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System downtime planned to enable Financial System Enhancements (FSE) conversion

November 9, 2017

Ohio University will convert to a new Chart of Accounts beginning Thursday, November 30 at 5:00 PM through Tuesday, December 12 at 12:00 PM. The Chart of Accounts conversion will affect individuals across all Ohio University campuses and many systems will be unavailable for processes because of this conversion. An announcement will be sent when systems are available to campus users.

Both Oracle and non-Oracle systems will be impacted during the conversion period. Transition planning with campus financial personnel focused on deadlines for submission of materials for processing prior to the system downtime and emergency procedures/protocols to address critical business needs during system downtime.

A complete FSE Conversion Schedule and Checklist, including the impacts of the conversion, and the deadlines for submission of materials for processing prior to the system downtime, is available on the COA Website.

The following systems and tools will be impacted:

  • Oracle Modules
  • BobcatBUY
  • Concur
  • Funds Available View
  • PO Summary View
  • Employee Management System
  • Online Graduate Appointments
  • Account Validation Tool
  • Mail Barcode
  • Cost Center Lookup
  • Employee Lookup
  • My Personal Information
  • Natural Account Lookup
  • PACE
  • Payroll Expense Distribution
  • Scholarship Management System

PRE-CONVERSION PROCESSING

To minimize disruption to University business processes, a schedule has been developed to provide submission deadlines to ensure that business activity will be processed prior to the system downtime and the closing of November’s accounting activity. By planning ahead, emergencies can be avoided during the downtime. Central Finance system owners have developed plans to meet their deadlines and will ensure that all system feeds are processed in accordance with the close schedule. All Oracle systems must be ready to close by 5:00 PM on Friday, November 30. Transactions processed during the pre-conversion period will be included in November accounting activity.

PLANNING UNIT APPROVERS

Separate submission and approval deadlines were developed with campus financial personnel to ensure an appropriate amount of time is available for all steps of the processes prior to system downtime. The week of November 20 and the morning of Monday, November 27 will be a busy time for Planning Unit approvers. Individuals may want to verify availability of their Planning Unit approvers when submitting information close to the deadlines. Your approver may set earlier deadlines to ensure they have adequate time to process the approvals.

SYSTEM GO LIVE

When the system conversions are complete and made available on December 12, forms and materials must be submitted with the new Chart of Accounts (COA) structure. Forms that reference the old Chart of Accounts will not be processed and will be returned to departments for correction.

NOVEMBER MONTH-END CLOSE

JOURNAL ENTRIES, ACCOUNTING CORRECTIONS AND INTERNAL BILLING AUTHORIZATIONS

All journal entries, accounting corrections and internal billings are due in Finance at 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27 in order for this activity to be included in the November close period. Forms received after this due date will be returned to departments, who will need to convert to the new COA forms and re-submit after system go-live.

FINANCIAL (FMS) REPORTS

November 2017 month-end financial reports will be available on Monday, December 4, 2017.

 

PROCURE TO PAY

CONVERSION OF PURCHASE ORDERS

New purchase orders and change orders must be submitted and approved through BobcatBUY (BCB) by 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27. Transactions that have not completed departmental approval in BCB by 12:00 PM on November 27, will be rejected by Purchasing. Departments will have to reenter the transaction in BCB once the system is available on December 12 using the new COA. BobcatBUY (BCB) and Oracle will be unavailable to create new purchase orders, change or inquire about existing purchase orders, or send purchase orders to vendors beginning on Monday, November 27 at 12:00 PM, until go-live on Tuesday, December 12.

 

GENERAL PURCHASE ORDERS

  1. purchase orders are defined as catalog, non-catalog, NEW service agreement forms, and the former IC-EZ and IC Comprehensive. General POs that have a zero balance or an overspent balance will be closed. All General POs will be re-coded with the new COA via OBI Conversion Lookup dashboard page.

 

BLANKET SERVICE AGREEMENT PURCHASE ORDERS

On November 15, Purchasing will send Planning Unit requesters a list of all open blanket service agreement purchase orders. Requesters will have until 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27 to notify Purchasing to either close the PO or recreate the PO using the new chart of accounts. Blanket service agreement POs will be re-coded with the new account via the OBI Conversion Lookup dashboard page and the PO balance will reflect the remaining balance as of November 30.

 

All recreated POs (General and Blanket Service Agreement) will have the same PO number, include the remaining balance of the original PO and coded with the new Chart of Accounts. The recreated POs will not be sent to suppliers.

 

BLANKET PURCHASE/NON-SERVICE AGREEMENT ORDERS

All non-service agreement Purchase Orders will be closed in BCB effective November 30. Non-service agreement purchase orders will still be open in Oracle for payment of invoices. Departments will have until Friday, January 19 to create new blanket POs (with a new PO number) for the remainder of FY2018 using the new chart of accounts. Invoices received against closed blanket POs in BCB (after 12:00 PM on November 27 through January 19) will continue to be processed against the open blanket PO in Oracle through Friday, January 19.
 

PCARD AND TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORTS

The deadline to submit PCard and Travel Expense reports is Monday, November 20, with an approval deadline of Monday, November 27 by 12:00 PM. For planning purposes, please be aware the University is closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24.

 

  1. Concur reports that have not been approved by 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27 will be posted to the default account number of the cardholder against natural account code 777708 CONCUR HOLDING (new object code is 777900 CONCUR HOLDING). This will allow Planning Units to easily track what transactions require supporting document or an accounting correction after conversion.

PCARD TRANSACTIONS

PCard transactions will be loaded into Concur through Wednesday, November 15. Transactions after November 15 will not be loaded into Concur and will be held until the conversion process is complete. On Wednesday, December 13, all pending transactions will be imported into Concur and the normal loading of transactions will recommence. Pcard transactions posted with dates between November 15 and December 12 will need to be updated by January 26 to maintain compliance with Purchasing Card Policy 55.074 (which requires transactions be updated with ten business days). Please be aware that in some cases, this window may be shorter due to allowed spending dates on grant accounts.

 

PCARD USAGE DURING SYSTEM DOWNTIME

PCards may be used during the COA conversion period as the procurement vehicle to purchase goods or other non-service related purchases within the cardholder’s single transaction and monthly limit. Requests for spending limit exceptions during the outage window should be submitted to Finance yep

Customer Care (FinanceCustomerCare@ohio.edu or 740.594.6446) for assistance.

VENDOR PAYMENTS

The last check run for November prior to system downtime is Wednesday, November 29. Invoices must be approved and submitted to Accounts Payable by 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27 to be included in the November 29 check run. The November 29 check run will include all entered invoices with payment dates up to and including December 15, 2017. This will avoid any late payments during the outage period.

EMERGENCY PCARD AND PAYMENT ISSUES DURING OUTAGE WINDOW

If you experience an emergency purchasing or accounts payable issue during the systems downtime, please contact the Finance Customer Care Center (FinanceCustomerCare@ohio.edu or 740.594.6446) for assistance.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Concur will be unavailable starting on Thursday, November 27 at 12:00 PM. This is the last day to make travel arrangements through Concur or to print itineraries. Please plan ahead and make travel arrangements prior to system downtime.

 

During the outage window, travel arrangements can be made by calling ALTOUR directly. During this period of time, the COA conversion project will pick up the additional fees for agent assisted booking. However, it is expected that these fees should only be related to emergency travel needs.

 

ALTOUR can be reached by calling 866.451.5567 for agent assisted booking.

Additional information about ALTOUR is available on the ALTOUR web page on the Finance site.

 

TRAVEL AND RESEARCH ADVANCES

For travel advances to be included in the November 29 check run, travel and research advance requests must be submitted to Accounts Payable by 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27. Please note that employee expense reimbursement reports cannot be processed during the system outage window.

 

BURSAR’S OFFICE

DEPOSITS

Deposits must be delivered to the Bursar’s office or regional campus student service/accounting office no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday, November 28, for processing in November. Departments that build deposits electronically in CASHNet should not create any deposits after 12:00 PM on Tuesday, November 28. If a deposit is created but not cashiered on November 28, the open deposit will be voided, and the department will be responsible for re-entering the deposit in CASHNet.

 

CASHNet will convert to the new Chart of Accounts structure the evening of Tuesday, November 28, and will be available at the start of business Wednesday, November 29. Transactions entered in CASHNet beginning Wednesday, November 29 must use the new COA Structure.

EXTERNAL BILLING AUTHORIZATIONS

External billing authorizations are due to the Accounts Receivable, Bursar Office by 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27. Any external billing authorization forms after this date must use the new chart of accounts.

STUDENT PAYMENT RELEASE FORMS

Student Payment Release Forms are due to the Office of the Bursar by 12:00 PM on Monday, November 27. Any Student Payment Release Forms submitted after this date must use the new COA (see the Bursar website for updated form).

 

 

HUMAN RESOURCES AND PAYROLL

NEW HIRES, TRANSFERS, PROMOTIONS FOR FACULTY AND SALARIED ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Any faculty or salaried administrators who will be newly employed or may experience a change in employment (transfer, promotion, salary change) between November 26 and December 15 will need to be submitted to UHR (hiring proposals) in order to be processed by Monday, November 27 at 5:00 PM.

If these new hires and changes are not processed into Oracle by this date, affected individuals will NOT receive pay as normally scheduled on December 15 and will not have ANY systems access until December 14 at the very earliest.

NEW HIRES, TRANSFERS, PROMOTIONS FOR STAFF PAID HOURLY

All hourly staff who will be newly employed or may experience a change in employment (transfer, promotion, salary change) between November 26 and December 13 will need to be submitted to UHR (hiring proposals) in order to be processed by Monday, November 27 at 5:00 PM.

 

If these new hires and changes are not processed into Oracle by this date, new employees will not have ANY systems access until December 14 at the very earliest and those employed prior to December 9 will NOT receive pay as normally scheduled on December 20.

STUDENT HOURLY HIRES

If students are hired during the cutover period, hiring managers should process the appropriate paperwork in as usual and subsequently create the record in WorkForce. Employee Lookup will not be accessible. Therefore, if hiring managers have questions regarding a student’s status as an employee currently active in the system, they should contact the Employee Service Center to verify that the student is already in active status.

PAYING EMPLOYEES

Pay dates will not be interrupted during this cutover. Bi-weekly pay dates during this cutover period include November 22, December 6 and December 20. Semi-monthly employees will be paid as scheduled on November 30 and December 15.

 

Due to the system outage, no payroll checks or payroll direct deposits can be issued from Friday, December 1 until the system is available again on Tuesday, December 12.

MY PERSONAL INFORMATION (MPI)

Faculty and staff will have read only access to MPI during the outage. Employees will not be able to enter Paid Time Off (PTO) requests, change personal information or update direct deposit information during this time. Employees will have access to view and print payslips.

ABSENCE MANAGEMENT

Salaried faculty, staff, and their supervisors will not be able to access Absence Management as of 5:00 PM on Thursday, November 30. Employees and supervisors should track any absences during the outage and enter/confirm those absences once access to Absence Management is restored on December 12.

WORKFORCE

All timesheets for pay period end date November 25, 2017 must be completed and approved no later than 7:00 AM on Wednesday, November 29. WorkForce will be locked down at 7:30 AM for normal processing on November 29. OU Student hires can still be processed.

 

For pay period end date December 9, online time entry and approval will be available until 7:30 AM on Wednesday, December 13 using the existing chart of accounts. The system will be down for normal processing on December 13 through Thursday, December 14 for conversion. Once the WorkForce conversion is complete, the new chart of accounts will be required in WorkForce. Timeclocks will remain operational.

 

Employees are advised to refrain from overriding costing or entering future dated time in their online timesheet for the pay period beginning December 10. These timesheets will result in error and must be redone.

EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (EMS)

EMS will be shut down and no longer available to campus prior to the start of the COA Conversion. All contracts need to be entered by no later than Friday, November 17 and approved by Wednesday, November 22 to allow time for Payroll to process. The EMS system will be closed to campus at 5:00 PM on November 22.

PAYROLL EXPENSE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS (PEDs)

All PEDs corrections need to be submitted to Payroll by no later than 12:00 PM Monday, November 27.

BENEFITS, NEW ENROLLMENTS AND QUALIFYING EVENTS

New employees and existing employees with a qualifying event have 31 days from the date of hire or qualifying event to elect and make changes to their benefits. This timeframe remains unchanged during this period. Employees needing to make a change during this time can obtain paper election forms from the Employee Service Center (ESC).

MANAGER SELF SERVICE (MSS) COSTING

For salaried, Group 1, Group 2, Group 4 employees, Faculty and Staff, all MSS assignment-costing changes need to be submitted by end of the day Monday, November 27.

 

GRADUATE APPOINTMENTS

ONLINE GRADUATE APPOINTMENTS (OGA)

Users are encouraged to enter all graduate appointments for spring and/or fall term (including new appointments, supplements, or modifications) by Monday, November 20 at 5:00 PM. All appointments will need to be final approved prior to that date and time.

 

OGA will be unavailable to campus on November 21 through December 12.

 

MAIL SERVICES

MAIL SLIP

Mail Services will accept mail slips with current COA through the close of business on Friday, December 1. Mail Slips received beginning Monday, December 4 must reflect the new account. Mail slips received with an old account will be re-coded with the new account via the OBI Conversion Lookup dashboard page. This may cause a delay in processing. To avoid processing delays, users are encouraged to login to the Mail Barcode application on December 4 and print slips with their new account numbers. Users should contact their CFAO or financial delegate for new account numbers as Mail Services is unable to answer account specific questions.

 

PLANNING UNIT CUTOVER PREPARATION – FINANCIAL APPROVERS

Financial approvers for BobcatBUY and Concur must be setup no later than 12:00 PM on Monday, November 20. If setup for BobcatBUY and Concur is not in place by this time, the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer will be established as the default approver for all accounts within the planning unit.

 

Additional reminders and updates will be sent as deadlines approach. If you have questions, please reach out to your Planning Unit’s FSE Change Network Representative(s) or email coa@ohio.edu. More information about the project can be found on the COA Website.