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Spring 2007

U.Va. Money Management Gets Boost with New Treasury System

Spreadsheets are great. Many of us could not do our work without them. Sometimes, however, as processes increase in scope and complexity, it is tough to keep up with spreadsheets, and data integrity risks, human errors, and inefficiencies creep in. For example, managing treasury functions across the University currently requires as many as 30 spreadsheets with multiple worksheets among several offices. This is a labor intensive, complex operation. Thankfully, there are software packages that can gather and consolidate disparate information and significantly automate these previously manual processes, thus providing better information upon which to base decisions.

Such is the case with the new treasury system for the University which is scheduled to go live on May 31. ISDS has been working with Treasury Operations since January 2006 to select and implement a system that will “have a tremendous impact on our ability to think strategically as we manage our money,” says Jim Matteo, Director of Treasury Operations.

The Office of Treasury Operations manages the University’s cash and debt.  It also serves as the University’s internal bank, granting loans and offering investment options to the school’s units, according to Matteo. “Like a bank, we determine how much liquidity we should have, we manage our financial assets and liabilities, and we offer banking services, like loans and investments, to our customers.”

With restructuring and the passage of a key legislative amendment, the University will be given greater autonomy in managing and investing its funds and financing its operations, says Matteo.  “The amount of money that we have to manage is increasing, and this new system will allow us do this effectively and efficiently. Primarily, it will help us forecast our cash flows and predict the effects of different events, such as a change in interest rates or funding new construction with debt, on those cash flows.”

Spreadsheets will always have their place. But Matteo, for one, is happy to be doing his analysis with the assistance of a sophisticated system that brings all the information into one place and can significantly improve the quality of the information upon which the University will base its financial decisions.