Search within:

Business Matters March 2017

March 3, 2017

Quarterly Business Forum

The next Business Forum is scheduled for 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 Communication & Training at

Changes to Firefox May Affect Some e-Biz Users

If you use Firefox to access administrative screens in e-Biz, you may need to switch to a different, supported browser in the near future., the consortium that maintains Firefox, has announced that they will be dropping support for a plugin that some features of e-Biz require to run properly. This change could happen as soon as Mar. 7, 2017.

My Personal Information users are not affected.

This change only applies to e-Biz users who access Java forms. If any of the features you use in e-Biz have a grid shaped icon (example included below), then you will need to switch to Internet Explorer 11 (Windows), Safari (Mac), or Firefox ESR.

Multi-factor Authentication Update

The university’s move to multi-factor authentication continues with two significant additions in the coming weeks. PeopleSoft will start requiring the security feature for administrative users on Mar. 13, and My Personal Information will expand its requirement to all locations, on and off campus, on Mar. 15. Details about these changes can be found in the following IT news items:

IT also will be sending targeted emails to affected individuals as the deadlines approach.

As a reminder, multi-factor authentication is a security measure that turns an OHIO login into a two-step process: entering your password and confirming your login via smartphone app, text message, or automated phone call. This confirmation step helps protect the university from data loss and you from identity theft should you fall victim to a phishing scam, because a scammer would need both your password and your phone to access your account.

I-9 Shifts to Electronic Version

As a reminder, as of Mar. 6, 2017, Ohio University Human Resources no longer accepts paper I-9 forms. OHIO now utilizes an electronic I-9 system. In February, HR provided training that granted access to employees who utilize the new system to complete I-9s for new hires. If you need training and access to the new system, please contact Human Resources at or 740-593-1636. 

Benefits Open Enrollment

OHIO’s annual Benefits Open Enrollment period is planned for April 10 through 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.

Further details regarding insurance plan options will be released close to the start of Open Enrollment.

Health Insurance Information Related to Filing 2016 Income Tax Returns

Each year the university provides employees with W2 tax forms for use in filing their tax returns.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the University must also provide form 1095C to certain employees to assist them with answering health care related questions when filing tax returns. Employees who will receive the form include those who:

  • Were enrolled in health care coverage from Ohio University at any point in 2016
  • Worked an average of 30 or more hours per week or were considered a full- time employee in 2016 and were offered health care

The University mailed 1095C forms to employee home addresses on or before March 1, 2017.

Annual Evaluations

Human Resources reminds supervisors of upcoming deadlines for annual performance evaluations for administrative and professional (A&P) and classified staff.

OHIO University policy requires annual performance evaluations for all A&P and classified staff. Performance evaluations should be completed by March 15 for A&P staff and by April 1 for classified staff.
Evaluations provide an opportunity to discuss performance against established goals and expectations. Supervisors and staff also are encouraged to begin planning for the next evaluation cycle by reviewing performance plans and career development for the upcoming year.

Should you have questions regarding available forms to be utilized in the process or options regarding performance management training, please contact your HR Liaison.

All completed classified evaluations should be sent to the Employee Service Center in HR. All completed A&P evaluations should be sent to the respective planning unit head.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at

Central Travel Account Card Use for Car Rentals

In an effort to continue to improve travel related services to the campus community, Finance has worked with preferred travel provider, ALTOUR, to allow customers to use the Central Travel Account Card (CTA) to book car rentals at Enterprise and National (OHIO preferred providers for rental cars) through Concur.

There are several benefits to using these preferred vendors and the CTA card:

  • Booking through Concur with Enterprise or National ensures that you receive the OHIO discount.
  • You can book employees/non-employees/guests using the CTA card.
  • Using the CTA card eliminates the need to utilize a personal PCard and tying up personal credit limit.
  • These vendors provide added insurance protection.
  • In the event of an accident, departments will not be responsible for the $500 deductible under OHIO’s agreement.

For general information about renting a car, please view the Vehicle Rental FAQ.

New Form Coming for Contract Processing

A new form is coming to BobcatBUY on Mar. 13, 2017. The Contract Services Document Review will be released under Internal Forms within BobcatBUY and will allow better transparency, access, and tracking of progress for the planning units.

The purpose of the Contract Services Document Review form is to assist with timely review and guidance on all Contract Services-related documents (see below for examples) that contain terms and conditions and/or any document that requires a signature. Moving forward, this document must be used to request all document reviews. Email and phone requests for document review will no longer be accepted after March 13 when this new form is accessible.

This review will not add a supplier, generate a purchase order, or provide an executed agreement with the exception of credit applications that will be completed and sent to the supplier. This Document Review form is subject to departmental approval workflow.

This review form may be used for:

  • Contract Amendments/Addendums
  • Credit Applications
  • Contract Drafts
  • Quotes/Proposals
  • Purchasing Documents that require a signature
  • Online referenced terms and conditions
  • Insurance documents

This review process will allow:

  • Review/edits of documents
  • Determination of Insurance Requirements (Level 1, 2, 3, or Special)
  • Review of insurance certificates
  • Summary of required additional functional oversight, if needed by
    • IT
    • Transportation and Parking Services
    • Legal Affairs
    • Tax Compliance
    • Real Estate
    • Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
    • Environmental Health and Safety
    • Risk Management
    • Treasurer’s Office
    • Office of the Provost

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

FY18 Endowment Spending Allocations

On Friday, February 17, Foundation Accounting shared the FY18 endowment distributions report via email to primary and secondary finance contacts in all planning units. The report provides the actual amount of funds that will be withdrawn from the endowment investment pool to support individual spending accounts pursuant to the initiatives specified by the donor’s gift agreement. The file should be used for FY18 budgeting purposes, as amounts will be made available for spending on July 1, 2017.

The finalized amounts provided in this file were slightly different (and in most instances slightly higher) than the estimated amounts that were previously provided to the Student Financial Aid (SFA) Office and used to populate the SFA scholarship recommendation forms. Slight variances between this report and the prior report were generally very minor and should not change a planning unit’s approach to completing SFA’s scholarship recommendation forms. There are a few accounts with unusual spending rules whose distributions will be slightly lower than the amounts previously estimated and provided to SFA. (Columns H-J on the third tab of the file show the calculations of these variances by individual account.) In the event that these negative variances lead to overspending of an account during FY18, Foundation Accounting will work with planning units to correct those minor deficits if/when they occur.

The endowment distributions, labeled “FY2018 Net Spending Allocation” (Column H on the second tab and Column D on the third tab of the file), will be available for spending on July 1. For user convenience, the report presents the FY18 endowment distribution in three formats. The first tab of the document shows a summary by planning unit. The second tab shows endowment distributions from each endowed account. The third tab summarizes the endowment distributions by spending account. Please note that the amounts on the report may be less than that which is available for expenditure in the coming fiscal year for the following reasons:

  • Donations directed to an endowment’s spending account do not appear on the report, but are recorded in the general ledger and contribute to the spending account’s balance.
  • If the related donor gift agreement does not require unspent amounts to be returned to principal, spending account balances that are not committed or spent prior to June 30, 2017 may also be available for spending in the following fiscal year.

For current spending account balances, please consult Funds Available View. 

Generally, the endowment spending allocation is equal to the product of a 4% spending rate and the endowment's average market value for the trailing 36 months ended December 31, 2016. If an account is underwater (i.e. the account’s current market value is less than its historic gift value), the spending allocation is equal to the product of a 1% spending rate and the endowment’s average market value for the trailing 36 months ended December 31, 2016. In total, there is an overall improvement in the spending allocation for FY18, as compared to FY17, and many individual endowed funds will receive a larger spending allocation than they did in the prior fiscal year. However, these increases are due to new gifts received into those endowment funds during the recent past. For mature endowed accounts that have not received any recent gifts, the FY18 spending allocation is approximately 3% less than it was in FY17. This decline is due to negative investment returns experienced during FY15 and FY16, which resulted in average market values during calendar year 2016 (which was used in the FY18 calculation) lagging average market values during calendar year 2013 (which was used in the FY17 calculation). 

Questions? Contact Candice Casto at or 740-593-1901.

FY18 Budget Planning

The Budget Office has released the FY18 spring budget planning assumptions and forecasting models. For more information, visit the Business Planning and Analysis Development Tools web page and see the updated FY18 Budget Timeline.

Important upcoming dates in the Budget Process include:

  • Mar. 1 – 24: Spring Financial Review meetings
  • Mar. 27 – Apr. 7: Finalize Budget decisions

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

Financial System Enhancements: Conversion and OBI Dashboards

The Financial System Enhancements (FSE) project represents a combination of initiatives planned to be available in November 2017 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.

In March, the FSE Project team will reach a major milestone as the first fully converted instance of the General Ledger (GL) will be complete. This enables 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 will also set-up Grants data for demonstration and testing purposes. With the conversion, users will begin to see how the data will be mapped in the General Ledger and the Oracle Grants Accounting Module. Planning Units will have the opportunity to review initial mapping and provide feedback during March and April.

Enhanced HR/Payroll OBI dashboards are in development and are planned to be available in spring 2017. Employee Information, Payroll Expense Distribution and several other dashboard pages will be vetted with a Pilot Group comprised of representatives from across campus in March. Releasing the HR/Payroll dashboards prior to the release of the other Financial System Enhancements will allow impacted 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 will meet in March to review a draft training schedule and provide feedback to help accommodate the diverse training needs as well as help determine the most feasible training windows for all impacted users.

Questions? Visit the COA Website for information, reach out directly to your Planning Unit’s Change Network member(s) to share