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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Announcing Changes in Finance/EFS - Part Two - PCards and Combo Codes

In this three-part series, we are exploring some of the changes for Finance or the Enterprise Financial System (EFS). Part One covered ChartField values, Workflow, and Approval changes. Stay tuned for Part Three in a future issue of the Upgrade.

As mentioned in Part One, for EFS this effort is an upgrade of the existing system. In general, we don’t expect or plan on massive changes to financial business processes. Nevertheless, we are taking this opportunity to make some changes and address major points. So far, after reviewing the proposed changes to EFS, stakeholder representatives and financial advisory groups have welcomed the new procedures and approaches coming with ESUP.   

For more information about the planned changes see Potential for Change by Module in EFS.

Will the PCard reconciliation process in EFS change significantly?

Yes. People who work in EFS with PCard activity asked for increased efficiency in the purchasing card activity validation and reconciliation processes. This is the one area where a large amount of system change will occur. The business process is not really changing though, just where it is handled in the system.

  • The business process steps are mostly the same: people make purchases with their cards, need to provide receipts and justifications, that information needs to be recorded in the system, it needs to be reviewed and approved, and so on. 
  • The mechanics of the online PCard reconciliation process is being entirely redesigned. The reconciling work will now take place using the “My Wallet” functions available in the Expenses module. People will need Travel & Expense Preparer access to reconcile PCards. Those reconciling cards in the future will need to take the travel & expense preparer class to gain access. All PCard preparers continuing to perform this function should expect to take some sort of training prior to go-live.
  • Departments have the option of allowing cardholders access to My Wallet so they can enter justifications for their activity online, then pass the transaction over to a Travel & Expense Preparer to complete the processing of the transaction within EFS.
  • Approvals for PCard activity will take place in the Expenses module and will be consistent with other approval set-up and configuration for other transaction types—there will be one primary approver for a department and a pool of alternates instead of one approver and one alternate for each individual PCard.

What’s happening with Combo Codes as a result of the upgrade?

Accountants and others asked for improvements in Payroll Accounting. On the original list of Finance pain points this was called, “improved integration with HRMS.” We are making many improvements and changes to the Payroll Accounting processes occurring in HRMS. One area particularly frustrating for everyone, not just the Finance community, is Combo Codes--there are too many, and they’re difficult to use.

Highlights of coming changes:

  • All of the Combination Codes will be completely regenerated using a more recognizable numbering system. The Combo Codes will begin with the Fund, Department ID, and Program or Project, to enable people to more easily identify which code to use.
  • Account codes will no longer be part of the Combo Code, rather they will be inferred from employee type. For example, instead of needing one Combo Code for faculty, one for P&A, one for Civil Service, and so on, a department can use one Combo Code for all of the types of employees paid on a Fund/DeptID/Program. This dramatically reduces the number of required codes. It also makes finding the right code easier when using lookup functions.

As ESUP makes progress, we will provide additional details and information about coming changes coming in Finance and the other work streams so stakeholders can get a better idea of their impact. Please send an email to esup@umn.edu if you have questions about any of the topics covered so far. Watch for part three of this series about coming Finance changes in future issues of The Upgrade.

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