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Workday Finance Newsletter
May 3, 2016

Project Update

Can you believe that it is almost May? Just one month ago we celebrated the one year anniversary of Workday HCM, and in just one year we will be taking the final steps toward implementing Workday Finance.

As mentioned last month, the project team has shifted to the Configure and Prototype phase. The team began building our first Workday Finance tenant a few weeks ago and completed “smoke testing,” ensuring the most critical functions of the system work. Our initial configuration of business processes and the new FDM (Financial Data Model) were loaded into a copy of the Workday production tenant. 

Five volunteer departments were included in the initial build, including: College of Engineering, UMIT (University of Miami Information Technology), Neurology, Biochemistry and Microbiology, and Radiology. A big shout out to those groups! Those CCMs (Cost Center Managers) have been working closely with the team to build crosswalks of their existing FRS (Financial Records System) accounts to new Workday data structures.

The project team also shared a first look at the business processes with members of the FAC (Finance Advisory Councils) at the recent playback sessions. A new round of playbacks will occur towards the end of May, where the Councils will actually get a first look at the new system. We’re very excited to be in this phase and appreciate your input and support over the past few months!

- Theresa Ashman

Ariba! Ariba!

The Change Readiness Assessment (as well as discussions around campus) indicated that you want to know more about how jobs and systems will change when Workday Finance is implemented. As part of our action to address survey responses, as decisions are made, the Workday Finance Update will become one of the methods we use to showcase such changes. This month, let’s talk about Ariba. 

Currently, Ariba is used for procurement, eChecks, and eBERFs.  However, Ariba will be decommissioned for these functions when Workday Finance is implemented. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Procurement – When you want to buy something, you generally go into Ariba to begin a requisition. In the future, you’ll use Workday to buy goods and services. As part of the Workday implementation, we will be enabling a “virtual mall” where goods can be added to your shopping cart during the requisition process. Workflow routing and approval – and ultimately the issuance of a Purchase Order to a supplier – will all be in Workday. The significant difference will be in the workflow which will be streamlined from what it is today. See the article on the Straw Model for Finance Approvals for more information.
  • eBERF – The current travel and expense reimbursement process (electronic Business Expense Reimbursement Form) occurs in Ariba. In the future, this process will occur in Workday. You’ll be able to start a reimbursement request for yourself or on behalf of someone else. Receipts will be attached to the request similar to how you do it today in Ariba. Like procurement, the workflow will be streamlined.
  • eCheck – Ad hoc electronic check requests are currently initiated in Ariba.  In the future, you’ll use Workday for this process. 

Workday 26

Every March and September, Workday releases new functionality that arises from their development roadmap as well as customer feedback. These releases, which are numbered sequentially (e.g. Workday 26, which was released on Saturday, March 12), are immediately available to all Workday clients. This is one of the benefits of being in a cloud-based system – we are always on the latest release. The project team has access to the new release in “preview” tenants several weeks before the release to production so that we can assess and test new or changed functionality. Significant changes will be separately communicated by the UM Workday team when they occur. 

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Change Readiness Assessment

In March, over 5,000 University employees received the first Change Readiness Assessment for the project. This assessment, designed as a pulse check of University employee readiness for the Workday Finance implementation, was sent to recipients from various supervisory organizations, users of existing systems (such as UMeNet/Ariba), current finance role holders, Council members, as well as random faculty and staff members.

The same survey will be sent at periodic intervals to measure monitor change and identify specific communication and training needs. Input from the survey will drive what is communicated about the project and how it is communicated. Themes from the survey will be addressed in this monthly update.

Want to know what was said? View the results summary here. One of the findings from the survey is the respondents who received the Workday Finance Update indicated they were more informed and were more positive in their responses to the questions
View the Results Summary

Meet Your New Financial Data Model

The new FDM (Financial Data Model) has been developed and details can be found here.  There are 16 elements to the FDM that have the ability to drive business processes and capture critical information for reporting. In previous newsletters, you learned about Company and Spend Category. This month’s featured element is Grant. 

Grant will be used in place of the “6” accounts you use today for sponsored projects. Grant will be created by the Office of Research Administration based on awards and will have information regarding project budgets, F&A (Facilities & Administrative) rates, PI (Principal Investigator), project periods, billing schedules, etc. The use of one or more grants in a transaction will cause a business process to route to certain individuals for approval. Role examples include the PI and a new role, Cost Center Sponsored Program Manager. Where you use Legacy Value in Costing Allocations today, you’ll use Grant in the future (and possibly other FDM elements).  Grants can be used for procurement, salary allocation, journal entries, and travel and expense reimbursements – just like 6 accounts are used today.  Existing 6 accounts will be mapped to Grants in the data conversion process.

View the FDM

Straw Model for Finance Approvals

FAC (Finance Advisory Council) members and central office staff were heavily involved in designing business processes for procurement, accounting, grants, assets, etc. To assist with their efforts, the Executive Sponsors supported an approach to developing processes that would result in streamlined and standardized workflows. We termed this the “Straw Model.”

In future issues of this newsletter, we’ll discuss current versions of key business processes in more detail. In this issue, we want to explain the Straw Model and talk about its alignment with the Culture Transformation activities. What’s important? All business processes have an Initiator. The roles that can initiate are determined by business process and can range from Employee as Self (everyone) to only those with a specific role (e.g. CCM or Accountant).

Keep in mind that “role” represents a security role, not a title or job function, and that roles are assigned to positions, not people. In our current systems, we use approval steps as a means of communicating to others or to customize the flow by account, sub-object, or department. Consistent with our DIRECCT values of Responsibility, Excellence and Creativity, as well as the President’s charge to pursue administrative excellence in our work, approvers have specific roles and responsibilities in Workday:

  • They have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be empowered to perform this role; they are accountable for the decisions they make, i.e. approve or deny a transaction.
  • Each approver has specifically identified items to check during their review; this doesn’t duplicate what a previous or subsequent approver might do. “Double checking” is not embedded in business processes.
  • Additional approvers are part of a process only when the risk of the process makes this appropriate. Risk might be based on dollar amount, type of transaction, or contents of the transaction (e.g. buying hazardous materials).
  • Central offices are involved only in circumstances where they are needed to complete a transaction (e.g. must select the supplier) or where there is significant risk (e.g. needs legal review). Instead, central offices will be more involved in post-approval audit of completed business processes.
  • Business processes will be consistent across campus and will not be customized to each area. Once enabled, the processes will represent how certain transactions will be done and areas will be discouraged from creating “non-system” processes to replicate what they do today.

This is a significant change! (But an exciting one, too!) We'll be talking about this change in various forums over the next year.

HCM Updates

The following updates were made in Workday that may be of interest to CCMs, FBPIs, FRs, and SBOs:

  • “On Call weekend (hours)” time calculations have been added to time templates for Richter Library, Life Alliance, MSOM Security, UHealth Connect, Hospital Procurement, and Marine Operations.
  • Occasionally, the Workday Finance team needs to clear default ledgers in Workday through PAAs (Payroll Accounting Adjustments). The clearing of the ledger does not impact where an employee’s salary was charged - it only corrects the ledger posting that occurred when account posting rules fail. These corrections do not require departmental approval as Legacy Values and Cost Centers are not changed. The business process for PAAs has been modified to bypass approvals if initiated by a SFA (Senior Finance Administrator). The SFA is a Workday project team role assigned to a very limited number of individuals.
  • Changing an employee’s EMPLID can create problems for relieving encumbrances. The finance team now receives alerts indicating a change has occurred so corrective action can be taken.
  • The team is removing the ability for employees to select the country for their name during the legal and preferred name change processes. When employees select a country other than US, the system allowed the use of other alphabets, causing problems with integrations to financial institutions.
  • Unapproved timecards present a significant risk when time is paid without approval, particularly when overtime is involved. Managers and leadership will receive alerts when timekeepers do not approve timecards.
  • As a result of recommendations from Audit and Advisory Services, the Payroll Office and HRIS are providing recommendations to HR leadership on those holding various HCM roles who may need additional training. Individuals identified through that process will be asked to attend training to help build their skills in Workday.
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