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Business Matters May 2016

May 18, 2016

Quarterly Business Forum

Thank you for attending the Business Forum on Tuesday, May 3. The May 2016 Business Forum Presentation Slides are available on the Business Forum web page.

The next Business Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, 2016 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in Baker 240. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: August Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Questions? Contact the VPFA Communication & Training Department at finhr@ohio.edu.

Flexible Summer Hours Guidelines

To further support the work/life balance of Ohio University staff members, the University encourages departments to offer staff members flexibility in their hours of work during the summer term. For further guidance, departments are encouraged to refer to Policy #40.053: Flextime and Flexplace Scheduling to consider options for Classified Staff and Policy #40.063: Flexible Work Schedule, Flexible Hours, and Flexplace for Administrators.

The Summer Hours Guidelines are as follows:

  1. Departments are to be open during the normal University operating hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Departments with only one employee should collaborate with other departments to provide crossover coverage and ensure coverage during the University's hours of operation, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  2. Summer hours began the Monday after graduation (May 2, 2016) and end on the Friday before the start of Fall semester (August 19, 2016).
  3. Work start times may be varied and staggered within departments to maintain University hours of operation. The one-hour lunch period may be reduced to a half-hour lunch.
  4. Summer hours are intended to provide flexibility for staff members, but adherence to working a full shift is required.
  5. Summer hours may be discontinued by the department for operational reasons prior to the official end date.

The University hopes that this added flexibility enhances life at work and home.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at uhr@ohio.edu or 740.593.1636.

Benefits Open Enrollment Period Has Ended

Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity OHIO employees have to make changes to their benefits coverage plan options. This year, the annual Benefits Open Enrollment period began on April 11 at 12:00 pm and closed on May 3 at 5:00 pm. Enrollment was offered online via My Personal Information (MPI). Benefit changes and elections made during this Open Enrollment period will take effect on July 1, 2016. Benefits-eligible employees were encouraged to participate in Open Enrollment to select new vision and short term disability plan options. Failure to participate in Open Enrollment results in the continuance of medical, dental and life insurance options selected in 2015. All other benefit coverages (including vision, flexible spending accounts, and short term disability) are dropped unless selected during the Open Enrollment period.

Detailed plan coverage options are available on the Open Enrollment web page and were shared during informational sessions throughout the month of April.

In compliance with Federal regulations, other than during the annual Open Enrollment period, employees can only change their benefits if a qualifying event occurs. Review the Life Event grid [PDF] for details regarding qualifying events.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office at benefits@ohio.edu or 740.593.1636.

Health Care Premium Credit for Eligible Faculty and Staff

Included in the charge of the Benefits Advisory Council was a directive to establish a consistent level for funds held in reserve for the University’s benefits expenses.

The Benefits Advisory Council recommended a reserve level of six percent of projected benefits expenses be held to guard against volatility of benefits expenses, especially health care costs. For FY 2017, a six percent reserve level equates to $3.7 million. This reserve level was selected based on guidance that a six percent reserve would provide protection on cost volatility ninety percent of the time. 

The University currently holds a benefits reserve of $8.6 million. This amount reflects reserves accumulated from the variance between budgeted and actual costs from years FY 2011 through FY 2015, with the bulk of the excess reserve from FY 2015, which finished with a $4.3 million positive variance.

The Benefits Advisory Council recommended that a portion of the amount held in excess of the six percent reserve be returned to faculty and staff in May in the form of a health care credit. The University previously provided such a credit in 2008 and 2005. The remainder of excess reserves will be distributed to Planning Units.

Faculty and staff are eligible for the health care credit as follows:

Faculty, Administrators, Classified Staff, AFSCME members, FOP Members who:

  1. Were employed by the University and enrolled in a health plan on April 1, 2015 as the insured employee (the employee enrolled in coverage and paying premiums), and
  2. Are employed by the University and enrolled in a health plan on April 1, 2016 as the insured employee and are in active pay status on the date the health care credit is paid.
  3. Note: Faculty and staff not meeting the above parameters, including but not limited to employees who waived insurance coverage, who are no longer employed, or who are covered by their OU employed spouse in either 2015 or 2016 will not be eligible.

The premium refund is scheduled to be processed with the May 15 semi-monthly pay and the May 25 bi-weekly pay. The amount of the credit will be approximately $279 per eligible employee. The amount will appear in the Pre-Tax Deductions section of employee pay slips under the name “Health Care Credit” as shown to the right. The Health Care Credit is taxable so the net pay amount received will vary by employee.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office at benefits@ohio.edu or 740.593.1636.

End of Fiscal Year Reconciliation of Leave Usage

As the end of the fiscal year (FY 2016) approaches, University faculty and staff are reminded to make sure all planned and/or confirmed absences through June 30, 2016 are recorded in Absence Management using My Personal Information (MPI). This will ensure that leave balances are appropriately reflected and carried over into the new fiscal year (FY 2017).

Administrative salaried employees and faculty should report all vacation and sick leave usage through the Absence Management functionality in MPI. Requests for planned and/or confirmed absences should be submitted to and approved by your supervisor no later than June 30, or as soon as you return from your absence, to ensure that employee accrual information, including vacation, sick leave and personal time can be rolled over accurately.

Remaining FY 2016 Personal Days

Classified and administrative hourly staff using WorkForce time entry can view up-to-date usage and balance information through WorkForce as data is entered and submitted each pay period. Salaried Administrators should refer to Absence Management in MPI to obtain their current leave balances.

Employee Type Last day to use Personal Days for FY2016
Hourly Classified Staff Saturday, June 25, 2016
Hourly Administrative Staff Saturday, June 25, 2016
Salaried Administrative Staff Thursday, June 30, 2016
  • The last day for classified and administrative hourly staff to use any remaining personal hours received for FY 2016 is Saturday, June 25.
  • The last day for salaried administrative staff to use any remaining personal hours received for FY 2016 is Thursday, June 30.

The University provides a personal leave benefit to all classified employees as indicated in Policy #40.028. AFSCME and FOP Classified Bargaining Unit employees follow policy #40.028 as modified by Article 35(J) and 27L respectively of the Collective Bargaining Agreements. Salaried Administrators, Administrative Hourly, and Classified Non-Bargaining Unit staff are provided identical personal leave benefits.

The policy states that at the end of the fiscal year, unused personal days will be added back to an individual’s sick leave balance.

Personal Days for FY 2017

On July 1, personal days for FY 2017 will be established.

  • For employees assigned eight-hour shifts with a sick leave balance of at least 120 hours (15 days), 24 hours of time will be converted.
  • For classified employees assigned 10-hour shifts with a sick leave balance of at least 150 hours (15 days), 30 hours of time will be converted.
  • All permanent and provisional full-time and part-time classified employees and administrators, who have a sick leave balance in excess of the amounts noted above as of the dates listed below, will have three days of sick leave time converted to personal leave for FY 2017.
    • Classified and administrative hourly staff may use their newly accrued personal hours on or after June 26, 2016. Please note that accrual totals will not be visible in WorkForce until July 5. 
    • Salaried administrative staff may use their newly accrued personal hours on or after July 1, 2016.

The employee’s sick leave balance will be reduced by these hours while the personal leave balance will be increased by the same number of hours.

Relevant Information

Personal time must be used in one-hour increments. Employees may not report personal time in half-hour increments.

Please refer to the following policies for more information on leave:

  • Personal Days for Classified Staff – Policy 40.028
  • Vacation & Winter Break Closure for Administrative and Classified Employees – Policy 41.001
  • Paid Sick Leave for Faculty and Administrative Staff – Policy 40.029
  • Paid Sick Leave for Classified – Policy 40.030
  • Leaves of Absence for Faculty and Administrative Staff – Policy 41.128
  • Leaves of Absence for Classified Staff – Policy 40.033

Questions? Please contact the Employee Service Center at uhr@ohio.edu or 740.593.1636.

Create Your Own Finance Customer Care Ticket

When emails are received at financecustomercare@ohio.edu, Finance Customer Care representatives manually create a Footprints ticket creating a potential delay in beginning work on the request. You can now create your own ticket by emailing finance@support.oit.ohio.edu instead of financecustomercare@ohio.edu. This will save time and produce faster response rates for customers. Please include as much detail as possible for faster processing.

Important Note: Use of this email address should ONLY be used for new issues. If you have already received an email concerning your issue, please reply to the email received on that issue to prevent the creation of a duplicate ticket.

Questions? Please contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Purchasing Card Transitioning to Finance Customer Care

Finance Customer Care has taken on oversight of the Purchasing Card Program. Effective July 1, 2016, the email address purchasing.card@ohio.edu will no longer be available. Please send all inquiries to finance@support.oit.ohio.edu. This will create a ticket for Finance Customer Care representatives, one of whom is now the PCard Administrator. Use of this email address should only be used for new issues. If you have already received an email concerning your issue, please reply to the email received on that issue to prevent a duplicate ticket of the same issue.

As a reminder, more information is always better in order to avoid delay. Important information to include:

  • Cardholder’s name and department
  • Detailed information regarding the request to include amount requested, duration of request and the reason for the request to include why traditional procurement methods cannot be used
  • Services cannot be procured on a PCard. This is necessary to ensure that agreements, PO terms and conditions, insurance and other potential regulatory oversight is in place. Please plan ahead.
  • Group Travel and/or events also can no longer be procured on a PCard. This is necessary to ensure that agreements, PO terms and conditions, insurance and other potential regulatory oversight is in place. This includes group airfare, lodging, charter bussing, event space rental and catering. Please plan ahead.
  • For product purchases above the cardholder’s limits, traditional procurement should be followed in BobcatBUY. If a credit limit increase is needed, the CFAO or their delegate of the Planning Unit must review and approve the increase prior to purchase to enable Finance Customer Care to put the increase in place. Please plan ahead.

Questions? Please contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

JPMC Chip PCard Reissuance

All reissued purchasing cards are in Finance Customer Care in WUSOC for pick up during normal business hours and must be picked up no later than May 27, 2016. After this date, a new application must be completed and submitted to finance@support.oit.ohio.edu to receive a new PCard. Once the PCard holder activates their new card, the old card will be unusable and should be shredded. All old cards will expire on June 1, 2016 regardless of whether the new card is picked up. Single and monthly purchase limits will remain the same as the old card.

Questions? Please contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Purchase Order Yearend Close

At yearend, the following Purchase Orders (PO)will be closed:

  • FY 2016 Blanket POs
  • FY 2016 open POs with invoice match
  • FY 2016 open POs within a 10% tolerance of invoice match

If you have POs that are underspent and you know that no other invoices will be presented for payment, please complete a “Close PO Request” in BobcatBUY so Finance Customer Care can close that PO and relieve the encumbrance. You may also attach a listing of POs to the request.

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

FY 2017 Pre-Entry in BCB

Pre-entry of requisitions for future spend (FY 2017) is available now. Until mid-July, BobcatBUY will allow users to edit accounting dates for pre- and post-entry. As a result, you may pre-date (July 1, 2016) forms (i.e. Blanket Purchase Orders, etc.) for future purchases. In mid-July the accounting date field will revert back to a fixed, non-editable date.

Please note: When entering current activity, you must enter the accounting date when you create the requisition. Do not enter the invoice date or due date. Review the article in the April Business Matters for more details.

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Petty Cash Fund & Change Fund Reconciliations

As of June 30, 2016, Finance must have the correct balance of departments’ petty cash or change funds. This information is needed to finalize FY 2016 for financial statement purposes.

In mid-June, Nathan Hogue will send an email with the reconciliation forms to all custodians who maintain a petty cash or change fund. Information, instructions and the reconciliation form will be included in the email. Each fund must be reconciled on Thursday, June 30, 2016. The deadline to return the forms is July 1, 2016. Completed reconciliation forms should be submitted to Nathan Hogue at fmsreporting@ohio.edu.

For more information, review the Petty Cash & Change Fund Policy.

Questions? Contact Nathan Hogue in the General Accounting and Financial Reporting Department at hoguen@ohio.edu or 740.597.3133.

Fiscal Yearend Calendar Published

As a reminder, refer to the FY 2016 Yearend Closing Calendar for important due dates regarding yearend processing. The calendar is available on the Finance website. There are two separate views; one filtered to Campus View and one expanded to show all processes. Both are available as an Excel spreadsheet with the ability to filter and sort by function, department, fiscal year, etc. To submit calendar modifications or updates, please send an email to finhr@ohio.edu.

Questions? Contact the VPFA Communication & Training Department at finhr@ohio.edu.

FY 2017 Budget Calendar & Timeline

Planning Units are reminded of the timelines for submission of Budget Packets:

Group A - June 10, 2016

  • President
  • Central Reserves
  • Honors Tutorial College
  • International Studies
  • University College
  • WOUB Center for Public Media
  • V.P. for University Advancement
  • Voinovich School

Group B - June 17, 2016

  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • College of Business
  • College of Communication
  • College of Education
  • College of Fine Arts
  • Athena Cinema
  • V.P. for Research
  • Graduate College
  • College of Health Sciences and Professions
  • Library
  • Information Technology
  • Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • V.P. for Student Affairs (including Auxiliary units)

Group C - June 24, 2016

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Provost
  • Instructional Innovation
  • V.P. for Finance & Administration (including Auxiliary units)
  • University Central Pool
  • Regionals (all campuses and centers)

Questions? Contact your Budget Planning & Analysis contact or e-mail budgetplanning@ohio.edu.

Changes to Long Distance Calling

Ohio University has made two important changes to the way long distance telephone calls are handled.

Domestic long distance: No more bills

OIT has stopped billing for domestic long distance. OIT is not discontinuing the service. Domestic calls can be direct dialed from any office telephone line, but OIT will no longer bill for those calls.

Two factors prompted this change. First, the per-minute rate for domestic long distance is extremely low and is expected to drop even more in the coming years. At the same time, the cost of billing has been increasing each year. Given those two trends, it is not viable to continue billing. In fact, the savings in billing overhead should mostly offset the lost revenue, so this change will have little impact on the overall costs of operating the phone system.

International long distance: Limited billing

Most international calls are to countries like Canada with rates not much different from domestic long distance, so OIT will not bill for the majority of outgoing international calls. OIT will bill calls that cost more than $5 at the actual rate charged by our long distance carrier. Only one percent of calls, approximately five calls a month, will be billed under this provision.

Receiving incoming international calls has no cost to OHIO and will never be billed.

Questions about the reasoning behind either of these changes may be directed to Ohio University’s Chief Information Officer at cbantz@ohio.edu. Technical questions may be directed to the OIT Service Desk at 740.593.1222.

New Partner Groups Website

To further improve communication and develop a collaborative partnership between VPFA and Campus, Partner Groups were established in late Spring 2015. Partner Groups are co-chaired by a member of the RC Strategy Group and the leader of the relevant functional area. The Partner Groups include a maximum of five campus stakeholders including the co-chair from the RC Strategy Group. The only exception is the Budget Partner Group which will have a member from each Planning Unit. The Partner Groups are purposely kept small to ensure that they remain agile and responsive to timely issues. Recommendations of the Partner Groups will be vetted with the RC Technical Group and/or the Human Resource Management Group prior to being implemented.

Topics for the Partner Groups include:

  • RC Strategy Group Assignments
  • Campus Stakeholder Recommendations
  • Initial User Acceptance Testing for New System Functionality/Processes
  • Policy and Process Redesign
  • Functional Departments
  • Reporting/Data Needs
  • Regulatory/Compliance Issues
  • Service Level Agreement Discussions
  • Training & Communication Needs

There are eight established Partner Groups with additional Partner Groups in development. Each group meets at least once a month and will present at the Business Forum twice per year.

  • Budget
  • Employee Services
  • Compensation
  • Payroll
  • Post Awards and Grants
  • Procure to Pay
  • Facilities
  • Chart of Accounts

To enhance transparency and to showcase the collaborative work of the Partner Groups, a Partner Group website was launched in April 2016. Within the site, each Partner Group has a page with the group’s charge, representation, and meeting materials. The new website is accessible from the VPFA website and from the Finance website.

Questions? Contact the VPFA Communication & Training Department at finhr@ohio.edu

Excel Training Survey Results and Training Topics

In Fall 2015, the offices of UHR Organizational Development and VPFA Communication & Training conducted a series of sessions to assess the training needs for staff across the University. Based on the information gathered during these sessions, several training topics were determined to be of highest priority and new learning experiences to support these needs will be developed later throughout the calendar year. The first of these new learning experiences to be developed is Analyzing Information with Systems.

Analyzing Information with Systems represents a series of topics that are being developed as building blocks in support of the new Chart of Accounts Redesign project. The first topic in this series will be centered on enhancing Excel skills for OHIO staff. In March, an Excel Training Needs Assessment was shared across campus and received 108 responses. The purpose of this survey was to identify which Excel functions are most used by staff across campus and their level of expertise in each function. As a result of the survey feedback, the Excel Training Series has been developed and the first iteration will occur during the month of May. The Excel Training will last three weeks and cover six topics. Each session will be a combination of instructor-led training and an open lab to allow real-time learning within the context of specific tasks. The topics are defined below.

Excel Training Topics

  1. Basic Formulas
  2. General Formatting
  3. Advanced Formulas
  4. Conditional Formatting
  5. Pivot Tables
  6. Visual Presentation Skills

Due to increased demand, registration for the first round of Excel Training is full. Another series of the above sessions is targeted for summer. Once scheduled, an announcement will be published in Compass and in Business Matters.

Questions? Contact Adam Lewis, at lewisa2@ohio.edu.

Chart of Accounts Redesign Project – Mapping Continues

In May, The Chart of Accounts (COA) Redesign Project will reach a significant milestone as a series of COA Mapping Sessions are being conducted with Planning Units throughout the month. In the introductory COA Mapping Overview Sessions, COA segment definitions and values are explained to mapping participants in order to build knowledge and understanding of the new COA account structure. In the subsequent COA Mapping Workshops, participants map and document old COA segment data to new segment COA values. Once mapping is complete, the new COA values will be validated and tested against business critical scenarios as already defined by members of COA Core Team and Partner Groups.

For additional project-related updates and information on the COA Account Redesign Project, refer to the Chart of Accounts Redesign website. For more information regarding the Mapping exercises, visit the Campus Involvement page.

Questions or feedback? Contact the Chart of Accounts Project Team at coa@ohio.edu.