Division of Finance & Enterprise Services
While working with the DFES budget, Al Turgeon, Executive Assistant to the VP of Finance and Administration, identified a need for better budget-building tools and improved budget reporting, especially budget-to-actual information. Turgeon wanted a simple, “push-button” report that would give business managers a comprehensive view of their current budget status.
Turgeon met with Stephanie Dion of Budget and Resource Management to lay out the information that DFES budget-builders needed and identify the data sources. Dion had begun to work on budget reporting already and knew that the information existed within PeopleSoft but that it could be difficult to extract it in a useful format.
Queries developed within PeopleSoft combined with the ability to download the information into Excel spreadsheets proved to be the appropriate solution. With the assistance of Susan Skalka of the Business Process Reengineering Team, a process that originally required four different queries was reduced to one that also provides budget-to-actual information and forecasting capabilities.
(It is important to note that exporting data from PeopleSoft into Excel is not the same as creating shadow systems, and that this method of producing useable information has always been part of the PeopleSoft reporting strategy.)
Once the draft reports were available, Dion worked with Linda Schneider in Administrative and Facilities Services (AFS) to refine them. AFS was chosen due to the complexity of its organization (including income and expense units) and its need to see both high-level and detailed information. Enhancements were identified and the improved budget reports were rolled out to the rest of DFES to support the budget-building process for FY09.
The budget reports were then brought to the Budget Management and Reporting Committee of the University Business Council for broader review and input. After a few further improvements to the reports, the UBC recommended campus-wide adoption of the reporting tool to Richard Cate, Vice President of Finance and Administration.
The budget reporting project is a great example of identifying a need and bringing the right people and resources together to produce a useful solution. The budget reports now provide the basis for budget tracking and budget development across campus and will provide the information that senior managers at the University will use to certify their budgets on a quarterly basis. What’s more, the information the reports provide led to a restructuring of the University’s E-level accounts, making it easier to track financial performance at aggregate levels.
Last modified May 17 2010 01:46 PM