Several months ago, in response to difficulties users were having with the Oracle financial applications, the ISP advisors, with assistance from the Division of Training, created a taskforce to identify the most widespread issues and get answers out to users. Solutions took a variety of forms, and many have been rolled out over the past few months. For example, new lists of values and the steps for processing funds were added to the Document Repository, classes were modified, new reports were developed, and Financial Administration and ISP created a course that explains the concepts behind funds accounting in Oracle. Some issues were referred to the Integrated System Applications Management Board if they required changes to the applications.
The final step for the taskforce is sharing with you a list of the problem statements and solutions. These will be housed in the Integrated Systems FAQ web site. An email with links to the questions and answers will be sent to all Oracle users shortly.
At this point, the taskforce is disbanding, but we anticipate that users groups will be formed around particular issues. If you have an issue you feel would be well served by a group of users working together to explore solutions, please contact your ISP advisor.
Two new Discoverer reports are available to users, and two reports have been improved with the guidance of the Reports Users Group.
The new reports are:
IS.BU_BUDGET DEVELOPMENT REPORT
The Budget Development Report provides for the review of budget data entered by departments when formulating new fiscal year budgets. Four different report tabs allow budget entries to be reviewed for both Revenue and Expenditures by Organization or Major Budget Unit (MBU). Note: This report is available only to users who have the Budget Developer and UBO Budget Developer responsibilities.
IS.FM_OTPS SUSPENSE PROJECT BALANCE
This report displays balances in the new OTPS Suspense Projects. Each organization has an OTPS Suspense project assigned. These projects will be charged when there are invoices or payments that could not be processed within 14 days due to a problem with invoice, vendor, LPO, or PO. Vice presidents will be provided with copies of this report for review and action.
One improved report is already available, and the second will be rolled out on April 1. The first, Project BBA by Expenditure Type (Current) and (History), now contains two tabs (worksheets) located at the bottom of the report window. The two worksheet tabs provide a Non-Grant Project format and a Grant Project format. Both worksheets contain the same data, which is to say they include all projects, regardless of type, for an Organization, and have the same grand total. The data is just formatted differently on the two worksheet tabs. Both tabs:
· Are formatted to print on 8 1/2 X 11 without scaling, eliminating the need for a postscript print driver.
· Have Revenues and Recoveries removed from the Personal Services subtotal and summed together in a separate Rev / Rec subtotal.
The Non-Grant Project format tab is basically the same report layout as before, except for the changes noted above. The Grant Project format tab has these additional changes:
The second improved report, which will be available on April 1, is the Expenditure Detail Report. Changes include:
The Reports Users Workgroup has worked diligently with Rose Argaud of the Integrated Systems Project to make these reports better meet the needs of the University community. Many thanks to Nancy Pace, Mike Boblitz, Angie Wooten, Florence Buchholz, Neal Grandy, and Melissa Pelletier.
PHASE 2 UPDATE
Go-live for the Oracle Human Resources, Payroll, Time Management, and Fixed Assets applications will be June 27, 2002. This date will allow users to enter data into the HR application in time for the July payrolls. It will not mark the first time payroll is run in Oracle, however.
Understanding the urgency of "getting it right" the first time after go-live, beginning this month and until we go live the end of June, University Human Resources and the Integrated Systems Project will parallel test the Oracle payroll system with the current system to make sure all the numbers add up, several times between now and the end of June.
"The first time will be the end of March, when we will start our comparison of payrolls. Coincidentally, monthly, semimonthly, and biweekly payrolls run concurrently this month," says Barbara Henry, Phase 2 functional lead. "Beginning in April, HR will be double keying payroll for an additional monthly, two additional semimonthly, and two additional biweekly payrolls. These tests will give us several opportunities to be sure that the first solo run for Oracle brings no surprises."
Assigning phase 2 Oracle responsibilities is proving a bit easier or at least faster than assigning phase 1 responsibilities. First, we have a better sense of what is an Oracle responsibility. Second, there are fewer people involved in human resources and payroll than in finance. And, finally, there are fewer responsibilities to worry about.
ISP advisors have just about completed assigning the HR/Payroll responsibilities. One change to look for, says Bill Randolph, ISP director, is that fewer people will be entering employee data, while more will be viewing it compared to the finance applications.
"Because all Oracle responsibilities require training," says Randolph, "University Human Resources and the ISP Executive Committee have decided that people who do not frequently process HR data should not be required to remember how to do things they only do a few times over the course of a semester or year. Therefore, many people who currently enter employee information infrequently (into OPAS) may be able to view the information, but people with more frequent usage will actually enter the information into Oracle.
As responsibilities are being assigned, the Office of Training Administration is entering the names into Oracle Training Administration (OTA), so they can notify employees of their responsibilities and tell them how to register for training.
Training for Oracle Human Resources and Payroll responsibilities is close upon us. Within the month, employees will receive an email message from the UHR Division of Training, telling them what their new Oracle responsibilities are, what courses they have to attend, the order the courses should be taken, and how to register through Oracle Self Service.
People who are new to Oracle must attend Oracle Navigation as a prerequisite to responsibility training. And all people assigned a departmental HR/Payroll responsibility will attend "HR Essentials," a course currently being developed by the Division of Training to help Oracle users understand the broad roles played by University Human Resources and how their responsibilities fit into the whole UHR fabric.
After completing navigation training and the HR Essentials class, prospective HR/Payroll users will attend their responsibility-based Oracle training, which ranges from 4 to 12 hours for departmental users, depending on the responsibility. Responsibility-based Oracle training will take place primarily during May and June. It is critical that people sign up for all their classes as early as possible. If the early classes aren't full, there will not be enough seats in later classes to train everyone before go-live.
While the total number of hours of training for phase 2 responsibilities will be far less, on average, than for phase 1 users, "we are making phase 2 training both broader and more job relevant," says Barbara Henry, phase 2 functional lead. "We learned from Oracle financial training that users need a conceptual framework in which to place their responsibilities, and they need more training on how to actually do their job, not just complete the Oracle screens. The HR Essentials class should address the first issue. And each of our course groupings will end with training on how the Oracle activities fit into a person's job responsibilities."
Shorter courses, more comprehensive training, and, best of all, nothing about PTAEOs (!), awaits you in HR/Payroll training.
While faculty salaried employees will notice little different with the switch to Oracle, the process by which classified and wage employees report their time and leave will change significantly. That is the word from Barbara Henry, ISP Phase 2 functional lead. "Today, everyone fills out multiple forms for time and for leave (the infamous bubble sheets and 'automated' time sheets), and they do it on varying time cycles," she explains. "Beginning in July, all classified salaried employees will report their time and leave semi-monthly, on one form. All wage employees will use the same form, and the reporting will be on a bi-weekly basis.
Departments will print out and distribute time/leave sheets. For classified salaried employees, the hours per day will be pre-filled, reflecting each person's normal workweek. The employees will mark deviations, for example days that were taken as leave or comp time. They will also add in any premium pay, such as overtime or shift differential. They sign the time sheet, have their supervisor sign it, and return it to the departmental timekeeper to record it in Oracle."
"If this is done in a timely manner," notes Henry, "leave balances will be more current than in today's system, and premium pays will be reflected as worked in a person's pay."
Wage employees' timesheets will be pre-filled with zeros, according to Henry. "The employee marks hours worked on specific days, signs the timesheet, has his/her supervisor sign, and returns it to the departmental timekeeper to record it in Oracle.
Classified salaried staff will receive their pay, regardless of whether or not time is entered in a timely manner. The pay just may not reflect the most recent information on leave and premium pay. Like today, wage employees will not receive pay until time is entered into Oracle."
"We will have to get used to Oracle Human Resources and Payroll, just as we continue to adapt to the Oracle financial applications," concedes Henry. "But our time keeping will make a lot more sense than it does today."