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Summer 2006

Briefly

ISDS Works with Central Offices to Identify Solutions

ISDS has been working with central offices over the past several months to identify the best products to bring improved and mandated functionality to the University. These include:

  • Working with University Human Resources to plan and procure an applicant tracking system
  • Working with Treasury Operations to plan and procure a new treasury system
  • Working with Procurement Services to procure and begin implementation of an electronic procurement solution (see On-Line Shopping at U.Va. Due in December).

Correct Labor Encumbrances (almost) Ready to Roll

Oracle has delivered new functionality to address long-standing labor encumbrance issues. This is a result of a lot of hard work on the part of the PI Usability Task Force and the Multi-University Grants group initiated by U.Va. Of greatest interest to users is that:

  • 12 month faculty will encumber for the correct pay amount only for the months paid
  • GTAs & GRAs will encumber in addition to Faculty and Classified Staff
  • Labor encumbrances for Sponsored Program grants will match the sponsor’s budget period rather than the U.Va. fiscal year.

ISDS has just received the changes and is beginning to evaluate and thoroughly test the functionality, as well as assess the impact to both processes and end users.

The goal is to roll out the new functionality before FY 2007 encumbrances are generated. We currently anticipate this to happen in the late August timeframe. This is an aggressive schedule, and the actual rollout date will depend on how smoothly the testing goes.

More information will be forthcoming on both the functionality and how it might affect how to do month-end reconciliation and/or schedule labor.

Oracle has delivered new functionality to address long standing labor encumbrance issues. This is a result of a lot of hard work on the part of the PI Usability Task Force and the Multi-University Grants group initiated by UVA. Of greatest interest to users is that:

• 12 months month faculty will encumber for the correct pay amount only for the months paid
• GTA & GRA’s will encumber in addition to Faculty and Classified Staff
• Labor encumbrances for Sponsored Program grants will match the sponsor’s budget period rather than the UVA fiscal year.

ISDS has just received the changes and is beginning to evaluate and thoroughly test the functionality as well as assess the impact to both processes and end users.

The goal is to roll out the new functionality before FY 2007 encumbrances are generated. We currently anticipate this to happen in the late August timeframe. This is an aggressive schedule and the actual rollout date will depend on how smoothly the testing goes.

More information will be forthcoming on both the functionality and how it might affect how to do month-end reconciliation and/or schedule labor.

New ISDS Staff

  • Tina Collins joined the ISDS staff on June 19 as a Grants Accounting Functional Analyst. Tina formerly worked at Biotage, Inc., a local company that uses version 11i.10 Oracle eBusiness Suite, where she served as support person for the Oracle applications.
  • Dana Abbott will join ISDS as Technical Director beginning August 25. Dana will be responsible for the day-to-day technical management. She comes to U.Va. from the University of Mary Washington, where, for the last 10 years, she was in charge of the IT group that manages administrative applications and their technical infrastructure, as well as the portal and course management systems. (Teresa Wimmer has been promoted to Senior Technical Director. She will work with ISDS 20 percent time and serve as Technical Integration Lead for the Student System Project 80 percent time.)

Current Usability Task Force Projects

ISDS has been focused on the 11i.10 upgrade, which has required a code freeze for changes to the system. Despite this, the usability groups have been busy.

FUSS (Financial Usability & System Solutions)
The FUSS team has completed a design specification and a proof-of-concept prototype of a new Cash Balance by Org report. The Cash Balance by Org report is designed to be run from Discoverer and will allow users to request a Cash Balance report for all revenue projects owned by a specified organization or MBU. Data from this Discoverer report can also be downloaded for use in other applications, e.g., Excel. ISDS is currently in the process of developing the required views and report. The scheduled implementation date is by the end of December.

Payroll Reconciliation Report Task Force
The Payroll Reconciliation team has completed a new discoverer report called IS.PAY_Payroll Reconciliation Report. For the first time, holders of a UVA ODS Specialist-Limited responsibility will be able to view the complete picture of how gross pay was calculated at the assignment level and how that gross pay was charged to PTAEOs.
The first tab of the report shows pay elements for which hours are entered as well as pay elements created via HR such as ‘Acting Pay’. ‘Military Leave’, etc. It will also show pay elements with hours earned as well as hours paid, example: ‘Comp Special Earned’. A second tab uses the same selection and sort criteria as the ‘Payroll’ tab to show how gross pay was charged to PTAEOs.

HR will be sending out an email notification shortly announcing the report’s availability. For more information, see the Pay_Payroll Reconciliation Focus on Reports Session.

PI Reporting Usability Group
The PI Reporting Usability group will be participating in the testing of the latest labor encumbrance enhancements received from Oracle. Meanwhile, the group has been working with OSP to map existing expenditure types to roll up “budget categories” for the new streamlined PI Funding Summary and PI Expenditure Detail reports. The new reports will available to all Discoverer users in late August, coinciding with the implementation of the labor encumbrance enhancements

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Hints and Tips

The following tips are in response to comments by users who responded to the 2006 IS Users Survey.

Discoverer
The Integrated System provides a number of pre-defined reports in Discoverer. Unlike traditional reporting tools, Discoverer allows the end-user to modify an actual pre-defined report specification and/or interact with the result set once the report has been run and the data returned.

The links below highlight the use of some Discoverer features. For more in depth information, enroll in a Discoverer Class.

Training

  • Follow-up training sessions: Any user can attend any scheduled training sessions at any time. In addition, drop-in sessions or specialized work-sessions can be scheduled based on demand. If there is a session you would like to see scheduled, contact the IS Customer Support Center at 3-7550.
  • Printed training manuals may not reflect most current information: Training materials are constantly being updated, which means that the printed manuals you receive during classroom training will become outdated. However, the on-line, HowDoI pages are always kept current. Please use the on-line information.

Getting “kicked out” of the system: While ISDS is exploring this issue further, there are two things to try if you frequently are kicked out of the system and it is not a “timed-out” situation (no key strokes for 90 minutes).

1. Be sure you are on the latest version of VPN (version 4.05).
2. Check to be sure your spyware is not creating the problem.

Time it takes to get a responsibility assigned: The Office of Human Resources Development and Training is investigating this issue to see if there are ways to expedite the process.

Payslips

  • Some users who are on the “semi-monthly paid monthly” payroll objected to receiving two payslips each month. This format will not change because a) to change it would require a system customization, and b) the statements match the deposits in the bank accounts.
  • Leave balances are not on the payslips. To include them would require a customization, and the balances are available to users on their time sheets.
  • The ability to print a payslip onto one page is dependent on the number of elements each individual has on their payslip. However, to minimize the amount of information you are printing, highlight your payslip without including the header or footer, select File -> Print, and click the “Selection” button, then Print.

Reports that take a long time to run: ISDS continues to monitor long-running reports and makes adjustments when possible. Please pass along examples of long-running reports to the IS Customer Support Center at 3-7550.

Reports on donations: There is no donor information in the Integrated System. However, departmental development offices have information on their donors. Information can also be obtained from the University Development Office.

Printing multiple reports in landscape: When running multiple standard reports that you want to print landscape (Discoverer reports are formatted to print landscape), you can reset the setting in Windows, then reset it when you are done. Depending on your version of Windows, the process is: Start -> Printers and Faxes ->Select printer ->Printing preferences ->Advanced ->Layout options ->Orientation ->Landscape. You also may reduce the size of the data on the page by reducing the scale to less than 100%.

Two windows/responsibilities open simultaneously: You can log on twice to have two windows open simultaneously.

Purchasing comments: Because the new UVA Marketplace implementation will change many of the purchasing procedures, current issues may become obsolete in December (see On-Line Shopping at U.Va. Due in December)

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.

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