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Business Matters May 2017

May 5, 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 finadmin@ohio.edu.

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 featured collaboration with all departments within Finance, IT and campus users with user feedback guiding the design. Now that the designs are complete, the project team is working to build the site with plans to test and train editors during the month of June with a go-live planned before July. The new Finance site will be developed in Drupal, the new content management system, as part of a pilot with Web Services.

As the audience for the Bursar website is different from the rest of Finance, the decision was made to move the Bursar website out from under the Finance website umbrella. The Bursar website has also been redesigned and the new site went live on April 28, with the new URL of www.ohio.edu/bursar. There will be a redirect in place for the next six months to direct any traffic that goes to www.ohio.edu/finance/bursar to the new bursar URL. If you maintain a website and link to the Bursar site, please update the URL to link to the proper location.

Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Change Management and Communication at finadmin@ohio.edu.

New Finance and Administration website to go live May 12

The Finance and Administration website (www.ohio.edu/vpfa) is undergoing a redesign and the new site will be live on May 12. This site will provide links to departments within Finance and Administration as well as access to information about offices within the Division including the Business Service Center, Change Management and Communication, and the Office of the VP. The redesigned site will provide access to resources for campus constituents such as the Signature Authority document and a dashboard view of the Finance and Administration Project Portfolio. The URL for the new site will be www.ohio.edu/finance-administration. An announcement will be published in Compass once the new website is live.

Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Change Management and Communication at finadmin@ohio.edu.

Benefits Open Enrollment Period Ends

As last announced in an email to all University employees April 26, the annual Benefits Open Enrollment period began on Monday, April 10 and closes Friday, May 5 at 5 p.m. Benefit changes and elections made during this Open Enrollment period will take effect on July 1. During this period, enrollment has been available online via My Personal Information (MPI): Self Service Benefits. Refer to the Open Enrollment User Manual for instructions using MPI to enroll.

If no action is taken during open enrollment, an employee’s current benefit elections will remain in place except the health care flexible spending account or the dependent day care flexible spending account. Federal regulations require employees elect a flexible spending accounts each year. Employees may enroll in flexible spending accounts using MPI: Self Service Benefits.

End of Fiscal Year Reconciliation of Leave Usage

As the end of FY17 approaches, faculty and staff are reminded to record all planned and/or confirmed absences through June 30 in the appropriate system to ensure that leave balances are appropriately reflected and carried over into FY18. 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 Faculty & Administrators should refer to Absence Management in My Personal Information (MPI) to obtain current leave balances and should report all vacation and sick leave usage in Absence Management.

Personal Days – Administrators and Classified Staff

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.

Employee Type Last day to use Personal Days for FY17
Hourly  Staff Saturday, June 24, 2017
Salaried Administrative Staff Friday, June 30, 2017

Personal Days for FY18

On July 1, personal days for FY18 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 FY18.
    • Classified and administrative hourly staff may use their newly accrued personal hours on or after July 1. Please note that accrual totals will not be visible in WorkForce until July 3. 
    • Salaried administrative staff may use their newly accrued personal hours on or after the pay period beginning July 1.

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 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.

Closing Calendar Published

Fiscal yearend is fast approaching. Please be mindful of any goods or services received prior to June 30, and that all invoices and deposits are submitted in a timely manner for yearend. Your cooperation will help facilitate a clean yearend close. 

The FY17 Yearend Closing Calendar is available on the Finance website.

Key Upcoming Dates

  • Thursday, June 1
    • Accounting Corrections for transactions posted through April 30 due
    • Internal Billing Authorizations through May 15 due
  • Thursday, June 15
    • Accounting Corrections for transactions posted through May 15 due
  • Thursday, June 22
    • Accounting Corrections through June 15 due
    • Internal Billing Authorizations through June 15 due

Purchase Order Closures

As yearend approaches, it is important to stay on top of purchase order (PO) closing activity. If a PO has had all of the invoices paid against it (including freight) and has an open amount, please submit a BobcatBUY request to close the PO. That will relieve the encumbrance and allow those funds to become available for use. 

Procurement Services will automatically close POs throughout the year with the following criteria:

  • any general PO that is 60 days old or older, and has a difference between encumbered amount and billed amount of +/-$5
  • any fully-satisfied direct payment that is 30 days or older

For FY17 only: in anticipation of the Chart of Accounts redesign, Procurement Services will not be closing all blanket POs and service agreements at fiscal yearend. Procurement Services will have to close all open POs and recreate them in the new chart format as part of the cutover plan for the Financial System Enhancements project. To best serve campus, Procurement Services will keep all existing blankets open until November 30 and close them as part of the cutover. Procurement Services will change the dates and notify the suppliers of the extensions. If you feel your blankets will require more money to cover costs for the addition months, please submit a change order request to increase the PO amount. Change orders may be submitted any time between now and November.  

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740-597-6446.

Pre-Entry of FY18 Purchase Orders

Pre-entry for FY18 POs became available May 1. New blankets or POs may now be entered them. Remember, because FY17 blankets are being extended, there is no need to create new blankets for FY18. You will only need to enter blankets for new suppliers. 

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740-597-6446.

Print Responsibly Billing Data

CFAOs and IT are still reviewing Print Responsibly billing data for January to March 2017 so printing will be charged to accounts in May instead of the usual April timeline.

Questions? Contact IT Purchasing at itpurchasing@ohio.edu or 740-597-1500.

Petty Cash Fund and Change Fund Reconciliations

As of June 30, Finance must have the correct balance of departments’ petty cash or change funds. This information is needed to finalize FY17 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 Friday, June 30. The deadline to return the forms is July 3. 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 General Accounting and Financial Reporting at hoguen@ohio.edu or 740-597-3133.

Purchasing Card Reissuance

The best-laid plans sometimes don’t go as planned! This is certainly true of the latest PCard reissuance. While Finance and the corporate card provider worked out a very detailed plan in the months leading up to the redistribution, things did not go as expected. There were multiple points of failure on the part of the card provider in the form of missed delivery dates, incorrect card stock, and missed or incorrect information. Please know that every measure has been taken to ensure that these problems do not recur in future reissuances.

On behalf of Finance, please accept our apology for any additional work the reissuance caused your offices and your faculty/staff. We appreciate your efforts in making the card distribution as painless as possible.

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740-597-6446.

FY18 Budget Calendar and Timeline

The Budget Planning and Analysis Office recently provided updated FY18 budget guidance to planning units. The revised deadline for submitting Final THE Budget Sheets is May 2, 2017. Following is the schedule for the submission of FY18 Budget Packets:

Group A - Due June 9, 2017

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

Group B - Due June 16, 2017

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

Group C - Due June 23, 2017

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Provost
  • Instructional Innovation
  • VP for Finance and Administration (including Auxiliary Units)
  • University Central Pool
  • Regional Campuses (including All Campuses & Centers)

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

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

Financial System Enhancements: HR Dashboard Release and Upcoming Training

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).

The Human Resources (HR) OBI Dashboard has been developed and was demonstrated to the FSE Change Network on May 2, in preparation for release to Campus in late May or early June. The HR dashboard has multiple pages for various inquires and reports including Employee Information, Absence Management, Appointment Information & Costing, and several other dashboard pages that were vetted with a Pilot Group comprised of representatives from across campus. Training for this dashboard will be offered through videos and a reference guide. Access to the HR Dashboard will be determined by each Planning Unit and communication regarding training resources and availability will be distributed to impacted users once the dashboard is live.

The Budget Planning and Analysis Office will facilitate an optional training opportunity in May to help units that want to participate to think about how they could budget differently in the current COA to prepare for a smoother transition to the new COA come November. In addition, the training will provide an opportunity to discuss the FY19 budget process, and help the Budget Office determine how to adjust templates, tools, and guidance to support the FY19 planning process. An invitation to register for participation was sent to representatives from each Planning Unit on April 26.

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

FSE Highlight: COA Structure, Segments, and the Source 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 Source Segment

The Source segment is a six-digit value that identifies how the transaction is funded, classified by restrictions. Source values used by Planning Units will generally belong to one of two categories: Unrestricted Operations and Restricted Expendable. For sources, it is important to note that restrictions are imposed by external parties like donors or sponsors. Source segment values will be the same across all Planning Units. Examples are shown on the next page. Some sources in the examples are shown with XXXX as part of their number; the XXXX represents uniquely named values for specific gifts, scholarships, award programs, etc.                                                                  

Unrestricted Operating funds are University funds from operations that have no “external” restrictions that limit spending. Other examples include:

  • Endowment earnings on funds the University has placed in the quasi-endowment are treated as Unrestricted Endowment Distributions.
  • University cost allocations are collected and distributed through unique unrestricted sources (e.g., Subvention, Depreciation, Admin Cost Allocation).
Unrestricted Source Examples
Segment Value Source Designation
100000 General Fund (unrestricted)
100500 Unrestricted Foundation Gift
100600 PACE
104XXX Cost Allocations
13XXXX Unrestricted Endowment Distributions

Designated funds are unrestricted funds that departments choose to designate for specific spending Designated purposes. These funds are sometimes referred to as “internally restricted.” Designated funds are categorized by purpose or use (e.g., workshops, startup funds, internal awards, etc.). Operating reserves (aka carryforward) are also considered designated funds.

Designated Source Examples
Segment Value Source Designation
110000 Unrestricted Capital Spending
110100 Workshops/Conferences
110150 Camps
112000 Honors Tutorial Allocations
1121XX Internal Awards
1124XX Startup Allocations
113000 Cost Share Funds
113600 Federal Workstudy Cost Share
115000 Operating Reserves

Restricted expendable funds represent funds received from external parties with specific spending restrictions. When donors contribute to the foundation, they often specify how the funds should be spent:

  • If a gift is specified as endowed, the gift is to be invested in perpetuity and the endowment distribution/earnings can only be spent for the donor’s intended purpose.
  • An outright gift can be spent in its entirety, but must be spent in accordance with donor purposes.

When sponsors engage the University in agreements, the scope of the project and restrictions on spending are specified in the sponsored agreement. Sponsored funds are categorized by source of funds (e.g., Federal, State, Local, Private Sources, etc.)

Restricted Source Examples
Segment Value Source Designation
400000 State Appropriations
42XXXX Restricted Gifts
43XXXX Endowment Distributions
44XXXX Sponsored Projects
45XXXX Sponsored Financial Aid

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 coa@ohio.edu.