was made in collaboration with the Compensation and Payroll Partner Groups and the RC Strategy Group based on the cost of remediating EMS for the new Chart of Accounts. The desired outcome is a reduction in the number of paper processes currently associated with processing additional compensation such as overloads, enhance approval workflows, and eliminate system limitations inherent in EMS. This is part of a long-term strategy to move financial and HR related processes into Oracle. ICD will be supported by enhanced reporting within OBI.

At this time, continue to use EMS as usual. ICD access, training and rollout details, and information about when EMS will be retired, will be shared in the coming months via Business Matters, Compass, the Business Forum and direct email to impacted individuals.

Questions? For specific questions related to EMS contact For questions related to ICD contact

Financial System Enhancements: Major project milestones 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 within Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI).

Human Resources Dashboard Release

The Human Resources (HR) Dashboard has been released to representatives from each planning unit. Planning unit CFAOs establish access to any dashboard. The project team will communicate to impacted users regarding training resources and availability. Additional dashboards for financial data and grants data are currently under development and will be piloted with appropriate Partner Groups and released to campus in November.

Planning unit mappers to Vet Converted General Ledger

Planning unit mappers have been invited to one of several sessions held in June and July to review their mapped General Ledger data and make final recommendations for changes.

Pilot Group established for Internal Awards

The COA Partner Group representatives are participating in a pilot group to walk through the process of setting up Internal Awards (research incentives, start-up funds, professional development grants, etc.) in the new Oracle Grants Accounting Module. This pilot group will continue throughout July and will help inform training for Internal Award set up for other Planning Units.

Additional Resources

Visit the COA website for an updated COA Mapping Introduction [PDF] presentation and an updated COA Quick Reference Guide [XLSX]. A training schedule will be published to the website and distributed to planning units in July.

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

FSE Highlight: COA Structure, Hierarchies, and the Activity 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.

The new General Ledger COA Structure will be comprised of six segments, each with a defined segment length and set of possible values.

Cost Center: segment values used together in a transaction (excluded natural account/object)

  • Existing: Fund Type – Fund – Organization – Project
  • Future: Entity – Source – Org – Activity – Function

Hierarchies: structure for summarizing segment values. Also known as “parent” values.

  • Parent values are summary codes used for reporting
  • Child values are values used for posting transactions

The Activity Segment

The Activity (ACTV) segment is a four-digit value that identifies why the transaction is occurring. This segment is unit-defined, and allows departments to identify internal purposes for spending and associated revenues. There will be joint values defined at the University level and a range of values available to be determined at the planning unit level. The Activity segment was added to assist in reducing the need for many shadow systems currently used for monitoring and reporting.

When we talk about the purpose of the transaction, it refers to the objective of the spending (e.g., conducting research, recruiting employees, staffing for Halloween, etc.). You may notice that “purpose” is used in defining both the activity and the function segment. These similar segments exist because they track different purposes; function tracks high level spending classification as defined by the government or accounting standards (e.g., instruction, research, etc.). The activity segment allows planning units to define purposes of spending related to their specific needs. 

As part of the mapping exercise, planning unit members developed lists of potential activity code values. In some cases, these codes were used in mapping or translating the old cost centers to the new COA structure. Some units also developed codes that they plan to use in the future, after the new COA is live. Working with these lists, there were often repeating values that multiple units plan to use for tracking. A portion of the activity code range is designated for “shared” values. Shared values are defined centrally and can be used in coding transactions by any unit in the university. Some sample values are shown below.

The Function Segment

The Function is a two-digit value that identifies why the transaction is occurring, such as instruction or sponsored research. University expenditures are recorded by a combination of functions established by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) for higher education and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21. The function value is required for each expense transaction on both University and Foundation accounts. Function is not a required value for balance sheet and revenue accounts. The Function segment is important and is used in the preparation of various required financial, regulatory, and activity-related reports. 

The Function classifies an expense transaction by its intent – i.e. why an expense was incurred rather than what was purchased (as in the Object Code field). The Function value helps both internal and external parties (such as donors, government agencies, creditors, etc.) better understand how the entities use their resources in order to achieve their missions.

The Federal Government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21 functions also provide a uniform method of grouping costs into various direct and indirect cost pools for the primary purpose of calculating indirect cost reimbursement rates on sponsored projects. These rates are submitted to the Federal government for approval in the University's Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Rate Proposal, which is a cost study required by OMB Circular A-21.

A detailed definition of Function [XLSX] can be found on the Segment Structure and Order page of the COA website.

How to Use Functions for Transactions

In the broadest sense, most Organizations have a Function that is standardly used (i.e. an academic department would normally use the Instruction Function 10). For transactions that are posted to a Project-Task-Award (PTA) in the Grants Accounting module, the Function value has already been determined when the PTA is setup (i.e. Departmental Research, University Research, Sponsored Research, etc.). In certain areas, such as a Dean’s Office, that spends resources for a variety of purposes, the Function value may need to change with each transaction to ensure that the Function value is accurate.   

In an academic planning unit, the Deans Office generally spends funds for multiple purposes necessitating the need to select a different Function for various transactions. Presented here are some scenarios that provide examples on how to properly select and code an expense for the Function segment in the chart of accounts:

Fundraising Trip:

The Dean travels to meet with a group of donors to share opportunities to provide funding for a research program within the college.  When the travel expenses are coded for this trip Function 92 – Fundraising & Development should be used to code the charges.  

Summer Teaching:

The Dean has set aside funds for summer teaching appointments in the college for summer sessions. When the payroll is coded for a faculty member being paid from these funds, if within the Dean’s organization, Function 10 – Instruction should be used.

College Research Program:

The Dean has funds set aside to provide additional research funding as part of a strategic investment to grow research within the college for a particular discipline. When expenses are paid Function 19 – Department Research should be used.

Information Technology Enhancements:

Funds have been set aside in the Dean’s Account to provide funding for technology enhancements to support students and Faculty in classroom. When the items are purchased for this initiative from the Dean’s Account they should be charged to Function 40 – Academic Support.

Supplies for the Dean’s Office:

The office administrator purchases office supplies for use within the Deans office. When this purchase is expensed Function 42 – Deans & Provost should be used.

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