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Fall 2005

Briefly

Current Usability Task Force Projects

FUSS (Financial Usability & System Solutions)
Focus on Reports: Three new Focus on Reports sessions were published in October. They are available for viewing on the IS Reports web site:

  • Session 8: BU_Budget vs Actual by Revenue Project
  • Session 9: UVA PA Installments vs Funding vs Expenditures report
  • Session 10: FM_Award BA by Award Manager

New FUSS initiatives include:

  • While developing an Award and Cash Management class, the FUSS team realized that the Processing Funds web page would be the ideal basis upon which the class would be designed. However, more information was needed to fulfill the requirements of the class. What started as an effort to flesh out the Processing Funds information by including how to manage those funds all the way through reporting, became a complete revamping to make the site both extensive and intuitive and available as a desk top reference any time, any place (assuming one has Internet access).
  • FUSS is now targeting December to implement this redesigned and interactive main Processing Funds web page, with more structured individual fund type procedure flows. The new web pages currently are undergoing review by central offices. Upon final approval, they will be available by clicking the current Processing Funds link from the Integrated System home page either by using the flyouts: Finance Links->General Information->Processing Funds, or by linking to the Finance Links web site and clicking Processing Funds.
  • Improvements include:
    • Interactive main page, where you can click on any of the bars or symbols to drill down to additional information.
    • Updated individual fund type procedure flows that document who does what, when, with a new “How do I?” column that is filled in only if the end-user has an action item.
    • Hyper links to the actual navigation/form/procedure required to complete the “How do I?” action.
    • Listing of reports required to manage accounts, verify, and/or troubleshoot, along with corresponding hyper links to a Focus on Report session that explains the report.
  • Now that the Processing Funds web site is close to completion, FUSS is continuing to develop the Award and Cash Management class that will help employees understand what their responsibilities are in this area and how to carry out those responsibilities from receipt of funds through reporting. Tommye Arnold of General Accounting will announce the first class offering in December 2005.
  • FUSS also has worked with Tommye Arnold, and with Sharon Boyd of Office of Sponsored Programs, to develop a cost transfer session to address, dos and don’ts, common errors, and specific requirements necessary to gain central office approval. The session will be presented at an upcoming Fiscal Administrators meeting.
  • PI Reporting Usability Group
    As noted in the Summer 2005 issue of IS Exchange, ISDS and OSP convened a group of grants administrators to participate in a pilot of the UVA Manual Encumbrance Subsystem. That group has morphed into a usability group, charged with making recommendations and evaluating suggested alternatives for improving the subsystem or working with Oracle to build or improve the solution, and testing the solution that results from their input. To date, the group has:

    • Committed to using the subsystem for one of their awards to see how well it works for them.
    • Clearly defined the problem and the overall goal they wish to achieve: Improve reporting for principal investigators by
      • Ensuring that encumbrances are correct,
      • Creating an “ideal” report format for PIs to get the information they need easily.
    • Brainstormed the business requirements surrounding PI reporting.

    Next steps include reporting on experiences with the UVA Manual Encumbrance Subsystem, continuing brainstorming requirements, and turning them into specifications for a solution.

    HR Usability Task Force
    The focus of the HR Usability Task Force has been on the design and development of three new reports to be implemented in the November/December timeframe.

    • LD_Labor Schedule Hierarchy report
      This report provides the LD Specialist with the ability to see the complete distribution schedule (individual assignment, organization default, and/or suspense) for all employee assignments in their organization. It will allow them to identify schedules assigned to suspense and proactively make corrections before payrolls are run to reduce labor suspense entries.
    • LD_Labor Suspense Detail report
      The purpose of this report is two fold:
    1. To assist LD Specialists in determining which labor transactions went to suspense and why.
    2. To assist LD Specialists in determining whether they have successfully created adjustments to clear labor suspense transactions.

    The LD specialist can run the report after a payroll has been processed to find out which LD transactions went to suspense and why. Then, after working the issues and making adjustments, the LD Specialist can run the report again to quickly determine which suspense account entries have been adjusted out, and which, if any, are remaining.

    LD_Labor Schedules and Salary Report – Current
    This report provides “UVA ODS Specialist – Limited” users with the current distribution schedules (individual assignment, organization default, and/or suspense) for all employee assignments within their organization, along with their current salary/hourly wage. This report provides the basis for further analysis by departmental HRMS specialists for such things as budget projections, etc.

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    Hints and Tips

    General
    Requests to run reports or processes proceed without being watched.
    When submitting requests to run processes or reports, e.g., PSP: Liquidate Encumbrances for Employee Termination, you do not have to stay in the application, or even on the computer, while it is running. In fact, you can shut down the computer and go home. When you return and want to view the progress of the request, go to View My Requests.

    Grants Accounting
    No Employee Name required for Expenditure Batches (Cost Transfers).
    When you enter Actual Expenditure Batches, you are no longer required to enter a name in the Employee Name field on the Expenditures screen. The only required field on the upper portion of the screen is Organization.

    Please send your hints and tips to Carole Horwitz at crh5y@virginia.edu so they may be included in the next issue of IS Exchange. If your tips are published, we will send you a thank you gift for helping out your fellow users of the Integrated System.

    Labor Distribution
    LD FAQs have been overhauled! Find answers to all your LD questions by clicking here.

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